On 9th December 2011, lawyers for the BBC went to the High Court to challenge Justice Secretary Ken Clarke’s refusal to allow the BBC to film and broadcast an interview with Babar Ahmad in prison. They argued that the exceptional public interest in the Babar Ahmad case required that the public be allowed to see the effects on a man who has been held in prison for over seven years without charge or trial. Lawyers for Babar Ahmad supported the BBC in this case. This case is the first ever challenge to a refusal to permit a broadcaster to film an interview in prison.
NOTES TO EDITOR
1. This action was brought by Nicola Cain at the BBC Litigation Department, who instructed counsel Lord Pannick QC and Tom Cleaver. Babar Ahmad was represented as an interested party by Simon Creighton at Bhatt Murphy Solicitors (0207 729 1115), who instructed Phillippa Kaufmann QC.
2. Please go to the Background and Timeline sections of www.freebabarahmad.com for a full history of Babar Ahmad’s case. The Free Babar Ahmad Campaign is best approached for comment by telephone on 07585355581 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
3. During his arrest in London in 2003, Babar Ahmad was violently abused by the arresting Metropolitan Police officers in a sustained and brutal attack. In March 2009 the Metropolitan Police admitted carrying out this abuse and paid him £60,000 compensation. Four police officers later stood trial over this attack but were found not guilty.
4. Babar Ahmad’s final appeal against extradition is currently being considered by the European Court of Human Rights, which is expected to deliver judgment some time in 2012.