NEWS
01/10/2012 08:29 BST | Updated 01/10/2012 12:01 BST

Babar Ahmad Launches High Court Bid To Stop Extradition To United States

Terror suspect Babar Ahmad has launched a High Court bid to halt his removal from the UK to the United States, the Judicial Office confirmed on Monday.

Ahmad, 38, has been in prison for the last eight years despite the fact that he has not been charged with an offence.

The US believes that he was a supporter of terrorism in the 1990s and had been seeking his extradition so that he can face trial in an American court.

Babar Ahmad being escorted into the High Court by prison officers last month

A lengthy legal battle reached the European Court of Human Rights this September, where Ahmad, along with the notorious Abu Hamza and four other terror suspects, were told that they would halt extradition proceedings on human rights grounds and would not be re-opening their cases.

A panel of five judges threw out their request to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.

Hamza, who was jailed for seven years for soliciting to murder and inciting racial hatred, has been fighting extradition since 2004.

Ahmad's father, Ashfaq, has campaigned relentlessly for his son's release

The computer expert's judicial review application is now expected to be heard tomorrow along with that of radical cleric Abu Hamza and another suspect, Khaled Al-Fawwaz.

The last-ditch challenges will be heard by two judges in London - Sir John Thomas, President of the Queen's Bench Division, and Mr Justice Ouseley,

Hamza and Al-Fawwaz have already been granted interim injunctions preventing their removal pending tomorrow's hearing.

Ahmad, who was also subject to the ruling by the five judges, has been held in a UK prison without trial for eight years after being accused of raising funds for terrorism.

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg has offered support for Ahmad

After the ruling in Europe, the Home Office said Hamza and Ahmad, with Seyla Talha Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary and Al-Fawwaz, would be "handed over to the US authorities as quickly as possible".

Between 1999 and 2006, the men were indicted on various terrorism charges in America.

Hamza has been charged with 11 counts of criminal conduct related to the taking of 16 hostages in Yemen in 1998, advocating violent jihad in Afghanistan in 2001, and conspiring to establish a jihad training camp in Bly, Oregon, between June 2000 and December 2001.

The campaign to try Ahmad in the UK has had much public support

Ahmad and Ahsan are accused of offences including providing support to terrorists and conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim or injure persons or damage property in a foreign country.

His family continue to campaign for him to be tried in the UK and question a legal system that can detain someone withou charge for eight years. A number of policial figures and legal experts also back their campaign.

Bary and Al-Fawwaz were indicted - with Osama bin Laden and 20 others - for their alleged involvement in, or support for, the bombing of US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998. Al-Fawwaz faces more than 269 counts of murder.

Adel Abdul Bary has also lodged an application, which is being considered by a single judge.

Babar Ahmad's family has urged Home Secretary Theresa May to halt the extradition until a decision is made on a potential private prosecution in the UK.

In a statement released following today's move, the family said: "We are simply asking for the court to put a hold on Babar's extradition so that the DPP has the necessary time and space to make a decision on the material provided to him in April 2012 which was kept hidden from him by the police for eight years.

"The DPP has confirmed that he is considering this material in addition to the request by Mr Karl Watkin for permission to privately prosecute Babar in the UK.

"We trust that the court will find that this is a reasonable request which is both in the public interest and the interests of justice."

The case of Bary will be heard along with the others tomorrow, it was confirmed by the Judicial Office.