Telegraph & Argus : Bradford man held in terror-plot raid demands pay-out

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bradford man held in terror-plot raid demands pay-out

By Steve Wright | April 23, 2009

A Bradford man arrested after a swoop by anti-terror officers says he will claim compensation from the police for unlawful detention.

The 41-year-old family man, who has not been named, was one of 12 people arrested in anti-terror raids in the north-west on April 8. He was the only Briton detained. The rest were Pakistani nationals, with all but one holding student visas.

The planned raids had been brought forward after the Metropolitan Police’s assistant commissioner Bob Quick inadvertently revealed details of the operation, and later resigned.

An 18-year-old was released into the custody of the UK Border Agency within days. The others were all freed without charge yesterday after the Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence.

The suspect’s links to Bradford were revealed by leading city law firm Khan’s Solicitors, based in Sunbridge Road, Bradford, who represented him.

Solicitor and director of the company, Rashid Majid, said they had won two legal arguments on behalf of their client, before a senior District Judge at Westminster magistrates court, and before a High Court judge, Mr Justice Black.

Mr Majid said: “We put forward two arguments, under Article 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

“One was that any suspect was entitled to be given adequate reasons for their arrest, and secondly they should have enough information so they could challenge the lawfulness of their detention. Both judges expressed serious concerns and Mr Justice Black held that there had been a breach of Article 5 and our client should be entitled to compensation.

“As a result, their detention for a week was held to be unlawful. We will now write to the police and ask them for proposals for compensation.”

Mr Majid said their client had never been arrested before and was of previous good character.

The suspect had been arrested at an address in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, but was formerly from Bradford and had worked in a cash and carry shop in West Bowling. Mr Majid said the client’s immediate plans now were to go back to Manchester and rebuild his life.

Three of the other suspects released yesterday – Sultan Sher, Mohammed Rizwan Sharif and Mohammed Umer Farooq – were represented by another Bradford solicitor, Mohammed Ayub, of Chambers Solicitors, also in Sunbridge Road.

Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, said they had had a duty to act and investigate.

“When it comes to the safety of the public we can’t take any chances – we must act on information we receive,” he said.

“We don’t take these decisions lightly and only carry out this kind of action if it was wholly justified.”