British computer expert bids to halt US extradition

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The FINANCIAL — Babar Ahmad, a British computer expert accused by the United States of raising funds for terrorism, has launched a High Court bid to halt his extradition, the Judicial Office said Monday.


His application for an injunction preventing his expulsion to the US is expected to be heard in London on Tuesday along with that of radical cleric Abu Hamza and another suspect, Khaled Al-Fawwaz.

Ahmad has been held in a British prison without trial for eight years.

The European Court of Human Rights last week gave Britain the green light to deport Ahmad, Abu Hamza, Fawwaz, and two other men, and British officials had said they expected to extradite them within two weeks.

But Abu Hamza and Fawwaz secured interim injunctions preventing their deportation from Britain pending Tuesday's hearing. As EUbusiness announced, the last-ditch challenges will be heard by two senior judges in London.

A campaign of support for Ahmad, run by his family, friends and supporters, last year sent a petition signed by almost 150,000 supporters to the British government urging that he be tried in Britain.

His father Ashfaq Ahmad told AFP last week that there was wide support for his son to be tried in Britain.

"There's a strong public opinion in favour of Babar being tried in this country. If Babar had been sent to prison here he would have finished his sentence," he said.

Ahmad's supporter Karl Watkin has brought a private prosecution against him in the hope that it will force a trial in Britain, but the Crown Prosecution Service has yet to make a decision on the trial.

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Another of the five men due to be deported to the US, Adel Abdul Bary, has also lodged an application for his extradition to be blocked, which is being considered by a single judge.



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