Farid Hilali in court - unanswered questions

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Farid Hilali, who is the first person who is being extradited under the new European Arrest Warrant, actually appeared at Bow Street Magistrates Court yesterday,

This new extradition procedure should be under microscopic scrutiny by the media and others, since the reported "evidence" against Hilali seems to be vague and circumstantial, and some of it should be inadmissible under current laws.

According to various reports and Press Association reports

"Farid Hilali, 35, phoned Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, who is suspected of leading an al-Qaeda cell in Spain, a few weeks before the attacks on the US, said a prosecutor, James Lewis. He was speaking at Bow Street magistrates' court in London for the Spanish government in its effort to extradite Hilali from the UK.

The Moroccan told Yarkas "he had a month to go and that he had some important matters to do ... Everything was going to be fine He had entered into the aviation sector He had slit the throat of the bird", interpreted as code for the United States, Mr Lewis said.

Hilali allegedly spoke to Yarkas after the attacks of being "sick," code for under police surveillance, the prosecutor said. "

This is hardly smoking gun stuff, with no actual mention of anything illegal, or of a particular target. How can it actually be proven that the word "sick" did have the meaning attributed to it ?

"The arrest warrant claims Hilali is participating 'in a commando (group) that is being trained on aircrafts, a few days before the attacks of 11 September, 2001' and he directed al Qaida activities.

The court also heard of a wedding video seized in Germany, also implicating Hilali through his connection with Yarkas. "

A wedding video is unlikely to have recorded any actual illegal plotting. All that it might establish is that some people might have met each other. That is not evidence of a crime.

Judge Timothy Workman remanded the suspect in prison until a further hearing on July 29.

The extradition case is expected to be decided some time in September.

June until September does not seem to be a very "fast track" extradition procedure.

Questions which should be answered before this European Arrest Warrant Extradition is permitted:

  • The two alleged phone calls, presumably mobile phone calls reported to have been made from New Cross or Peckham.
    • Were both the phone call on August 27th before Sept 11th 2001 attack and the one after the attack made using the same mobile phone ?

    • What evidence links Farid Hilali with this phone or phones ?

    • Were these phones registered in his name ?

    • Were these phones found in his possession when he was arrested in September 2003 ?

    • Did he purchase phone credits through a traceable credit card etc ?

    • Does any Communications Traffic Data i.e. itemised phone bill link this phone or phones to identifiable members of Farid Hilali's family or workmates etc ?

    • Or were the mobile phones used "untraceable" and the only evidence that Hilali might be "Shakur" comes from the alleged voice analysis ?

  • Is the only link to "'Shakur"' the similar sounding tribal clan name of "'Shukri", which is attributed to Farid Hilal ? e.g. like "Saddam Hussein" is more formally "Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti"

  • Why is any of the mobile phone intercept "evidence" being presented in a UK court, when it should not be admissable or even mentioned , according the the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act section 17 and 18 ?

  • How were the authenticated voice samples of Farid Hilali obtained from him, when he was in Belmarsh prison under an immigration charge ?

  • Who actually conducte dthis voice analysis and identification of Hilali as "Shakur" ?

    • Was it UK police authorities ?
    • Was it the Spanish Police Unidad Central de Información Exterior (UCIE) ?

    • Where are the expert witnesses from eithe rof these organisations who can show an unbroken chain of evidence regarding these recordings and "voice analysis" ?

  • Was Farid Hilali under surveillance before his arrest in September 2003 ?

  • Was an intrusive surveillance warrant under RIPA obtained and passed by the Office of the Surveillance Commissioner to obtain these voice recordings ?

  • Was Farid Hilali arrested initially under the Terrorism Act 2000 or but then not charged and held under an Immigration offence ?

  • Or is he one of the special category foreign national terrorist suspects held incognito under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 ?

  • How does the wedding video from Germany prove any link to the September 11th attackers ?

    • Is there actual evidence of a plot conversation recorded on this video ?

    • How can the authenticity of this video be proven, as it apparently comes from neither the UK nor from Spain, but allegedly from a seizure in Germany, but the wedding could have been in Morocco ?

  • Is Farid Hilali a member of a proscribed terrorist organisation ?

    • If he is, then why has he not been charged under the UK Terrorism Act 2000 ?

  • Is there any evidence of Hilali sending or receiving large amounts of money to finance or support any proscribed terrorist organisation ?

