LONDON – The UK government has violated the law by sending important evidence to the US authorities for two suspected ISIS activists suspected of being involved in the kidnapping and murder of Americans in Syria. The UK Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
The ruling is likely to delay international efforts to bring members of the execution team known as the “Beatles” to justice. The group, which was named by its hostages because of its British accents, is believed to have been involved in the kidnapping of American helper Kayla Mueller and the murder of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey, who have been deprived of British citizenship and have been banned from returning to Britain, are said to be two of the four Beatles members who beheaded western hostages on camera for the Islamic State terrorist group. You are in US custody in Iraq.
The UK Supreme Court said the UK Home Office has given in to US political pressure and violated a data protection law by not ensuring that men are spared the US death penalty.
Scotland Yard, London police, had released the results of a four-year Beatles investigation to help the US Department of Justice prosecute Elsheikh and Kotey, as “insufficient evidence” was available in Britain. British prosecutors have been reluctant to repatriate ISIS fighters unless there is an airtight case that ensures they are kept behind bars for a lifetime.
The British government may now have to ask the United States to return the evidence and cannot assist in American law enforcement without further assurances about the death penalty.
Sajid Javid, the former Home Secretary, wanted to help the United States partially persecute the men because U.S. terrorism laws make it easier to prosecute and lead to longer sentences than those in Britain. He decided not to get men’s assurances from the death penalty, according to documents filed with the British court.
Sir Kim Darroch, the then British Ambassador to Washington, wrote Javid in May 2018, expressing concern that senior Trump administration officials, particularly Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, would not be receptive to a die Britons are asking men to circumvent the death penalty.
“Your reaction is probably almost outraged,” Darroch warned, adding that she could “wind up” President Donald Trump.
“They already feel that we are imposing a problem on them that we should take responsibility for. They have been signaling to us for weeks that we are unable to put any conditions on it,” he wrote.
The meetings met Javid on May 30, 2018, and told him that the US should not take responsibility for “terrorists from other nations,” the documents said.
According to the documents, Sessions said that “if the United States were ready to bring El Sheikh to trial in a civil court, as opposed to a military court, he could not see how the United States could do so without British evidence or without resorting to it . ” Death penalty.”
Javid wrote to sessions, confirming that he had no objection to the death penalty in June 2018.
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Shortly after this information was released, Elsheikh’s mother, Maha Elgizouli, applied to the High Court of Justice for an injunction, which was issued during the hearing of her case, and stopped supplying further material.
However, Elgizouli’s case was rejected in January 2019, resulting in an appeal to the Supreme Court. The case was heard in July and the Supreme Court ruling was made on Wednesday.
After his judgmentLord Robert Carnwath concluded that the information in question was transmitted “without any protection”.
He said the decision was based on “political expediency and not taking into account the strict need according to legal criteria”.
The court criticized the UK government for abandoning a “principled approach” to the death penalty because it “came under and could become vulnerable to US political pressure.”
The judges said there were suggestions that “pragmatic considerations at the cost of a principled approach could affect the UK’s response to the request to stop lobbying death penalty insurance”.
The judges also questioned whether the government’s claim “to ensure family justice” was true of relatives killed by ISIS when some of the families tried to avoid the death penalty.
“The kind of justice that families wanted was one where there was no way to impose the death penalty. The decision not to get assurances opened up just that,” said the judges.
“In order to fulfill their wishes, it was certainly necessary to follow the sacred practice of applying for death penalty insurance.”
British police had already issued 600 statements, some of which were shared with prosecutors, before Elsheikh’s mother managed to block further cooperation.
In a statement, Elgizouli thanked the court for carefully considering her appeal and recognized “the difficult questions she is raising”.
Her lawyers, Birnberg Peirce & Partners, said Elgizouli “always expressed her belief that her son should be brought to justice if he is accused and that any trial should take place in the UK.”
Her case was supported by Reprieve, a charity that works against the death penalty.
Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, said: “This is not only a groundbreaking verdict, but also an excellent result for anyone interested in the rule of law and Britain’s longstanding opposition to the death penalty.”
A Ministry of Interior spokesman said: “The government’s priority has always been to maintain national security and ensure justice for victims and their families. This has not changed.
“We are clearly very disappointed with today’s judgment and are carefully considering what to do next.”
A hearing is set at which the court can decide which remedial action to take.
The Beatles are said to be responsible for the execution of 27 victims in a series of cruel videos that have been posted on the Internet since August 2014.
Everyone wore masks to deal with the hostages, but the British and US intelligence agencies are said to have identified them.
Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, was killed in a U.S. airstrike on November 12, 2015 after Aine Davis was captured in Turkey five days earlier.
Kotey and Elsheikh were captured by Kurdish forces in Syria in January 2018.
The UK court was informed that the prosecution ruled in 2016 that there was enough evidence to accuse Kotey of five murders and eight hostage-taking, but not enough to charge Elsheikh.
Wednesday’s verdict was the first to be broadcast online via video due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Of course it would be preferable to pass the judgment in public, but under the current circumstances this is simply not feasible,” said one of the judges, Lord Brian Kerr.
“With the tremendous help and dedication of our IT staff, the court is determined to continue fulfilling our duty to administer justice.”
Elsheikh’s mother has tried to force the prosecution to charge her son for wanting him to return to the UK and is expected to make a decision in the next few weeks.
Kotey’s family has decided not to participate in the legal challenge.