Saturday March 02, 2024

US drops extradition request of Jabir Motiwala

April 11, 2021

LONDON: The American government has withdrawn the extradition request for Karachi businessman Jabir Motiwala after ‘The News International’ and ‘Geo News’ revealed in an exclusive report on 19th March, 2021 that a former Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agent has come forward stating that his FBI bosses had ordered him to trap the Pakistani national at any cost and that there was abuse of process.

This reporter can confirm that the US administration has formally written to the British government withdrawing the extradition request for Jabir Motiwala who is set to leave for Karachi soon but remains in high security Wandsworth prison, pending procedural matters.

The Crown Prosecution confirmed the development when approached by this correspondent. The CPS said: “The US have withdrawn the extradition request, therefore we will not be appealing any decision to grant unconditional bail.”

The Westminster Magistrates’ Court, which originally ordered Motiwala’s extradition said an application on April 7 was made. The Home Office informed the court that the US might be withdrawing the extradition request and so the judge gave him unconditional bail whilst we wait for the further information.”

The dramatic development comes nearly three weeks after ‘The News’ and ‘Geo’ sensationally revealed on 19th March, 2020 the full extent of former FBI agent Kamran Faridi’s involvement in the case and how he had issued a detailed statement to London High Court stating that he had abused the process to trap Jabir Motiwala in Karachi posing as a drugs dealer.

Jabir Motiwala’s release will come as a shock to Indian media which had attempted to portray him as the Dawood Ibrahim’s right-hand man and amongst the most alleged dangerous men.

On 24th and 25th March, the London High Court formally heard the witness statement from Kamran Faridi, who is currently in a US jail. The News had revealed that the former FBI agent was stopped from entering the UK when he attempted to reach here with his wife Kelly Faridi to provide evidence to Jabir Motiwala’s lawyers to confirm that he regretted trapping Jabir Motiwala.

Jabir Motiwala was arrested on August 15, 2018 from Hilton Hotel on Edgware Road when he arrived in London from Cyprus on a visit – on charges of import of Class-A drugs, extortion and money laundering.

In February 2020, District Judge John Zani ordered extradition of Jabir Motiwala and sent his case to Home Secretary Priti Patel who cleared his extradition a month later. Motiwala immediately appealed against the decision, arguing that he was at suicide risk and that the District Judge didn’t take into consideration the full evidence related to conditions of US prisons. It’s the same court which has also ordered extradition of former Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi.

At the London High Court appeal hearing two weeks ago, ‘The News’ and ‘Geo’ story was confirmed when lawyers of Jabir Motiwala told the court that Kamran Faridi had told them in a witness statement that the FBI created problems for him to stop becoming a witness in the UK court to support the Pakistani national who has been languishing in London’s Wandsworth jail for nearly three years now.

According to the US government and, as previously reported in this newspaper exclusively, three FBI agents including the American Pakistani Kamran Faridi took part in the trap mission set for Motiwala. One agent travelled to Karachi in 2010 to hold meetings with Jabir Motiwala to set up deals for the smuggling of drugs into the USA.

The US government says these meetings were secretly recorded and Motiwala suspected he was being trapped, and reported the same to the Pakistani authorities.

Motiwala’s lawyers had told the court that the FBI informant was not given the opportunity to speak on behalf of his conscience.

Deepak Vij and Amirah Ajaz of ABV solicitors told this reporter they will be releasing full information exclusively in due course but cannot comment at this stage due to legal reasons.