Four police officers facing trial on charges of violently assaulting Babar Ahmad, a British Muslim terror suspect (see news coverage 05.05.2011), were cleared of any wrongdoing by a London Court on Friday. The officers were accused of beating up Ahmad and mocking his religion while arresting him in December 2003. Before the arrest, the officers had been informed that Ahmad had received terrorism training. During the trial, they denied Ahmad’s claims and insisted that he violently resisted his arrest, causing several injuries. The men’s arguments against the charges were supported by a recording from an MI5 bug that had been hidden in Ahmad’s home prior to his arrest. As the Guardian reports, according to the defence, this recording did not include any screams of agony or the alleged mocking of Ahmad’s faith by the officers. A jury at Southwark Crown Court found the police officers not guilty of the assault.
However, the trial also brought to light that two of the officers had 40 separate allegations of (racial) assaults against them between 1993 and 2007, mainly involving black or Asian men. Scotland Yard will now carry out a misconduct review and possibly consider disciplinary proceedings. Meanwhile, the four men will return to work, hopeful they can leave these allegations behind them.