Socialist Worker

Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan to challenge witness

Issue No. 2394

A protest for Babar Ahmad

A protest for Babar Ahmad (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Two British citizens who were extradited to the US on terrorism charges are challenging a witness.

Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan face a sentencing hearing in July. It will include video testimony from former Al Qaida member Saajid Badat.

He was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2005, but released after six years after agreeing to assist terrorism prosecutions in Britain and the US. 

Badat cannot enter the US without facing arrest. Unlike Babar and Talha, he was not extradited to face charges. 

It is believed that he will testify that Babar was involved in recruiting people for Al Qaida attacks on Western airliners. He is also lined up to provide video evidence in the cases of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith and Abu Hamza. 

Babar’s lawyer has stated, “Of all the possible witnesses from whom the government could seek to elicit testimony, the witness has perhaps the greatest incentive to lie and the greatest need for effective confrontation. 

“The benefits he is receiving for his cooperation are vast.”

Babar and Talha pled guilty as part of a plea bargain, believing this would give them shorter sentences that might be served in Britain. The attempt to associate them with serious terrorist attacks threatens to undermine this.

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