Extradition Q & A relating to Babar Ahmad's case
Who is Babar Ahmad?
Babar Ahmad, born in the UK in 1974, is the longest detained-without-trial British citizen, held as part of the global ‘War on Terror’. He has been in prison in the UK since 05 August 2004. At the time of his arrest he was an IT worker at Imperial College London.
When was Babar Ahmad first arrested?
Babar Ahmad was first arrested on 02 December 2003 by UK anti-terrorist police at his home in Tooting, South London. He was subjected to physical violence and religious and sexual abuse by the arresting officers both at his home and in the police van en route to the police station. For three days his and his parents’ home were searched from top to bottom.
How can you make such a serious allegation that he was abused in custody?
On 18 March 2009 the Metropolitan Police Service ‘pleaded guilty’ and admitted full liability for abusing him on 02 December 2003. They also offered to pay him £60,000 (US$100,000) compensation. Photographic evidence of his injuries can be found on this site.
Coming back to December 2003, what happened next?
After six days of questioning and the analysis of a large amount of material seized by the police, the Crown Prosecution Service refused to charge Babar Ahmad with any criminal offence, so he was released on 08 December 2003.
Why was Babar Ahmad re-arrested on 05 August 2004?
Babar Ahmad was re-arrested on 05 August 2004 following a request for his extradition from the USA, alleging that he was wanted for committing terrorism offences in the USA from 1996 to 2003.
But was Babar Ahmad not in full-time employment in the UK during that period?
Exactly, but under the terms of the Extradition Act 2003, the US does not have to provide any evidence before seeking the extradition of someone from the UK. (However, if the UK wants to seek someone’s extradition from the US, it has to provide evidence that can be tested in a US court. This makes it a one-sided, imbalanced arrangement.)
What exactly are the charges against Babar Ahmad?
The US claims that Babar Ahmad tried to solicit support for ‘terrorism’ in Chechnya and Afghanistan using websites that supported Chechen and Taliban rebel fighters.
So what does all this have to do with the US?
The US alleges that one of the internet servers on which one of these websites was hosted was, for a short period, based in the US. US extradition documents themselves state that during the entire period ‘relevant to the indictment’ Babar Ahmad was resident in London, UK.
Why was Babar Ahmad never charged in the UK if all the alleged offences took place in the UK?
The CPS has repeatedly refused to charge Babar Ahmad in the UK with any criminal offence whatsoever, citing 'insufficient evidence'.
What are the consequences for Babar Ahmad if he is extradited?
If extradited, he faces the rest of his natural life in prison in solitary confinement, like many other ‘terrorism’ prisoners on the US mainland.
Why is Babar Ahmad still in prison?
From 2004 to 2007, he lost all his appeals against extradition in the UK domestic courts. Since 2007, his case has been at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.On 5th October 2012 Babar was finally extradited to the US after the European Court of Human Rights ruled there was no bar to his extradition and after the British High Court refused his request for a judicial review. He is currently in custody in Connecticut, USA.
What about the police officers who assaulted Babar Ahmad in December 2003?
On 12 August 2010, Crown Prosecution Service announced that 4 Metropolitan police officers will be charged with actual body harm (ABH) for the assault on Babar Ahmad on 2 December 2003.
Which solicitors represent Babar Ahmad?
Gareth Peirce of Birnberg Peirce & Partners in London represented Babar Ahmad in his extradition proceedings. Fiona Murphy of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors in London represents him in his complaint against the police. Since he has been extradited he has been represented by Joshua Dratel.