Press Release dated 30th January 2008
House of Lords Ruling Extradition of Farid Hilali - Re: 9/11
We confirm that we shall be taking this case to the EU as there are fundamental questions that need to be addressed which has been left unanswered.
We welcome the decision that the Spanish prosecutor should appreciate the speciality rule. Further that no breach of the speciality rule can take place. Furthermore that Mr Hilali is not being extradited for "participation in a terrorist organisation" as has been stated time and time again despite the District Judges ruling.
Today the House of Lords held that even if the European Arrest Warrant does not even make out an extradition offence as required under UK law, any person can be extradited to another EU country because a mere allegation has been made by another European state. Today we have been told by the House of Lords that it does not matter for what reason or what basis a European Arrest warrant is issued we should abandon all rights to challenge a warrant as it is all "based on mutual trust"
How can an innocent man "trust" the Spanish authorities who seek his extradition even though the House of Lords have criticised the Spanish for their conduct.
How can an innocent man "trust'' the Spanish authorities when the Supreme Court in Spain itself has stated there is no evidence of a conspiracy involving Mr Hilali or any others in Spain in relation to 9/11?
How can an innocent man "trust'' the Spanish authorities despite the fact that the Spanish have already put several people on trial for involvement in the alleged 9/11 plot yet to date no one has ever been convicted in Spain in relation to this offence?
How can an innocent man "trust'' the Spanish authorities when even US 9/11 Commission report also found that there was no Spanish link to the 9/11 attack?
How can an innocent man "trust" the Spanish authorities when the House of Lords chose to ignore the fact the Spanish prosecutor deliberately mislead the UK court alleging Mr Hilali was a member of the Hamburg cell, knowing full well there was no evidence linking Mr Hilali to such an organisation, in a desperate attempt to bolster the non-existent case against him?
The question is not about "trust" it is about "Why do the Spanish still seek to extradite an innocent man, on the very same grounds and evidence which the Spanish themselves admit cannot be admissible in a Court of law?" Today the House of Lords have stated it doesn't matter. An innocent individual can be removed from this country on the say-so of another European country who simply have to issue a 2-page European Arrest Warrant with all the correct boxes ticked off. Where is the right to challenge this? There is none according to the decision of the House of Lords today.
This truly is a sad day for the rule of law and the right of every individual to challenge an abuse of process in the UK Court. . The House of Lords decision to overturn the earlier High Court decision to grant the writ of habeas corpus to Mr Hilali which held that his detention under the European Warrant was unlawful, underlies what is very troubling about today's decision. Which is the sovereignty of the UK courts and right of every person to challenge the legality of his detention does not exist under the European Arrest Warrant.
The Spanish authority's relentless pursuit of an innocent man is nothing short of administrative rendition. If there is no evidence that Mr Hilali will be prosecuted in Spain, why have the Spanish gone to all this trouble to have him extradited? The answer is simple. An innocent man who cannot be charged for any offence in the UK can be removed to another European country under the guise of the European Arrest Warrant and from there he will eventually be returned to the same country which he fled after he was tortured. The European Arrest Warrant allows EU countries to get around there obligations under International Law to grant people like Mr Hilali who have been tortured political asylum by the mechanism of extradition. By "extraditing'' Mr Hilali to Spain the UK Government knows full well that eventually Mr Hillai will be returned to Morocco where he has been tortured on the direct instructions of the British Intelligence Services. At the end of the day the UK courts and government are allowing an innocent man to be removed from this country where he has family and lived in for 15 years to be sent back to the same country where they know he will eventually be tortured or even killed.