9th Dec, 2016

Hall Green campaigner Moazzam Begg takes compensation battle to High Court

Solihull Editorial 2nd Jul, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

FORMER Guantanemo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg has gone to the High Court in a fight for Government compensation after his terrorism trial dramatically collapsed.

Anti-terror laws were used to freeze the Hall Green campaigner’s assets before he was cleared of seven terrorism charges in October 2014.

Now he is seeking for HM Treasury to pay for the financial losses and inconvenience he endured.

In court documents the Boden Road resident said he has ‘never been involved in terrorism’ and claimed the freezing order violated his human rights.

Mr Begg was charged in 2014 with providing terrorist training and funding terrorism overseas and his assets were frozen while he was remanded in custody for seven months to await trial.

Court documents state that Mr Begg admitted he had been in Syria between November 2012 and April 2013 and to having provided basic fitness training to ‘some of those individuals who might later become involved in resistance to an overwhelming military onslaught.’

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, entering a plea of not guilty and had the charges against him dropped before trial in October 2014.

According to court documents the Treasury revoked the Terrorism Asset-Freezing Act 2010 but refused to quash it, which is a crucial distinction when it comes to compensation.

Mr Begg, who is not entitled to legal aid, is now challenging the decision in a case which it is estimated will cost more than £300,000.

His legal team is representing him on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, but Mr Begg says his access to justice could be affected by the crushing legal costs he would face if he loses.

If Mr Begg succeeds in proving that the freezing of his assets breached his human rights, he could be in line for substantial compensation.

Mr Begg was detained in Guantánamo Bay for three years in 2002 after he was arrested in Islamabad and suspected of being a terrorist with links to Al-Qaeda.

He was released, without charge, by former American President George W Bush in January 2005.