Ahmad, a computer expert, has been detained without trial in a British prison for eight years and is wanted in the US accused of raising money for terrorism.

 

He and Seyla Talha Ahsan are also accused of involvement in a website hosted in the US, of providing support to terrorists and conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim or injure persons or damage property in a foreign country.

 

Ahmad has never been charged with an offence in the UK and denies the accusations.

 

On Monday, European judges rejected his appeal against extradition and he could be on his way to the US within a few weeks, alongside four others accused of terrorism-related offences.

 

Soliciting to murder

They include Abu Hamza, who was jailed for seven years for soliciting to murder and inciting racial hatred.

 

Karl Watkin, an Alnwick-based businessman, is waiting to hear if the director of public prosecutions (DPP) will allow him to bring a private prosecution against Ahmad and Ahsan, who face “discretionary” life sentences if found guilty.

 

If he refuses to do this, Mr Watkin told Channel 4 News he would seek a judicial review.

 

He drew a distinction between Abu Hamza – “a convicted terrorist” – and Ahmad, who has never been been tried.

 

The BBC apologised today after reporting a private conversation between reporter Frank Gardner and the Queen about Abu Hamza.

 

The BBC said the conversation, in which the Queen is reported to have expressed concern about the failure to arrest Abu Hamza, should not have been made public.

 

A BBC spokesman said: “This morning on the Today programme our correspondent Frank Gardner revealed details of a private conversation which took place some years ago with The Queen.

 

“The conversation should have remained private and the BBC and Frank deeply regret this breach of confidence. It was wholly inappropriate. Frank is extremely sorry for the embarrassment caused and has apologised to the Palace.”

His motivation is the extradition treaty between the UK and US that has controversially led to Britons, including the NatWest Three bankers, being sent for trial in America.

 

“For me it is about the extradition treaty. I am opposed to the treaty 100 per cent. It should be torn up because it is completely one-sided,” he said.

 

“British people should be subject to British law. I am an international businessman and I always stand up for the rights of people who are getting abused.”

 

In the last decade, Mr Watkin said he had spent £250,000 of his own money fighting the extradition treaty. He and others have budgeted £150,000 for the Ahmad case and have spent £20,000 so far.

 

Matter of urgency

Referring to Ahmad’s extradition, Mr Watkin said: ” I don’t think he should be on a plane. The British justice system should stand up for itself and try people in the UK. Today it is them. Tomorrow it could be me.

 

“I await the DPP’s decision on my prosecution as a matter of urgency. Until then Ahmad and Ahsan should stay where they are.”

 

On Monday, Ahmad’s family urged Home Secretary Theresa May to halt the extradition until a decision was made about the private prosecution.

 

“The decision of the grand chamber is largely irrelevant to us as this matter should never have come to this stage had the British police done their job almost nine years ago and provided the material seized from Babar’s home to the CPS rather than secretly passing it to their US counterparts,” the family said in a statement.

 

Terrorism act

The investigation by US authorities includes evidence seized by the Metropolitan Police. Mr Watkin wants the DPP, Keir Starmer, to proceed with a private prosecution for alleged breaches of the 2000 Terrorism Act.

 

Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, said the Abu Hamza case was “clear cut”. But he added that “there remain concerns about the Babar Ahmad case”.

 

The Crown Prosecution Service said Mr Watkin’s request was “being carefully considered”, but the timing of any future extradition rested with the home secretary.

SOURCE: Channel 4 News

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