UK Court Rejects Case Brought by Mother of ISIS Suspect

Friday, 18 January, 2019 - 12:30
Asharq Al-Awsat

The mother of El Shafee Elsheikh, one of the British ISIS militants suspected of murdering western hostages, lost a legal challenge on Friday that it was wrong for the UK to assist a US investigation which could lead to them facing the death penalty, Reuters reported.

Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two of a notorious group of British extremists nicknamed "The Beatles" - are being held by Kurdish forces after being captured in Syria last year.

Washington wants to extradite them and Britain has said it will not stand in the way of any future US prosecution that would seek the death penalty.

Elsheikh's mother, Maha El Gizouli, had sought a judicial review, saying it was unlawful for Britain's interior minister to provide mutual legal assistance in a case which could lead to prosecutions for offenses which carried the death penalty.

Her lawyers said the minister's actions were flawed, inconsistent with Britain's unequivocal opposition to the death penalty and violated her son's human rights.

However, London's High Court disagreed and dismissed her claim, Reuters said.

The most notorious of the four of the so-called Beatles was Mohammed Emwazi, known as "Jihadi John", who is believed to have been killed in a US-British missile strike in 2015.

He became a public face of ISIS and appeared in videos showing the murders of US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto and other hostages.

"This group of terrorists is associated with some of the most barbaric crimes committed during the conflict in Syria," Graeme Biggar, Director of National Security at Britain's interior ministry, said in a written statement to the court.

Britain has said it does not want the men repatriated to the UK and their citizenship has been withdrawn.

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