    • If there is, then why has he not been charged under the UK Terrorism Act 2000 ?

  • Under the European Arrest Warrant, what safeguards are there to prevent Hilali being charged with other unspecified offences once the Spanish authorities get custody of him ? The so called principle of "Speciality" under clause 17 of the Extradition Act 2003

These questions are the sort of thing that we would expect a United Kingdom court to be satisfy itself to check if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with an extradition under the new European Arrest Warrant scheme.

From the media reports so far, it does not appear that there is any evidence that Hilali was involved in the September 11th 2001 plot.

All the reported evidence so far, seems to be of the electronic variety and could easily have been misinterpreted or undetectably edited or forged in order to "fit up" a case against a possible sympathiser, thereby making him out to be a "key terrorist plotter" in the September 11th 2001 attacks.

Whatever the truth about Farid Hilali, it would be an unacceptable attack on all our civil liberties in the UK, if someone can be extradited on a European Arrest Warrant on such apparently flimsy evidence.

If the proper rule of law and evidential procedures are ignored or the safeguards under UK law are sidestepped, simply because of the European Arrest Warrant dimension, then the terrorists will have won a victory against our core societal values.


Press Release – 9/11 Terror Suspect loses extradition battle to Spain

A Moroccan man wanted by Spain in connection with the 9/11 attacks has lost a four year extradition battle after the House of Lords overturned a High Court decision in April 2007 which held his detention was unlawful and that he should be extradited to Spain.

Farid Hilali, 39, has been held in British prison without charge since September 2003, but it is unclear exactly how Spain will put him on trial because the Spanish Supreme Court unanimously has already held in relation to the trial of so called Al-Qaida Spanish Cell in September 2006 that is there is no connection to between Spain and the events in 9/11 attacks. More interestingly the Spanish Supreme Court also held that the only evidence which the Spanish have relied on to seek Mr Hilali’s extradition was obtained unlawfully and inadmissible.

The US 9/11 Commission report also found that there was no Spanish link to the 9/11 attack and despite being sought by Spain for 9/11 the USA have never regarded Mr Hilali a suspect.

In a statement released by his solicitor today Mr Hilali said “today is a disgraceful day for British values. I am very disappointed at the way the British have harassed me over the last 9 years even though I have never been charged or convicted of any criminal offence.

In 1999 I was tortured in the United Arab Emirates and Morocco in the presence of British MI6 officers because I refused to become a spy for them. My extradition to Spain is a smoke screen to conceal Britain’s true intentions of sending me to Morocco to face torture leading to death. If I am ultimately sent to Morocco and tortured Britain will be held legally and morally responsible.

I am a victim of British state terror. Before lecturing the world on justice, democracy and human rights Britain should get it own house in order first.”

For further comments please contact Moazzam Begg on 07875090494.

Mr Farid Hilali
Arani Solicitors

Press Release dated 30th January 2008

House of Lords Ruling Extradition of Farid Hilali – Re: 9/11

We confirm that we shall be taking this case to the EU as there are fundamental questions that need to be addressed which has been left unanswered.

We welcome the decision that the Spanish prosecutor should appreciate the speciality rule. Further that no breach of the speciality rule can take place. Furthermore that Mr Hilali is not being extradited for “participation in a terrorist organisation” as has been stated time and time again despite the District Judges ruling.

Today the House of Lords held that even if the European Arrest Warrant does not even make out an extradition offence as required under UK law, any person can be extradited to another EU country because a mere allegation has been made by another European state. Today we have been told by the House of Lords that it does not matter for what reason or what basis a European Arrest warrant is issued we should abandon all rights to challenge a warrant as it is all “based on mutual trust.’’

How can an innocent man “trust’’ the Spanish authorities who seek his extradition even though the House of Lords have criticised the Spanish for their conduct.

How can an innocent man “trust’’ the Spanish authorities when the Supreme Court in Spain itself has stated there is no evidence of a conspiracy involving Mr Hilali or any others in Spain in relation to 9/11?

How can an innocent man “trust’’ the Spanish authorities despite the fact that the Spanish have already put several people on trial for involvement in the alleged 9/11 plot yet to date no one has ever been convicted in Spain in relation to this offence?

How can an innocent man “trust’’ the Spanish authorities when even US 9/11 Commission report also found that there was no Spanish link to the 9/11 attack?

