PC Mark Jones (44), PC Roderick James-Bowen (40), DC John Donohue (40), and PC Nigel Cowley (33) are charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm to Babar Ahmad (36) on 2nd December 2003 during an anti-terrorism raid on his home in Tooting, South London. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.
It is alleged Babar sustained over 70 separate injuries to his head, neck, wrists, and feet during the assault. He was released without charge following the incident but re-arrested a few months later following an extradition request from the US under the controversial Extradition Act 2003. Babar has been held in prison ever since, without charge. This seven years makes him the longest detained-without-charge British citizen in the modern history of the UK.
The officers’ trial is expected to last 4 weeks.
1. Timing: Tuesday 3 May: jury selection and case opens. Babar is the main prosecution witness and he will be giving live evidence, in person, at Southwark Crown Court at 2pm on 4 and 5 May 2011. This will be the first time during 7 years of imprisonment that Babar will speak in public.
2. Neither Babar’s family, nor his solicitors, will be making any comment to the media during the trial – until the jury has delivered its verdict.
3. Babar is accused by the US of being involved with websites almost a decade ago, that supported Chechen and Afghan rebels. Babar has consistently, and vociferously, denied any connection with terrorist activity.
4. There are at present no reporting restrictions on publishing photographs of the defendants although restrictions are in place over reporting their home addresses. The exact restrictions should be confirmed with the Crown Prosecution Service.
5. Babar is represented in the police assault aspect of his case by Miss Fiona Murphy of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors Tel: 0207 729 1115 www.bhattmurphy.co.uk.
6. Prosecuting this case is First Senior Treasury Counsel Mr Jonathan Laidlaw Q.C. with Junior Counsel Miss Julia Faure-Walker. They are instructed by the Special Crime Division of the Crown Prosecution Service.
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