Tooting terror suspect speaks out after losing extradition battle
5:31pm Friday 5th October 2012 in News
Terror suspect Babar Ahmad has described the UK's extradition process as a "fallacy" after losing his eight-year battle today.
Mr Ahmad and fellow detainee Syed Talha Ahsan are both accused of running a jihadist website which gave material support to terrorism.
Last month the European Court of Human Rights gave its approval for the extradition of five terrorism suspects from the UK to America.
Mr Ahmad, a Tooting resident and former Ernest Bevin student, said: "Today I have lost my eight-year and 2 month battle against extradition to the US.
"I would like to thank all those over the years who supported me and my family: lawyers, politicians, journalists and members of the public from all walks of life."
"By exposing the fallacy of the UK’s extradition arrangements with the US, I leave with my head held high having won the moral victory."
Ashfaq Ahmad, father of Mr Ahmad, reacted angrily to the news of his son's deportation.
He said: "After over 40 years of paying taxes in this country, I am appalled that the system has let me down in a manner more befitting of a third world country than one of the world’s oldest democracies.
"It seems that the Metropolitan police, the CPS and even the Court have all colluded to implement a pre-determined decision which was made in Washington.
"We will never abandon our struggle for justice and the truth will eventually emerge of what will be forever remembered as a shameful chapter in the history of Britain."
Mr Ahmad was originally arrested at his Tooting home in December 2003 under anti-terror legislation before being released six days later without charge.
He was re-arrested in August 2004 and imprisoned prior to the US Government's extradition request under the controversial Extradition Act 2003 - he has been detained without trial ever since - Mr Ahsan was arrested a year later.
Tooting MP Sadiq Khan, who has campaigned tirelessly on behalf of his constituents, believes they will forced to plea bargain once in the American judicial system.
The Shadow Justice Minister said: "Family, friends and campaigners of Mr Ahmad and Mr Ahsan are devastated by the judgement at the High Court today.
"It is important to remember that at no stage have my constituents ever fought against standing trial.
"They understand that they face very serious charges, but they have always believed that it should be in a British court - and not an American one - where they should stand trial.
"The way criminal cases work in America means that defendants facing a trial are advised to plea bargain.
"I predict that both my constituents will do the same as all the other British men extradited to the USA have done, and plead guilty. It is a big risk pleading "Not Guilty".
"My understanding is that the consequences of this include the threat of life in solitary confinement without parole, should they lose a trial.
"If those are the stakes which pleading "Not Guilty" involve then it is no wonder that over 97 per cent of defendants accept a plea bargain - regardless of how confident or determined they are to stand trial.
"I am in close contact with the families and lawyers. It looks like both Babar and Talha will be sent to USA immediately "