He filed a formal complaint that was supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). He complained that officers had beaten him with fists and knees, stamped on his bare feet with boots, rubbed metal handcuffs on his forearm bones, sexually abused him, mocked the Islamic faith by placing him into the Muslim prayer position and taunting, ‘Where is your God now?!’, and applied life-threatening neck holds to him until he felt he was about to die.
On 10 September 2004, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced that there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to prosecute any of the police officers involved in the attack.
On 18 March 2009, however, Babar Ahmad was awarded £60,000 compensation at the High Court in London after the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson admitted that he had been the victim of a ‘serious, gratuitous and prolonged attack.’
On 26 March 2009, Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced an inquiry into the Babar Ahmad case with external judicial oversight by retired judge Sir Geoffrey Grigson, to report back to the Metropolitan Police Authority.
On 12 August 2010, CPS announces that 4 Metropolitan police officers will be charged with actual body harm (ABH) for the assault on Babar Ahmad on 2 December 2003.
On 03 June 2011, following a trial lasting five weeks at Southwark Crown Court, all four police officers charged with assaulting Babar Ahmad were acquitted. The jury took only 45 mins to reach their verdict and requested to meet the officers to shake their hands following the conclusion of the trial.
Babar Ahmad is represented by Fiona Murphy of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors in his police case.
US Extradition Case
Babar Ahmad was arrested in London on 05 August 2004 following an extradition request from the US that he was allegedly involved in Azzam.com, a website supporting Chechen and Taliban fighters that shut in 2002. Under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, the US does not have to provide any evidence before seeking the extradition of a British citizen.
US extradition documents state that ‘at all times material to the indictment’ Babar Ahmad was resident in London, UK. However, the UK Crown Prosecution Service declared in July 2004 and December 2006, as did the UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith in September 2006, that there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to charge Babar Ahmad with any criminal offence under UK law. The CPS has repeatedly refused to charge Babar Ahmad in the UK with any criminal offence whatsoever to date.
Having been refused bail, Babar Ahmad was detained in prison, where he remains. On 17 May 2005, Senior District Judge Timothy Workman approved his extradition at Bow Street Magistrates Court, stating, ‘This is a troubling and difficult case. The defendant is a British citizen who is alleged to have committed offences which, if the evidence were available, could have been prosecuted in this country…’
In September 2005, Sadiq Khan MP, Member of Parliament for Tooting, presented a petition of 18,000 signatures of then Home Secretary Charles Clarke asking Babar Ahmad to be tried in the UK, instead of being extradited.On 16 November 2005, Charles Clarke approved his extradition to the US.
On 28 November 2005, the UK Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee raised serious concerns about the one-sided UK-US extradition arrangements and, in particular, the case of Babar Ahmad. In a House of Commons emergency debate on 12 July 2006 about UK-US extradition, several MPs from all parties raised concerns at the case of Babar Ahmad. His name has also been mentioned repeatedly in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords in relation to UK-US extradition.Thousands have attended demonstrations in support of him.
On 30 November 2006, he lost his appeal at the High Court. On 04 June 2007, the House of Lords refused to grant him leave to appeal to them.
On 10 June 2007, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (France) ordered the UK Government to freeze Babar Ahmad’s extradition until they had fully determined his final appeal. European Court of Human Rights declares Babar Ahmad’s application is partially admissible and awaits further observations from the UK government on Supermax confinement and life without parole sentence. Final decision is expected late 2011.
MP Bugging Scandal
On 03 February 2008, the British newspaper The Sunday Times reported that UK anti-terrorist police had covertly bugged prison visits between Babar Ahmad and his local MP, Sadiq Khan, Member of Parliament for Tooting. The bugged conversations took place at HM Prison Woodhill in May 2005 and June 2006.
This information was reportedly leaked to the press by Detective Constable Mark Kearney, the police intelligence officer who conducted the covert surveillance of the visits, in alleged contravention of the Wilson Doctrine that banned Government surveillance of politicians in 1966.
Following widespread international media coverage of the relevation, the Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw MP, announced in Parliament the next day (04 February 2008) that he had asked a retired High Court judge, Sir Christopher Rose, to conduct an official inquiry into the affair.
The Rose Inquiry reported back to the House of Commons later in February 2008, stating that the police had done nothing wrong, causing commentators to dismiss the report as a whitewash.