Babar Ahmad, the British man jailed without trial since 2004 while fighting extradition on terror charges, has pleaded to be tried in Britain and accused the police of “outsourcing” his case to the US.
Ahmad, accused of running a US-hosted website that encouraged terrorism, said he had never been formally questioned about the allegations against him or been presented with any evidence.
Ahmad, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme following a high court challenge by the broadcaster to secure the interview, admitted he had previously fought “battles” in Bosnia but said he believed terrorism to be wrong.
He told the programme: “I am facing extradition to the United States and spending the rest of my life in solitary confinement. I have never been questioned about allegations against me and I have never been shown any evidence against me.
“It is fair to say I’m fighting for my life and I’m running out of time.”
Ahmad said that if he had been charged and tried in 2003, it is likely he would have been released from a British prison by now, even if he had been found guilty.
He accused the British police of “outsourcing” the case to the Americans. He said: “All the offences against me are alleged to have happened in this country.
“Had the police and CPS put me on trial in 2003 – which they could have done – I would have left prison years ago regardless of the outcome. I have been in this nightmare fighting extradition for the past eight years.
“I absolutely reject any allegation that I have supported terrorism in any way and in any place – whether in Chechnya, or Afghanistan, or any other part of the world.
“I believe terrorism to be wrong and I believe targeting and killing innocent people to be wrong.”
He added: “The right place for me to respond to these allegations is either in a court of law or a formal police interview.”
The BBC is scheduled to broadcast the full interview on Thursday’s Newsnight.