How can an innocent man “trust’’ the Spanish authorities when the House of Lords chose to ignore the fact the Spanish prosecutor deliberately mislead the UK court alleging Mr Hilali was a member of the Hamburg cell, knowing full well there was no evidence linking Mr Hilali to such an organisation, in a desperate attempt to bolster the non-existent case against him?

The question is not about “trust’’ it is about “Why do the Spanish still seek to extradite an innocent man, on the very same grounds and evidence which the Spanish themselves admit cannot be admissible in a Court of law?’’ Today the House of Lords have stated it doesn’t matter. An innocent individual can be removed from this country on the say-so of another European country who simply have to issue a 2-page European Arrest Warrant with all the correct boxes ticked off. Where is the right to challenge this? There is none according to the decision of the House of Lords today.

This truly is a sad day for the rule of law and the right of every individual to challenge an abuse of process in the UK Court. . The House of Lords decision to overturn the earlier High Court decision to grant the writ of habeas corpus to Mr Hilali which held that his detention under the European Warrant was unlawful, underlies what is very troubling about today’s decision. Which is the sovereignty of the UK courts and right of every person to challenge the legality of his detention does not exist under the European Arrest Warrant.

The Spanish authority’s relentless pursuit of an innocent man is nothing short of administrative rendition. If there is no evidence that Mr Hilali will be prosecuted in Spain, why have the Spanish gone to all this trouble to have him extradited? The answer is simple. An innocent man who cannot be charged for any offence in the UK can be removed to another European country under the guise of the European Arrest Warrant and from there he will eventually be returned to the same country which he fled after he was tortured. The European Arrest Warrant allows EU countries to get around there obligations under International Law to grant people like Mr Hilali who have been tortured political asylum by the mechanism of extradition. By “extraditing’’ Mr Hilali to Spain the UK Government knows full well that eventually Mr Hillai will be returned to Morocco where he has been tortured on the direct instructions of the British Intelligence Services. At the end of the day the UK courts and government are allowing an innocent man to be removed from this country where he has family and lived in for 15 years to be sent back to the same country where they know he will eventually be tortured or even killed.

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August 2019

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UK Legislation

The United Kingdom suffers from tens of thousands of pages of complicated criminal laws, and thousands of new, often unenforceable criminal offences, which have been created as a "Pretend to be Seen to Be Doing Something" response to tabloid media hype and hysteria, and political social engineering dogmas. These overbroad, catch-all laws, which remove the scope for any judicial appeals process, have been rubber stamped, often without being read, let alone properly understood, by Members of Parliament.

The text of many of these Acts of Parliament are now online, but it is still too difficult for most people, including the police and criminal justice system, to work out the cumulative effect of all the amendments, even for the most serious offences involving national security or terrorism or serious crime.

Many MPs do not seem to bother to even to actually read the details of the legislation which they vote to inflict on us.

UK Legislation Links

UK Statute Law Database - is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online, but it is not yet up to date.

UK Commissioners

UK Commissioners some of whom are meant to protect your privacy and investigate abuses by the bureaucrats.

UK Intelligence Agencies

Intelligence and Security Committee - the supposedly independent Parliamentary watchdog which issues an annual, heavily censored Report every year or so. Currently chaired by the Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Why should either the intelligence agencies or the public trust this committee, when the untrustworthy ex-Labour Minister Hazel Blears is a member ?

Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

MI5 Security Service
MI5 Security Service - links to encrypted reporting form removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

syf_logo_120.gif Secure Your Ferliliser logo
Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

cpni_logo_150.gif Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

SIS MI6 careers_logo_sis.gif
Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

National Crime Agency - the replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency

Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

It is not just the UK government which tries to snoop on British companies, organisations and individuals, the rest of the world is constantly trying to do the same, regardless of the mixed efforts of our own UK Intelligence Agencies who are paid to supposedly protect us from them.

For no good reason, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office only keeps the current version of the London Diplomatic List of accredited Diplomats (including some Foreign Intelligence Agency operatives) online.

Presumably every mainstream media organisation, intelligence agency, serious organised crime or terrorist gang keeps historical copies, so here are some older versions of the London Diplomatic List, for the benefit of web search engine queries, for those people who do not want their visits to appear in the FCO web server logfiles or those whose censored internet feeds block access to UK Government websites.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV


I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !


Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign


Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."


Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme


WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers