Dr Caroline Lucas MP reiterated her call last night for a full public inquiry into the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) handling of the evidence against Babar Ahmad. The CPS has admitted that it never reviewed the bulk of the evidence against Babar Ahmad before it was sent to the US authorities. Thusfar the CPS’s only response to Dr Lucas has been that it was not aware of all the evidence possessed by the US authorities, which ignores the fact that all this evidence was seized in the UK by British police.
Dr Lucas’ call came during a historic debate in parliament when a motion was unanimously passed for the UK’s extradition laws to be urgently renegotiated to strengthen the protection for British citizens. Many MPs called for any changes in the law to apply to pending cases such as that of Babar Ahmad, Talha Ahsan and Gary McKinnon.
Stephen Phillips MP said he was “horrified” by what Dr Lucas revealed, adding that it was a “stain on justice in the UK” for Babar to have been imprisoned for over 7 years without trial.
Father of Babar Ahmad, Ashfaq Ahmad said:
“The government continues to dodge the serious questions raised by Dr Caroline Lucas in relation to the CPS behaviour. The CPS has allowed Babar to languish in prison without trial for over seven years claiming there is “insufficient evidence” to prosecute him, evidence which they now admit they never even saw.”
“We fully support Dr Lucas’s call for a full public inquiry into the CPS actions in this case and call on the Attorney General to direct the DPP to review all the evidence against Babar with a view to prosecuting him in the UK.”
The Free Babar Ahmad (FBA) Campaign extends its thanks and congratulations to its supporters who worked extremely hard to ensure the Babar Ahmad e-petition was properly debated in parliament with numerous MPs referring to it in their speeches.
For further information or to arrange an interview, visit www.freebabarahmad.com or the official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Babar-Ahmad/170108582117; email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07585355581.
Notes to Editor:
1. Babar Ahmad is the longest detained-without-trial British citizen in the modern history of the UK. He has been detained since 5 August 2004 (over 7 years) following an extradition request from the US under UK’s controversial Extradition Act 2003 which allows British Citizens to be extradited to the U.S for offences that allegedly took place in Britain. A complete timeline of Babar Ahmad’s case from the moment he was arrested on 2 December 2003 can be viewed at https://www.freebabarahmad.com/the-story/timeline .
2. On 22 November 2011, the Crown Prosecution Service admitted that it had never reviewed all the evidence seized from Babar Ahmad’s home before it was sent to the US authorities. The CPS has nevertheless repeatedly refused to prosecute Babar Ahmad in the UK claiming that there is “insufficient evidence”.
3. A full parliamentary debate on urgently reforming British extradition laws took place on 5 December 2011 with the motion being passed without a vote. The debate came as a result of an e-petition to put Babar Ahmad on trial in the UK securing over 141,000 signatures within 3 months. The e-petition can be viewed at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/885 .
4. During his arrest in London in 2003, Babar Ahmad sustained over 73 injuries. In March 2009, the Metropolitan Police admitted carrying out this abuse and paid him £60,000 compensation. The 4 police officers responsible were later found not guilty of this abuse in June 2011, following a 5 week trial at Southwark Crown Court. At the conclusion of that trial, the Recorder of Westminster, Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC, said about Babar Ahmad’s case, “I express the hope that the ordeal of a man in detention in this country for a number of years without trial is brought to an end as soon as possible…”
5. On 22 June 2011, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights explicitly raised concerns over Babar Ahmad’s case in its report in ‘The Human Rights Implications of U.K extradition policy’ and recommended that the government urgently re-negotiate the UK- US extradition of individuals in Babar Ahmad’s position.
6. The Free Babar Ahmad campaign rejects the findings of the Home Office’s review into the UK’s extradition laws which is peculiarly at odds with the findings of the JCHR.
7. Babar Ahmad’s final appeal is still being deliberated by the European Court of Human Rights which is to deliver judgment by the end of 2011.
8. Babar Ahmad is represented in his extradition case by Ms Gareth Peirce of Birnberg Peirce & Partners.