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BBC Wins High Court Battle To Broadcast Interview With Babar Ahmad, Terror Suspect Detained In UK Without Trial For Seven Years

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The BBC has won a High Court battle over a government refusal to allow the corporation to film and broadcast an interview with a terror suspect detained in the UK for more than seven years without trial.

Two judges said today the case of Babar Ahmad, who has been detained without trial longer than any other British national in modern history, was "highly exceptional".

Because of its unusual facts, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke's continued refusal to allow the interview was a "disproportionate interference with freedom of expression" and must be quashed, the judges said.

The decision is a victory for the BBC and home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani.

Government lawyers indicated there would be no appeal and talks will take place about the practicalities of arranging an interview.

Ahmad, a 37-year-old British Muslim, is being held under controversial extradition laws as he fights removal to the US, where he is wanted for allegedly raising funds for Chechen and Afghan insurgents over the internet.

He strongly denies any involvement with terrorism.

He is being held in a special detainee unit at Long Lartin Prison, Worcestershire, waiting for the European Court of Human Rights to rule on whether he should be extradited.

The court was told that a ruling was being prepared "as a matter of urgency".