The family of Tooting terror suspect Babar Ahmad has condemned the decision by EU officials not to block his extradition to the US to face terrorism charges.
On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights backed a number of terror-related extraditions from the UK to the United States, including those of Mr Ahmad, fellow Tooting resident Syed Talha Ahsan and controversial cleric Abu Hamza.
The Strasbourg court decided there would be no violation of human rights for those facing possible life and solitary confinement in top-security US “super max” prisons – with one phone call per month and no visits.
Sara Ahmad, Babar’s sister, suggested the British legal system was “subcontracted” to the US and accused British police of “mishandling” the evidence.
Mr Ahmad and Mr Ahsan, both British Muslims, were originally arrested at their Tooting homes in December 2003 and July 2006 respectively under anti-terror legislation.
Mr Ahmad was released six days later without charge after the US Goverment claimed he was involved with terror websites – a charge he vehemently denies.
He was re-arrested in August 2004 and imprisoned prior to the US Government’s extradition request under the controversial Extradition Act 2003 – he has been detained for eight years without trial ever since.
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Mr Ahmad, and his family have fought extradition because the crimes he is alleged to have committed while he was on British soil.
Mr Ahsan has remained in custody since his arrest and there has been much less publicity about his plight than there has been about Mr Ahmad.
Speaking after Tuesday morning’s announcement, Ms Ahmad she said: “There has been a serious abuse of process with the police completely mishandling the evidence seized from Babar’s home by sending it to the US before the CPS could take a view on it.
“Babar has already been imprisoned without a trial for almost eight years, he is a British citizen accused of a crime said to have been committed in the UK and all the evidence against him was gathered in this country.
“Nevertheless, British justice appears to have been subcontracted to the US – this should be immediately rectified by putting Babar on trial in the UK and ordering a full public inquiry into the matter.
In 2011 an official e-petition called “Put Babar Ahmad on trial in the UK” was started and when it closed 149,394 people had signed it – the second highest tally ever recorded on the website.
He is currently confined at Long Larton prison in Worcestershire and is the longest British citizen detained-without-charge as part of the global ‘war on terror’.
Tooting MP and shadow Justice Minister Mr Khan, said: “I have contacted the Home Secretary and Attorney General again today asking that the evidence against these two Tooting men be reconsidered by the British authorities, so that they can be charged here and tried in a British court.”
However, there is a glimmer of hope for Mr Ahmad because the court’s ruling could still be appealed in its Grand Chamber.