Police Accused of Beating Terror Suspect Babar Ahmad
The Southwark Crown Court jury has heard that 4 specialist Metropolitan police officers violently assaulted British Muslim Babar Ahmad, who is suspected of raising funds for al-Qaeda, during his arrest just after 5am one morning in December 2003. Detective Constable John Donohue and police constables Mark Jones, Nigel Cowley and Roderick James-Bowen deny the allegations.
Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw QC told the jury that Ahmad was dressed only his pyjamas when the raid happened and had raised him arms over his head in surrender. However, James Bowen is accused of throwing himself at Ahmad, knocking him into a window that subsequently smashed. Then he was handcuffed and led to his prayer room downstairs, where he was forced into the Muslim prayer position. The officers asked him where his God was and began to punch, kick and stomp on him. They also took to shouting, swearing and taunting and continued the assault while his wife cried out for them to stop.
Laidlaw also said that Ahmad was beaten in the police van on the way to Charing Cross police station. After their arrival, he was taken to a caged area where there weren’t any CCTV, and the officer took to beating him again. The custody sergeant says that he heard Ahmad scream out in pain and described him as in a state of collapse with bruising and blood on him - for which the territorial support group officers explained that he had gotten violent with them.
Claims like this from a terror suspect may not seem too truthful, but there is a little proof that the officers were violent with a submissive suspect. The M15 had bugged Ahmad’s house as part of their investigation into his alleged connections with terrorists. A 10-minute recording covering the time of the arrest was played for the jury. It was rather indecipherable, but shouting, screaming and what sounded like muffled commands could be heard. Laidlaw says the assault left Ahmad with bruises, redness and cuts on his head and neck; bruises on his chest and back; and bruises and cuts on his arms.