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Farid Hilali - European Arrest Warrant Extradition to proceed

Farid Hilali, the Moroccan facing the first European Arrest warrant extradition in the UK to Spain, has today lost his extradition hearing at Bow Street Magistrates Court, according to the Press Association report in The Scotsman.

District Judge Timothy Workman (who also heard the new "rapid" extradition to the USA hearings involving Babar Ahmad)

"added that Hilali had the right to appeal to High Court against his decision within seven days."

Farid Hilali is accused of somehow being part of Al-Quaeda in Spain, before the September 11th 2001 attacks, and was not involved in the Madrid railway bombings (he was being held in Belmarsh at the time).

It would appear that yet again, the UK extradition court did not ask any questions about the alleged eveidence against Farid Hilali, only the points of extradition lae about possible torture or the lack of a fair trial.

According to the flimsy reports abouut this case, there have to be some doubts that the Spanish authorities have identified the right man, soley on the basis of an alleged electronic "voice analysis" of a mobile phone conversation. How they obtained suitable voice samples from a prisoner being held in Belmarsh high security prison is unclear.

If Farid Hilali was a member or associate of AL-Quaeda, he was ahrdly a linchpin of the organisation, and we do not support any extremist views he may have. However, the legal precedent that this case sets is a chilling one, it cannot be justice, if people can be arbitarily arrested and extradirted to face serious charges in another European Union country , simply on some alleged "voice analysis", by a secret police agency (Unidad Central de Informacion Exterior - UCIE) of a foreign state (Spain) of a mobile phone conversation, which in itself contained no overt threats, and which it has not been established was to or from a mobile phone actually in the suspects's possession. All of this relates to an alleged terrorist plot in a third country, the USA, which has not brought any evidence or even accusations against Fatrid Hilali with respect to the September 11th 2001 attacks.

Doesn't anyone suspect that justice is not being seen to be done properly and fairly in this case ?


While I see the point to this article, does this guy really stand a better chance of a fair trial in a British court than he does in a Spanish one. Personally, these days, I think I'd take my chances in Spain.

Al-Quaeda is a proscribed terrorist organisation here in the UK as well as in Spain.

If there is sufficient evidence that Farid Hilali is or was a member, then he could and should have been tried here in the UK where he has been in custody. If the USA had any evidence that he was actually involved in the September 11th 2001 attacks, they could extradite him to the USA.

Neither of these courses of legal action have happened.

The trial of the dozens of people accused of being members of Al-Quaeda in Spain, is being conducted rather like the mafia trials in Italy, with literally a cage full of obviously North African people all being accused together. Surely any jury is going to be influenced by "guilt by association" and, post Madrid March 11th 2004 bombings, likely to convict them all regardless ?

I am much more worried about the use of such flimsy , easily and undetectably forged or misleadingly edited , translated or misinterpreted purely electronic mobile phone and "voice analysis" evidence.

Where are the judicial checks and balances which prevent a completely mistaken or forged extradition request involving any serious crime, anywhere in the European Union, from ruining your life ?

Why is a UK court not deemed to be worthy or competent to forensically cross examine any such evidence, before proceeding with an extradition request ?

This is scandalous and very frightening. The government will stop at nothing to control the people 'in the name of terrorism'. It is the ongoing war that Orwell spoke of and soon we will all have to be prepared to take on the government, not the terrorists...

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