Babar Ahmad: I'm Not Anti-Extradition Or Anti-US, Says Terror Suspect

'I'm Not Anti-Extradition Or Anti-US'

A terror suspect who lost a last-ditch bid to avoid being sent for trial in America has said he is not anti-extradition or the US.

Babar Ahmad has been jailed for eight years without trial, during which time his wife divorced him and he was beaten by the Met police. The 38-year-old says he now expects to be extradited "imminently" after a second attempt to bring a private prosecution against him failed.

Writing in the Guardian, Ahmad said millions had been spent on keeping him detained for so many years.

Babar Ahmad has been detained without trial for eight years

"I am not against the concept of extradition; in fact I support it, but only for fugitives," he writes.

"If someone is accused of murder in Texas or robbery in New York, then flees to Britain as a fugitive, of course that person should be extradited to face trial in the land where he allegedly committed the crime."

British-born Ahmad's family have campaigned for him to be tried in the UK over accusations he ran a jihadist website and raising funds for terrorism.

In his comment piece, Ahmad writes that he is not "anti-US."

"The US is a sovereign nation with a justice system that it can run how it wants. If you disagree with US penal policies, or believe them to be harsh, the answer is simple as we say in prison, 'If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.'

"As a British citizen living in Britain during the period of the allegations against me, is it unreasonable to assume that I would have considered myself subject to British law, not US law (or that of any other country)?"

Babar Ahmad being escorted into the High Court by prison officers

Speaking to The Huffington Post UK last week Ahmad’s sister Nazia also called for her brother to be tried in Britain. “We have a legal justice system in the UK, why can’t he be put on trial here?

"All the alleged crimes are said to have taken place on the UK so why can’t he be put on trial here. We’re not saying release him, we’re saying fine, put him on trial. He should face charges in this country. He is a British citizen."

A report released last year by parliament's joint committee on Human Rights recommended that the UK should introduce a procedure called 'forum bar', which would mean a judge would could refuse extradition if the majority of the alleged crimes took place in the UK.

Keith Vaz has also raised questions about the case, saying "there remain concerns about the Babar Ahmad case and this must not be used as a green light for the Home Secretary to agree to the extradition of Gary McKinnon or Richard O'Dwyer".

The Home Office has said Babar Ahmad, Seyla Talha Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled Al-Fawwaz and Abu Hamza would be "handed over to the US authorities as quickly as possible".


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