Terror case doctor fights deportation from UK to Jordan
December 17, 2008
So will Britain ever be able to expel terror case doctor?
Mohammed Asha has been acquitted of all charges - but will now be deported
Last updated at 11:46 PM on 17th December 2008
A Jordanian doctor cleared of the London and Glasgow car bomb plots launched a fight against deportation yesterday.
Despite being told that he is not welcome in the UK and is a risk to national security, neurologist Mohammed Asha said he wanted to be allowed to resume his medical career in Britain.
Home Office investigators admit they face a potentially protracted, difficult and expensive battle to deport the 28-year-old to Jordan, where his wife and young son live.
Despite a Memorandum of Understanding signed between London and Amman three years ago paving the way for deportations between the two countries, Britain has so far been frustrated in its efforts to deport anyone to Jordan.
Dr Asha, who says he is penniless and will be funded by legal aid, will argue that a jury at Woolwich Crown Court cleared him of any involvement in the June 2007 bomb plots and he could face persecution if he is forced to return to Jordan.
It is understood lawyers for the Home Office will seek to use evidence not given at the terror trial - believed to be from electronic surveillance - in a bid to convince an immigration judge that Dr Asha must be deported.
Details of Dr Asha's case came as British-born Iraqi doctor Bilal Adbulla was jailed for at least 32 years for plotting to murder hundreds of people in terrorist car bomb
Attack: The jeep on fire at Glasgow Airport
Mr Justice Mackay told Abdulla, who wanted to murder innocent civilians in revenge for the war in Iraq: 'All of the evidence makes you a very dangerous man.'
Dr Asha admits knowing Abdulla and Indian engineering student Kafeel Ahmed, 28, who died from burns sustained during the failed attack on Glasgow Airport, but claims they betrayed him.
The court heard that Dr Asha had given money to both Abdulla and Ahmed, and extremist material was found on Dr Asha's laptop.
Tools of the trade: A table scattered with objects in the house used to construct the bombs
On Tuesday, after Abdulla was convicted of conspiracy to cause explosions and conspiracy to murder, and Dr Asha was cleared, the two men embraced in the dock.
Dr Asha remained in Belmarsh prison in South London yesterday as his solicitor Tayab Ali read a statement from his client, accusing the Government of 'sour grapes' over his acquittal.
He said: 'Finally, justice has been done - a jury has cleared me of any involvement in these allegations. The jury had no doubts whatsoever that I am an innocent man.
'Even though I was acquitted, justice has not been done. I am still in HMP Belmarsh.'
The Mercedes car in The Haymarket in central London which is cordoned off as police officers investigate a viable explosive device
Dr Asha told his trial he moved to England in 2005 after falling in love with the country during a two-month clinical attachment at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge two years earlier, and at the time of his arrest had worked for the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in Stoke-on-Trent.
Mr Ali said Dr Asha was in Britain on a 'highly skilled' working visa which expired before his trial and he had applied for an extension.
Shortly before the end of the court case, the doctor was served with a deportation notice on the grounds that the visa had expired. After he was cleared, it was pointed out that he had already asked for an extension. Another deportation notice was then served on the grounds of national security, citing that his presence in the UK was not in the public interest.
Mr Ali said it was based on the fact that Dr Asha had associated with Abdulla.
'This is ridiculous,' he said, 'Dr Asha has already made it clear he knew nothing of what Dr Abdulla was doing. If they wanted to deport Dr Asha on a matter of national security then that would have been served on him in the first place, instead of saying he had just overrun his visa.'
He said Dr Asha wanted 'to continue-his life exactly the way it was before all of this happened. He wants his wife and son to come back to the UK too.'
Yesterday the trial judge, Mr Justice Mackay, criticised how detectives from Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Command handled Dr Asha.
He said so-called safety interviews at Paddington Green police station were 'unsatisfactory' and custody paperwork was unreliable.
The judge said any incriminating evidence supplied by Dr Asha during the key interviews would have been ruled out.
'I respectfully suggest Counter Terrorism Command reviews the training of and advice to officers in this area of work,' he said. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1095591/So-Britain-able-expel-terror-case-doctor.html