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National

March 21, 2017

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Imran Farooq case: Home Office blocks suspect’s extradition request

Imran Farooq case: Home Office blocks suspect’s extradition request

LONDON: Britain’s Home Office has blocked the extradition request for Mohsin Ali Syed in the murder case of former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Imran Farooq, stating that it’s doing so on the advice of Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) over ‘technical reasons’, it has been revealed.

More than six years after the murder of Dr Imran Farooq in Edgware, British government has yet to request extradition of Mohsin Ali Syed - the main suspect in the murder plot who allegedly stabbed the exiled MQM leader - and this issue is set to overshadow talks between Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and his British counterpart Amber Rudd this week.

Geo News has learnt from trusted sources that the British Home Office, responsible for routing extradition requests to foreign countries seeking legal assistance, has not yet sent extradition request for Mohsin Ali Syed, giving credence to fears that Dr Farooq’s assassination inquiry has become polluted at various levels.

Trusted Pakistani sources have confirmed to the Geo News that no request has been received in Islamabad although Home Office officials assured Pakistan’s Interior Ministry at various stages that “progress will be made” but to no effect.

Scotland Yard has named former All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation (APMSO) activists Mohsin Ali Syed and Kashif Khan Kamran as the suspects who allegedly assassinated Dr Imran Farooq outside his home in September 2010.

Scotland Yard, sources have told this correspondent, has recommended extradition of Mohsin Ali Syed on more than one occasions but the Home Office has effectively blocked the extradition request till now.

It’s understood that Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told Theresa May, former Home Secretary who is now UK’s premier, and Amber Rudd, the incumbent Home Secretary, that Pakistan would be willing to extradite Mohsin Ali Syed and his facilitators Khalid Shamim and Moazzam Ali Khan but the Home Office has hesitated to do anything about it.

Speaking to the Geo News, a spokesman at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), responsible for maintaining political relations with Pakistan, said the FCO had nothing to do with the blocking of the extradition request as it was an area under the powers of Home Office/Home Secretary. This correspondent understands that the Home Office consulted the FCO at one stage, and sought its advice and views on various dimensions of this case.

A source in the Home Office has confirmed that extradition request has been blocked by the Home Office over ‘technical reasons’ and a ‘deadlock has been in place for many months now’.

Speaking on the record, a Home Office spokesperson said, “As a matter of long-standing policy and practice, the UK will neither confirm nor deny that an extradition request has been made or received until such time as an arrest has been made in relation to that request.”

When reminded that Mohsin Ali Syed was arrested around two years ago in June 2015 which means that an arrest exists in Pakistan making the Home Office stance invalid, the spokesman refused to comment.

Both the Home Office and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that “as a policy the UK doesn’t confirm an extradition request” until an arrest has been made but this scribe reminded both that the UK confirmed the extradition request for Rashid Rauf, a British Pakistani al-Qaeda terror suspect who had fled Birmingham to Pakistan in 2007 although he was not under arrest in Pakistan.

It emerged in 2007 that Pervez Musharraf asked Britain to handover British passport holder Baloch exiled leader Mehran Marri (aka Mehran Baloch) in exchange for Rashid Rauf and both countries accepted negotiating the swap.

Rashid Rauf was later killed in a drone strike and Mehran Marri hired a team of lawyers to stave off extradition threat.

“I was shocked when I found out that the UK was discussing my extradition on Pervez Musharraf’s request. That was violation of my fundamental human rights as a British citizen. I had to hire a team of top lawyers to ensure that I am not extradited and that I continue to exercise my democratic rights. It was shocking that on the one hand, there was an al-Qaeda operative and on the other, someone like me who has always spoken against violence in any form,” Mehran Marri said.

A Home Office source said that Rashid Rauf’s case was a different matter from the case of Dr Imran Farooq but didn’t explain when asked how it could openly discuss and consider exchange of wanted men when it suited the Home Office policy but would go quiet when it related to justice in the case of Dr Imran Farooq.

When asked that contradiction existed in the UK official position in seeking extradition, the spokesman said he was not authorised to go beyond the agreed official lines.A spokesman for Scotland Yard stated that seeking “extradition” was a matter of the UK government and not the police.

She told Geo News, “We have consulted the CPS regularly throughout this murder investigation and will continue to do so as and when there are areas that need to be explored. It would not be appropriate to go into the details contained within a police file during an on-going police investigation.”

Police sources privy to investigation into Dr Imran Farooq case confirmed that the extradition request had been blocked by the Home Office.

A recent criminal prosecution case shows that the UK gets whatever it wants from Pakistan but doesn’t play the ball when Pakistan requests assistance and equality. Evidence suggests that Pakistani authorities have gone out of their way to facilitate the UK request for extraditions but failing to get the same kind of reciprocal approach by the British government.

Only last month, double murderer British Pakistani Mohammad Zubair was jailed for life for the brutal killing of two men in his home – after Pakistan extradited him to the UK on the Home Office request. Mohammed Zubair was sentenced to prison for 32 years for killing his wife’s lover Amhedin Khyel and Khyel’s friend Imran Khan in the living room of his house in Heath Terrace, Barkerend, Bradford, in May 2011. He fled to Pakistan immediately after the ‘cold-blooded murder’.

On November 29, 2013, Zubair was arrested in Pakistan and the process of extraditing him back to the UK began on the Home Office request.Zubair had appealed the extradition order and took his case to the Pakistan Supreme Court at one stage, delaying his return to this country until May 2016.

The CPS praised Pakistan last month stating that Mohammad Zuabir was the first man to be extradited to the UK from Pakistan since 2005 and praised Pakistan for its assistance.Richard Sagar, from the CPS, said: “We worked tirelessly to ensure that he returned to the UK to face justice. This case makes it abundantly clear that criminals who seek to evade the law will not escape.”In the case of Dr Imran Farooq, there is evidence which suggests that the UK authorities are neither working tirelessly nor are even interested in the prosecution of Dr Imran Farooq case.

 

 

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Comments

    Will the family get justice for the brutal murder? commented 2 days ago

    Will the family get justice for the brutal murder?

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