European judges order UK to pay terrorist who helped the failed July 21 bombers £13,600
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
By IAN DRURY
Ministers were ordered to hand Ismail Abdurahman £13,600 of taxpayers’ money for his legal fees
European judges have ordered Britain to pay thousands of pounds to a terrorist who helped the failed July 21 bombers because his human rights were breached.
Ministers were ordered to hand Ismail Abdurahman £13,600 of taxpayers’ money for his legal fees after the Islamist convict successfully argued he had been denied the right to a fair trial.
In a ruling which risked provoking outrage, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that a statement the extremist provided as a witness, rather than a suspect, was used against him in court.
It comes as a surprise following a series of unsuccessful legal challenges by the plotters behind the failed attacks on the London Underground in 2005 – a fortnight after 52 were murdered by suicide bombers on July 7.
Abdurahman, a British citizen, was charged with assisting one of the bombers and of failing to disclose information about the attack. He was sentenced to ten years in prison, later reduced to eight on appeal. He hid would-be bomber Hussain Osman for three days after his plan to repeat the carnage of the 7/7 bombings failed.
He was initially treated as a witness, and so quizzed without a lawyer. However, when the terrorist began to incriminate himself, police delayed allowing him access to legal advice and failed to tell him of his right to silence.
He argued this violated Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which safeguards the right to a fair trial. Yesterday he was awarded £13,600 after judges voted by 11 to six that his rights had been violated.
In its judgment, the ECHR’s Grand Chamber said: ‘The court was not convinced that the [UK] government had demonstrated compelling reasons for restricting his access to legal advice and failing to inform him of his right to remain silent.
‘It was significant that there was no basis in domestic law for the police to choose not to caution Mr Abdurahman at the point at which he had started to incriminate himself.’
The European Court of Human Rights ruled that a statement the extremist provided as a witness, rather than a suspect, was used against him in court
However, the court ruled that the terrorist had not been wrongly convicted and dismissed his claim for compensation.
Three other men jailed over the failed plot to blow up the London transport network lost an attempt to have their convictions overturned at the ECHR.
Somali nationals Muktar Said Ibrahim, Ramzi Mohammed and Yassin Omar – who each tried to detonate bombs – claimed their convictions were unfair because statements they gave when denied access to lawyers were used in their trial.
But judges dismissed their claims by a majority of 15 votes to two.
In 2012, Abdurahman won an appeal to stay in Britain on human rights grounds despite Home Office chiefs and anti- terror officers wanting to return him to his native Somalia.