Met officers face terror suspect abuse charges

By Alex Stevenson

Four policemen face prosecution over allegations that they beat and verbally abused a terror suspect in 2003.

Police Constables Cowley, John Donohue, Roderick James-Bowen and Mark Jones will appear before City of Westminster magistrates court next month facing actual bodily harm charges on the person of IT worker Babar Ahmad.

Mr Ahmad was awarded £60,000 in damages last year relating to the incident, after the Metropolitan police admitted in court he had been subjected to violence on December 2nd 2003.

He was held for six days, during which time it is alleged he suffered injuries including heavy bruising to the head, neck, wrists and feet.

The Crown Prosecution Service’s special crime division head Simon Clements said a review of the evidence in the case, previously deemed insufficient, had led to the shift.

“Our conclusion is that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge four of the officers involved in the arrest of Mr Ahmad with causing actual bodily harm to him, contrary to the Offences Against the Person Act 1861,” he said.

Mr Ahmad is currently detained in Long Lartin prison. He had been set for extradition to the US on separate terrorism charges before the European court of human rights blocked the move.

His solicitor Fiona Murphy said: “Babar Ahmad is pleased that the CPS have decided that a jury should hear the evidence in this case and that the jury should determine whether any of the… officers should face punishment in respect of the assault upon him in December 2003.”

All four officers are still working. A decision is set to be taken as to whether or not they should be suspended.

The Metropolitan Police Authority said in a statement: “This case has serious implications for policing in London.

“The allegations have damaged public confidence in the way police officers carry out their duties and Londoners have the right to expect that if found to have acted improperly, officers will be held to account.”

A review headed by retired judge Sir Geoffrey Grigson has been initiated which will report once the legal process is concluded, it added.