Munir Farooqi, who was controversially convicted of terrorism offences in 2011, will have his appeal heard on July 17-19 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
Farooqi, 56, was sentenced to 18 years in jail after an undercover police operation. He was convicted of trying to recruit people to go on jihad in Afghanistan to fight British soldiers.
The case was particularly controversial because it involved two undercover police officers who pretended to convert to Islam and who secretly recorded conversations with Farooqi and others over a period of about a year.
No weapons or plans were ever found and Farooqi was convicted on his words alone. His family claim those words were taken out of context and were said after constant provocation. They maintain that Farooqi is completely innocent.
Passing sentence in 2011 Mr Justice Richard Henriques said: “You are in my judgement a very dangerous man, an extremist, a fundamentalist with a determination to fight abroad.”
And after the verdict, Det Ch Sup Tony Porter, head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “This was an extremely challenging case, both to investigate and successfully prosecute at court, because we did not recover any blueprint, attack plan or endgame for these men. However, what we were able to prove was their ideology. These men were involved in an organised attempt in Manchester to recruit men to fight, kill and die in either Afghanistan or Pakistan by persuading them it was their religious duty.”
Meanwhile, the local authorities in Manchester are also trying to confiscate the Farooqi family home – which is shelter to three generations of the family – because they say that it was used for the purposes of terrorism. Human rights groups say this is collective punishment. The hearing for the house will be heard or dismissed depending on the outcome of the Munir Farooqi appeal.
Fellow defendants Israr Malik and Matthew Newton ( who were convicted in the same case) and will also have their appeal heard.
There will be a demonstration outside the court during the appeal. For more information go to: www.savethefamilyhome.com.