ZARDAD convicted

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Poppy, Jul 18, 2005.

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  1. (from sky news)


    Afghan warlord Faryadi Zardad has been convicted at the Old Bailey of a "heinous" campaign of torture and hostage taking in his homeland.

    The 41-year-old, who denied the charges, is due to be sentenced on Tuesday.

    Zardad is the first person to stand trial in Britain for human rights abuses allegedly committed abroad.

    The court heard he had instigated a cruel and merciless reign of fear in Afghanistan between 1992 and 1996.

    He and his men kept a "human dog" to savage victims, the jury was told.

    Zardad was tracked down in London, arrested and accused of plotting to take hostages and torture them.

    Many of his victims - some in fear of their lives - gave evidence from the British Embassy in Kabul via video link.

    In the first trial, the jurors had been unable to agree on their verdicts but the prosecution decided he should be retried.

    The case is believed to have cost more than £3m.

    It involved a lengthy police investigation both here and in Afghanistan that diverted valuable anti-terrorist resources.

    Zardad was tracked down to his suburban home in south London by BBC correspondent John Simpson for the Newsnight programme.

    His report was seen by a member of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee and referred to the Home Office.

    The Home Office in turn asked Anti-Terrorist Branch officers to investigate.

    Zardad, of Gleneagles Road, Streatham, south London, denied conspiracy to torture and conspiracy to take hostages between 1992 and 1996."

    Good news - now what about all the others?
  2. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    I'd open a book that he'll get off on appeal, once the Wicked Witch and her legally-aided posse get on to the case.

    Will he be sent 'home' to serve his sentence there? will he feck :(
  3. Cherie Booth QC doesn't do criminal law.................
  4. No but she does human rights law and this is a perfect example. He will appeal that he shouldnt be sent home as they have the death penalty and under the ECHR, we can't send him back knowing that they may execute him.

    Oh well i guess we'll just have to clothe and feed him at our expense (quelle surprise!) :roll:
  5. If he appeals he will still be represented by a barrister specialising in criminal defence work - it is the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) after all
  6. Speak English man

    Afghan Zardad jailed for 20 years

    Zardad kept a "human dog" to savage his victims
    An Afghan warlord convicted of a "heinous" campaign of torture and hostage taking in his homeland has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
    Faryadi Zardad, 42, of Streatham, London, was found guilty at a retrial on Monday of pursuing a reign of fear at checkpoints in the mid 1990s.

    It is thought to be the first time a foreign national has been convicted in a UK court for crimes committed abroad.

    Zardad had denied conspiracy to torture and conspiracy to take hostages.

    Both charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

    Victims traced

    An international convention and English law allow the trial in England of anyone who has committed torture or hostage-taking

    Lord Goldsmith
    Attorney General

    Zardad verdict celebrated
    'No UK impunity' for warlords
    'Huge challenges' of case
    How the BBC found Zardad

    During the case, the court heard evidence of summary executions, the slaughter of 10 or 11 men in a minibus and of an old man being imprisoned in a metal cupboard and whipped with a bicycle cable.

    The warlord and his men were also said to have kept a "human dog" to savage his victims.

    Zardad, who was in charge of the road between the Afghan capital Kabul and the city of Jalalabad, was first tracked down at his south London home by John Simpson for BBC Newsnight.

    Police then mounted an investigation, which involved officers making several trips to Afghanistan under armed escort to track down the warlord's victims.

    The Old Bailey jury found Zardad guilty after hearing of numerous incidents of summary execution and hostage taking.

    Zardad was retried after the jury in his first trial, last year, had been unable to agree.

    One of the key legal challenges was to show that although Zardad did not necessarily administer torture himself he was still responsible through the men he controlled at his checkpoints.

    'Human dog'

    The government's top law officer, Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, came to the court for the first time since his appointment to prosecute the case.

    He explained why Britain had decided to try the case, arguing that Zardad's crimes were so "merciless" and such "an affront to justice" that they could be tried in any country.

    "Mr Zardad was found in England. An international convention and English law allow the trial in England of anyone who has committed torture or hostage-taking, irrespective of where those crimes were committed."

    But Lord Goldsmith's number two in the first trial, James Lewis QC, took over for the second.

    He said Zardad's men had used "indiscriminate and unwarranted violence on innocent civilian travellers.

    "They would detain and imprison them. They would hold them for ransom or exchange civilians taken at the checkpoint elsewhere," said Mr Lewis.

    The checkpoint was on the Kabul to Jalalabad road

    Lord Goldsmith had alleged at the outset that Zardad kept a man dubbed a "human dog" in a hole who would be set upon people, biting them and "eating testicles".

    But no witnesses gave evidence of seeing the "dog" during the first trial.

    Some eye witness evidence did emerge in the second trial, with one saying he saw a man being bitten by the long-haired "dog" at a checkpoint because he was too slow in dishing out fruit to the soldiers.

    In both trials, evidence from Afghan witnesses - many in fear of their lives - was beamed into the British court via a video link from the UK embassy in Kabul.

    One witness said he was held for four months and beaten so frequently that his family failed to recognise him.

    But Anthony Jennings QC, for the defence, urged jurors to treat prosecution witnesses from Afghanistan with care and ask whether they had an axe to grind.

    Zardad himself told the court he had not tortured anyone but had given orders against torture.

    The Crown Prosecution Service said it was the first time in any country where offences of torture and hostage taking had been prosecuted in such circumstances.

    Zardad came to Britain in 1998 on a fake passport and sought asylum.

    But when he learnt he was being investigated in Afghanistan he dropped his application.
  8. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    200 years isnt good enough for that piece of $hite!

  9. Tsk. No room for life's 'characters' these days is there :?: :twisted: :twisted:
  10. Oi Fido....stop sticking up for yer boss, he's in gaol now! :twisted: