Munir Farooqi terrorism appeal dismissed, now family home threatened

Munir Farooqi is serving four life terms for terrorism

Munir Farooqi, who was controversially convicted of terrorism offences in 2011, had his appeal dismissed today.

Israr Malik and Mathew Newton (who were convicted in the same case) also had their appeals dismissed this afternoon at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Three judges said their trials had been fair and their convictions were safe.

The trio were convicted of engaging in conduct designed to radicalise individuals to commit violent jihad in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Farooqi verdict means that a hearing to confiscate the family home in Manchester on the grounds that it was used for terrorism purposes will now proceed.

The home is shelter to three generations of the Farooqi family and human rights groups say this is tantamount to collective punishment.

Farooqi, Malik and Newton might now take their cases to a European court.

Judgement

The written judgement stated: “The case against Farooqi was overwhelming and the issue extremely simple. The case against the defendent was what he said to undercover police officers. There was no dispute about what he had said. Did he mean what he said? The simple issue was properly before the jury, who could hardly have failed to grasp it.”

Munir Farooqi is serving four life terms for terrorism
Munir Farooqi is serving four life terms for terrorism

The judgement went on to say: “We are satisfied that Farooqi’s offending qualifies for a sentence of life imprisonment. Given the nature of his activities, their aims and the dedication with which they were pursued we consider that the minimum term was appropriate.”

Following the verdict a lawyer for the Farooqi family said: “It’s obviously bitterly disapointing that the appeal has been refused. We will consider the judgement with great care before deciding what further steps may be taken.

“The ordeal for the Farooqi family continues. The Crown Prosecution Service and police will no doubt continue their unprecedented application for forfeiture of the family home. If that application is granted it will impact on three generations of the Farooqi family.

“The application is opposed by them as it is not fair that they should have to lose the family home. A hearing will now be listed in due course to consider the merits of the application by the Crown Prosecution Service and the police.”

Undercover operation

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.

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