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UK News UK broke law over Isis ‘Beatles’ by passing evidence to US

00:40  26 march  2020
00:40  26 march  2020 Source:   inews.co.uk

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The UK acted unlawfully by passing evidence to the US that could lead to the execution of two British members of an Islamic State murder squad. The Supreme Court said former Home Secretary Sajid Javid should not have passed information on Shafee Elsheikh and Alexander Kotey to the US .

The legal victory for the mother of one of the four-strong squad dubbed the Beatles by their captives because of their British accents means they are now The pair who have both been stripped of their British citizenship were held in Syria until they were transferred to US custody after Turkey launched

a man sitting and looking at the camera © Provided by The i

Two British suspected members of the Islamic State “Beatles” murder squad could now face trial in Britain after it was ruled that the Government broke the law by passing evidence to the American authorities which could lead to their execution.

The Supreme Court ruled that former home secretary Sajid Javid erred when he allowed material gathered by UK investigators against El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey, who are due to be tried in America, to be passed to US prosecutors without seeking an assurance that the men would not face the death penalty.

Sajid Javid wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The i

In a unanimous ruling, the UK’s highest court found that Mr Javid had acted out of “political expediency” and disclosed that the Crown Prosecution Service was “reconsidering the possibility of a prosecution in this country”.

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The mother of a suspected Islamic State terrorist has won a Supreme Court challenge over the UK Government's decision to share evidence with US authorities about her son.

The UK Home Office has suspended cooperation with the US in the case of two alleged Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS ) fighters raised in Britain, who could The two men in question, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, are suspected of being members of the IS cell, branded ‘The Beatles ’ in the press.

Sources involved with the case told i that the ruling cast doubt over whether the evidence supplied by the UK authorities could now be used in US courts and therefore whether a trial could proceed in the States.

In a unanimous ruling, the UK’s highest court found that Mr Javid had acted out of 'political expediency' (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty)

'The Beatles'

The Britons are accused of belonging to a brutal four-man cell of IS executioners in Syria – nicknamed The Beatles because of their British accents – responsible for killing a number of Western captives.

The pair were captured in January 2018, sparking an international row over whether they should be returned to the UK for trial or face justice in another jurisdiction.

A panel of seven Supreme Court justices ruled that Mr Javid’s decision to share evidence, consisting of 600 witness statements gathered by UK investigators, breached data protection laws.

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Two British ISIS ' Beatles ' members will either face trial in Syria or be returned to Turkey. The UK has removed British citizenship from some known Isis members using a law allowing the move The US State Department said it was working with nations in the anti- Isis international coalition the disposition

Legal action could be launched against the government over its failure to demand that two members of a British Isis cell known as “the Beatles ” will not We have been advised that legal action is feasible. We are consulting with senior legal figures on the precise details and we will make an announcement

Ruling by video link

Giving the ruling using a video link because of the coronavirus outbreak, Lord Kerr said: “The information in question was transferred without being based on sufficient safeguards and without the requisite assessment of whether special circumstances justifying the transfer existed.

“The decision was based on political expediency, rather than strict necessity under the statutory criteria.” Edward Fitzgerald QC said: “It defies all common sense and legal logic that they can be tried in America on our evidence, but they can’t be tried here on our evidence.”

In a statement, the Home Office said: “The Government’s priority has always been to maintain national security and to deliver justice for the victims and their families. This has not changed. We are clearly very disappointed with today’s judgment and are carefully considering next steps.”

Kotey and Elsheikh, who were raised in the UK but have been stripped of their British citizenship, were captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces in January 2018.

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