IS bride is entitled to apply for legal aid, says Jeremy Corbyn

17 Avril, 2019, 15:25 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Shemima Begum in Al Hol near Hassakeh in North Eastern Syria

Despite volunteering to live under the brutal regime of the Islamic State, Begum has pleaded her innocence, claiming she was lured to Syria under false pretences and was a simple housewife under the regime.

However, ministers insisted the decision was a matter for the Independent Legal Aid Agency (LAA) and they could not intervene - while Jeremy Corbyn defended Begum's right to get funding.

The Mail Online reports taxpayers could face a legal bill which runs into hundreds of thousands of pounds to fund the former London's schoolgirl's fight to come back to the UK.

Dozens of other people have been stripped of their British citizenship in the past few years.

After nearly four years, a Times journalist found her in a refugee camp in northern Syria where she was being housed with other wives and children of IS fighters as the terror group clung to its land stronghold of Baghuz.

The Labour leader went on to say that should Ms Begum be allowed to return to the United Kingdom she would face "a lot of questioning", and the possibility of legal action.

Dal Babu, a former Met Police chief superintendent and a friend of the Begum family, said legal aid was necessary to ensure the correct process was followed.

She is also accused of attempting to 'recruit other young women to join the jihadist group'.

In the wake of the boy's death, Home Secretary Sajid Javid was criticised over the decision to strip Ms Begum of her British citizenship.

Akunjee is representing Begum's family pro bono; they have not applied for legal aid.

Relatives seeking a civil action against Downey had their requests for legal aid rejected five times before the LAA made a decision to grant the cash.

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Many senior figures accept that she is entitled to legal aid.

Mark Tipper, whose brother Trooper Simon Tipper was killed in the 1982 Hyde Park bombing, was among critics who condemned the reported award, telling the Mail it was "absolutely disgusting".

In March, it was reported that Begum's family had formally launched a legal challenge with the SIAC - and was later set to do so with the High Court - against Javid's decision to revoke the 19-year-old's citizenship.

Begum worked for al-Hisba, according to sources who told the paper she enforced the terror cult's strict dress code with an AK-47 she carried with her and had a reputation as a strict enforcer.

Corbyn said: "She is a British national and, therefore, she has that right, like any of us do, to apply for legal aid if she has a problem".

Now the controversial figure is to receive large sums of public money in legal aid to fight her case to return to the UK. She has legal rights, just like anybody else does.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt supported Corbyn, saying, "On a personal level, it makes me very uncomfortable because she made a series of choices and she knew the choices she was making, so I think we made decisions about her future based on those choices".

However Mr Hunt said Ms Begum "knew the choices she was making" when she left for Syria, although he accepted that people were entitled challenge decisions which the state had made about them.

The legal aid that has been granted covers a case before the semi-secret Special Immigration Appeals Commission, which adjudicates on cases where the home secretary has stripped someone of their nationality on grounds of national security.

Immigration lawyer Fahad Ansari, who has successfully defended two Islamists whose United Kingdom passports were revoked, confirmed he was representing three clients who are challenging deprivation of citizenship orders.


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