Private prosecutions of Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan expose government failures in providing basic justice for two victims of Extradition Act
Cageprisoners warmly welcomes the private prosecution by British businessman Karl Watkin of Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan. Both men have collectively been held in British prisons without trial for fourteen years. During this time, we have urged the British authorities to put them on trial in the United Kingdom and, in the case of Babar Ahmad almost 150,000 petitioners have agreed.
It is heartening to see that the initiative of an individual has finally filled the gap left by state institutions but it is a travesty of justice that crucial evidence, that should have been available from the outset, was handed over straight to US authorities by British Police instead of being presented to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as expected. We therefore strongly believe that the CPS should now take over and continue with the prosecution of Mr Ahmad and Mr Ahsan as all the criteria required by law for the CPS to do so are undoubtedly met.
“Babar Ahmad is the longest detained-without-charge British citizen in the modern history of this country. As the courts and Prime Minister David Cameron have affirmed, any decision to begin a criminal prosecution is exclusively a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Keir Starmer QC. For several months now, the CPS has been in possession of all the material seized during Mr Ahmad’s arrest while it had previously seen only a fraction of it. Hence, the basis on which Mr Starmer’s predecessor took his decision not to prosecute Mr Ahmad exists no more. The case of Babar Ahmad has been the reason for much grief among the British population; He is a British citizen who has allegedly committed extremely grave offences in the UK. It is time for the Director of Public Prosecution to face his responsibilities, prosecute Mr Ahmad and clear this matter”.
Asim Qureishi, Executive Director of Cageprisoners