Rt Hon Sadiq Khan MP, Member of Parliament for Tooting, has spoken of his concerns over the handling of evidence in extradition cases against two of his constituents, Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan, British Citizens who are both awaiting extradition to the United States on terrorism-related charges.
The full evidence in both cases was passed to the United States government without being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service. No charge has ever been brought against Babar Ahmad or Syed Talha Ahsan in the United Kingdom, despite the allegations being very serious.
Sadiq Khan MP said:“Babar has been held in detention, without trial, since August 2004 and Talha has been in detention since July 2006. As British citizens, who lived in Britain at the time the alleged crimes took place, they have always said they are willing to have the charges against them heard in a British court.
“Despite their willingness to stand trial in Britain, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) chose not to press charges against Babar and Talha, due to absence of evidence.
“For a number of years the families of my constituent, their legal representatives and I have been under the impression that the CPS considered all of the evidence collected by the Metropolitan Police before passing it onto the American authorities. However, relatively recently, the CPS wrote to the legal representatives of my constituents to inform them that only some material was submitted to them in respect of Babar Ahmad, and none was submitted in respect of Syed Talha Ahsan. In other words, they did not consider the evidence and simply passed it onto the American authorities.
“I believe that the Metropolitan Police should have passed all of the evidence onto the CPS, so that they could make a fully informed decision on whether to bring charges against Babar and Talha, before passing the evidence onto the American authorities.
“I am pleased to confirm that, the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, agreed to my request and has now heard directly from both Babar and Talha, via a video conference. As a result of my representations and the evidence he heard the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee has also now written to the Director of Public Prosecutions (the head of the CPS) in regards to the amount of evidence considered in these cases.
“I will continue to support my constituents in their effort to have their trial held in a British court.