source: Comment is free | The Guardian
published: 6th April 2012
Last night’s BBC interview from a high-security prison with Babar Ahmad, who is wanted for extradition to the US on terror charges, confronts the government, yet again, with a case full of embarrassing questions for the Metropolitan police. And for the justice minister, Ken Clarke, it highlights the challenge of how to justify holding a man in a maximum security prison for eight years when he faces no charges in the UK.
Clarke may be quietly praying that next Tuesday the European court of human rights will rule that Ahmad cannot be extradited to the US, and British courts therefore can after all hear the case.
Ahmad had no illusions that the interview was his “last chance to convince the authorities,” and he directly asked the director of public prosecutions to put him on trial in the UK here and now, as his family have requested on countless occasions.
At the centre of the US case against Ahmad is evidence that was not seen by the British legal authorities before it was sent to the US – a situation described in parliament last week by both the Conservative MP Dominic Raab and the Labour MP Andy Slaughter as Kafkaesque (and reiterated by Green MP Caroline Lucas in last night’s BBC programme). They are certainly not the only ones wanting to know why that happened.