Sajid Javid forced to halt Isis 'Beatles' extradition plan after suspect's mother launches legal bid

Posted On: 
27th July 2018

Sajid Javid has been forced to suspend the sharing of intelligence with America on two British-born Isis terror suspects after one of their mothers began legal action against the Government.

Sajid Javid has been criticised for his approach to the Isis 'Beatles'.
Credit: 
PA Images

The Home Secretary came under fire after it emerged he had written to US authorities making clear that the UK would not demand any "assurances" that Alexanda Kotey and Shafee El-Sheikh - part of the notorious "Beatles" group of Islamist terrorists - be spared execution if they are extradited to America.

But Mr Javid has called a temporary halt to the process after it was revealed El-Sheikh's mother wants a judicial review of his decision to be carried out.

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A Home Office spokesperson said: “We received a request from the legal representative of the family of one of the suspects to pause the MLA [mutual legal assistance] response.

"We have agreed to a short-term pause. The Government remains committed to bringing these people to justice and we are confident we have acted in full accordance of the law and within the government’s longstanding MLA policy."

Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights, told The Guardian: "This is a significant breakthrough, this decision by the Government to pause at this point to enable the courts to rule on the application. It is an indication of how deep concern is here.

"The legal grounds for challenge are really very strong. I would expect this case to be brought on swiftly and the government will be required to disclose the minutes and notes of every meeting and conversation that may have taken place here and with the Americans."

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis has said the decision not to seek an assurance that the two men would not face the death penalty in America was "unnecessary".

But former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who signed off the decision with Mr Javid, said: "We had to balance two risks: the risk that they would be simply set loose, like so many other jihadis, to roam the streets of London again, or the small risk that they might receive the death penalty under the US system.

"Sajid Javid and I decided that the first risk was worse than the second. Who really believes we were wrong?"