BBC journalists have no place in extradition cases

The Times

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Narrated by Jawad Iqbal

The case of Yaqub Ahmed, a convicted rapist who has finally been deported back to Somalia after a lengthy legal battle, raises disturbing questions. Efforts to remove him have involved at least 24 legal hearings, involving six successive home secretaries and numerous judges, at a cost of up to £1 million. It is a damning indictment of a broken legal system.

Just as troubling is the involvement of Mary Harper, the BBC’s Africa editor — a respected and experienced journalist — who was reportedly paid to appear as an expert court witness in efforts to block the deportation.

Harper warned in a written report and during a hearing before three judges that if Ahmed was sent back to Somalia, his life would be in danger.