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British Taxpayers Forced To Pay $17,000 To Convicted Terrorist

REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

The British government must pay more than $17,000 to convicted terrorist Ismail Abdurahman because police failed to inform him he had the right to remain silent and seek legal counsel, The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Tuesday.

Abdurahman was handed an eight-year sentence for helping one of the five extremists who attempted to bomb the London transport system July 21, 2005 — just two weeks after 54 people died in the city during similar attacks.

ECHR ruled Abdurahman’s human rights were violated during police interviews, following a seven-year legal battle. The British government is now forced to pay more than $17,000, or one third, of Abdurahman’s legal fees.

“The Government [has not] demonstrated compelling reasons for restricting his access to legal advice and failing to inform him of his right to remain silent,” the ruling reads.  “It was significant that there was no basis in domestic law for the police to choose not to caution Mr Abdurahman at the point at which he had started to incriminate himself.”

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