UK court allows appeal of terrorism charges based on torture claims

A London appeals court on Wednesday granted (JURIST) convicted terrorist Rangzieb Ahmed the right to appeal his conviction based on his claims of torture and recent reports of UK complicity in torture. Ahmed was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2008 on charges of directing terrorism under the UK’s Terrorism Act of 2006 . The trial court found that he was a high-level al Qaeda member with ties to some of the organization’s leaders. He was convicted of setting up a terrorist cell in Manchester, and he boasted of meeting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man accused of planning the 9/11 attacks.

Ahmed alleges that he was beaten and tortured by members of the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence and then questioned by representatives of MI5 and MI6, making the UK government complicit in his torture.

Last year, David Davis, the former shadow home secretary, gave a statement in the Commons in which he told that Ahmed was allowed to fly from Manchester to Pakistan after the evidence upon which he was subsequently convicted had been gathered.The Pakistani authorities were tipped off and British intelligence agencies suggested that their Pakistani counterparts detain him, in full knowledge of “the normal methods” that were employed against terrorism suspects.

Ahmed’s counsel argued that he should be given the right to appeal based on the government’s complicity in his torture. Ahmed was held for 13 months in Pakistan before being deported to the UK to stand trial.

The appeal court heard that since his conviction, parliament’s joint committee on human rights, and the UN special rapporteur on torture, had both concluded that handing lists of questions to intelligence agencies known to use torture – in the manner that MI5 and Manchester police have admitted – amounted to complicity.

The decision to grant Ahmed leave to appeal comes at a time when the government is finalising the terms of an inquiry to be held into allegations of British collusion in overseas torture.

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One Response

  1. hey guys studying the case of rangzieb at the moment and was just wondering what is everyone’s view on this case. Do you think the UK had jurisdiction over him?

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