British police charged with beating terror suspect

Four British riot squad officers have been charged with beating up a Briton now awaiting extradition to the United States to face terrorism charges when they arrested him, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Babar Ahmad, a 36-year-old computer expert, was detained in a dawn raid on his home in Tooting, southwest London, in December 2003.

“Mr. Ahmad suffered a number of injuries during that arrest, including heavy bruising to the head, neck, wrists and feet,” said Simon Clements, head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Special Crime Division.

“Our conclusion is that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge four of the officers involved in the arrest of Mr. Ahmad with causing actual bodily harm to him.”

Before the raid, police had been told that Ahmad, a Muslim, was believed to be connected to al Qaeda, was the head of a south London terrorist group and was potentially very dangerous.

However, he was released after questioning by counter-terrorism detectives.

The Crown Prosecution Service initially rejected charging any officers involved, but last year Ahmad won 60,000 pounds ($94,000) in damages at the High Court from London’s Metropolitan Police over the incident.

Clements said the CPS had reviewed the case after that ruling and decided it could now take action against Police Constables Nigel Cowley, John Donohue, Roderick James-Bowen and Mark Jones from the Met’s Territorial Support Group (TSG).

They will appear at the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 22.


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