Forest Gate suspect cleared of porn charges

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The Independent Online

The threat of prosecution on child pornography charges has been lifted from the Muslim man who was shot during the bungled anti-terrorist raid in Forest Gate.

Mohammed Abdul Kahar has always strenuously denied allegations that indecent images were found on computer equipment at his east London home. Mr Kahar was accidentally shot in the shoulder when 250 police officers raided two houses in Landsdown Road, Forest Gate, in June looking for chemical explosives.

He and his brother Abul Koyair, 21, were freed without charge after a week of questioning at the high-security Paddington Green police station.

The Crown Prosecution Service announced last night that it had advised the Metropolitan Police not to charge the 23-year-old supermarket employee. After the development, he has no blemish on his character and the two brothers are expected to file compensation claims totalling more than £1m against the Metropolitan Police.

A CPS spokesman said 44 indecent images of children had been found in the memories of a computer, an external hard drive and a mobile phone recovered during the raid.

Twenty-three were "embedded" images, which could have been inadvertently downloaded on the back of other computer files. Twenty-one - all on the hard drive and the mobile - were "deleted". The CPS spokesman said: "To transfer to the phone, the suspect would have to have specialist knowledge. There was no evidence that Mr Kahar had possession of, or access to, equipment or the technical knowledge to do so.

"The prosecution was not satisfied that Mr Kahar had the necessary computer expertise to enable him ... to transfer the images to the Nokia phone," he said.

In a report on the shooting of Mr Kahar, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said the policeman who shot him had not acted recklessly or maliciously and should not be prosecuted or disciplined.

The anti-terror raid cost Scotland Yard more than £2.2m, including a police overtime bill of £864,000 and another £979,100 on officers' salaries.

More than £90,000 was spent on accommodating the two suspects and their family in luxury hotels for two months while their home was repaired.