Afghan warlord arrested in England
Wednesday 16 July 2003
An Afghan warlord accused of waging a campaign of murder, abductions and torture in his home country was under arrest in London last night following an investigation by Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch.
Zardad Khan is being held in Paddington Green police station while a decision is to be made on whether to charge him under laws forbidding torture, which formed part of the case against the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
Mr Khan - also known as Commander Zardad - has been running a pizza parlour in Bexleyheath, south-east London, for three years since he arrived in Britain and applied for asylum.
His arrest on Monday morning took place after detectives had travelled to Afghanistan to gather evidence.
A spokeswoman for Scotland Yard said: "I can confirm that on 14 July officers from the Metropolitan Police's anti-terrorist branch arrested a 40-year-old man."
If charges are made against Mr Khan, it will be the first time the international convention on torture, incorporated into the 1988 Criminal Justice Act, has been used in a prosecution.
Police sources said that people had travelled hundreds of miles to speak to the Scotland Yard officers while they were in Afghanistan. It is alleged that potential witnesses were threatened by Mr Khan's associates and it is unclear how many would be prepared to travel to England for a trial.
One of Mr Khan's lieutenants, Abdullah Shah, nicknamed the "human dog", was used to bite prisoners. Large, hairy and educationally subnormal, he was kept in a cave with a chain around his neck by Mr Khan. Mr Shah was recently sentenced to death by a court in Kabul and has appealed against the verdict.
Mr Khan has maintained in his repeated applications to stay in this country, that he was an enemy of the Taliban. Soon after arriving in Britain he said: "We never harassed anyone, we never killed anyone. I was not the commander in Sarowbi, I was just an advisor.
"I came to England because we have lots of trouble because the Taliban are trying to kill me. I am not doing anything ... I am just living my life. Two of my brothers have died. I have not been able to return because I have no documents."
Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando
First full-length look is finally here
World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Sex abuse inquiry: 'Victims receive death threats' after MPs release names online
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Teenager brandishing fake gun taken down by police after demanding airtime on Netherlands' NOS TV station
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£14000 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will b...
£41500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...
£10670 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...