The request to extradite the brother of the Manchester Arena bomber from Libya is likely to fail, an expert lawyer has said.
The request has been submitted to Libya for Hashem Abedi, 21, the brother of Salman Abedi, 22, who killed 22 people and injured 512 by detonating a nail bomb at an Ariana Grande concert in May.
However, the UK authorities are likely to be disappointed, Ben Keith, a barrister at 5 St Andrew’s Hill chambers in London, told The Brief.
“Given the security situation and the lack of judicial process in Libya, [the extradition attempt] will be unsuccessful.”
The request represents the first use of the extradition treaty with Libya, which was ratified in 2009 when the UK allowed the Lockerbie bomber, Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, to be released from prison and return to Libya on ill health grounds.
“It’s unclear if Mr Abedi has a Libyan passport. If he does that would be a reason for Libya to refuse extradition as the treaty allows both parties to refuse extradition requests of their own nationals,” Keith said.
The barrister added that the extradition process would be a “politically important” moment between the UK and Libya “given the extreme tensions over al-Megrahi”.
Ben Keith is a barrister specialising in Extradition, Immigration, Serious Fraud, Human Rights and Public law. He has extensive experience of appellate proceedings before the Administrative and Divisional Courts, as well as applications and appeals to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). He has particular expertise in human rights and extradition proceedings in post-soviet states including Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Kazakhstan. Ben is ranked in Chambers and Partners as a band 1 leader in the field of Extradition at the London Bar.
This article first appeared on The Times' Brief website, on 3 November 2017 and is accessible online here.