Jihadi Beatles 'could have faced trial in the UK'

Mail Online | 7/30/2019 | Vanessa Allen;Jack Cohane For The Daily Mail
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Two Islamic State terrorists could have faced justice in Britain – even though a minister claimed there was not enough evidence for them to be tried, the Supreme Court heard yesterday.

In 2016, prosecutors had enough evidence to charge Alexanda Kotey – one of a gang of jihadis nicknamed The Beatles – with five counts of murder, and an arrest warrant was issued.

Ben - Wallace - Security - Minister - Commons

But Ben Wallace, the then security minister, told the Commons last year there was not enough evidence for Kotey or fellow jihadi Shafee El Sheikh to stand trial in Britain.

Sajid Javid, who was home secretary at the time, agreed to share evidence with American authorities so the men could stand trial in the US – after his predecessors Theresa May and Amber Rudd refused to do so without assurances that the men would not be executed.

Supreme - Court - Mr - Javid - President

The Supreme Court heard that Mr Javid was advised that President Donald Trump might ‘hold a grudge’ if the UK refused to share its evidence against the British-born men.

Last year, Donald Trump was said to be considering sending the two British jihadists to Guantanamo Bay, the US jail in Cuba, where they could be held for years without trial.

Supreme - Court - Judges - Yesterday - Mr

Supreme Court judges heard yesterday that Mr Javid’s decision last year was taken against the advice of civil servants at the Home Office and Foreign Office, who warned it would undermine Britain’s opposition to the death penalty.

But he did seek the views of the then foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who agreed he should agree to the US request.

Kotey - El - Sheikh - Syria - January

Kotey, 35, and El Sheikh, 30, were captured in Syria in January 2018. They have admitted being in the IS cell that murdered British aid workers Alan Henning and David...
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