Elham Asaad Buaras & Ahmed J Versi
The father of one of three men killed in the 2011 Birmingham riots has told the Home Office he has lost faith in the UK’s justice system following police mishandling of the investigation into his son’s killing.
On January 5, Tariq Jahan alongside his local MP Shabana Mahmood, met with Home Office Minister, Mike Penning, to press for an inquiry into the police and the CPS failure in getting justice.
His 21-year-old son Haroon and friends Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, died after they were struck by a car in the early hours of August 10, 2011.
Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir who died during the 2011 riots but nobody has been convicted of the deaths
They had been trying to defend local businesses as a wave of rioting and looting swept the country.
Following the deaths, Jahan issued a public appeal for calm – and was widely praised for reducing tensions and possibly preventing further violence. But nobody has been convicted of the deaths.Eight men were charged and a trial began in 2012 at Birmingham crown court. But after two months of evidence, it was halted, when it emerged that West Midlands police had failed to disclose that key witnesses had been offered immunity from prosecution.
And last year a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) criticised elements of West Midlands Police’s inquiry into the deaths.
It ruled that one police officer had acted irresponsibly in offering immunity to witnesses.
Speaking after the publication of the IPPC report Jahan spoke of his disillusionment with both the judicial system and political leaders.
“The police were using me to quell the riots, they put me up on a platform and used me to promote non-violence. My mistake was I had faith in the justice system. I expected to get justice, all I got was a slap in the face.”
He added; “We all lose loved ones, I accept that. What you don’t expect is the injustices of this world. I had everyone standing with me because of what I said – councillors, MPs, people from Government, everyone praised me. And now, nothing. You try and talk to these same people, they don’t have time, they don’t want to know, they don’t care.”
Birmingham Ladywood MP Mahmood said a public inquiry was now the only way to ensure the truth came out.
In a letter to Home Secretary, Theresa May, Mahmood warned: “Three years after the brutal murder of his son, Mr Jahan has quite understandably lost faith in the justice system. His son was killed in plain view. Eight men were prosecuted but none were convicted in a trial which almost collapsed because of issues with the police investigation.”
In an interview with The Muslim News Mahmood said campaigners are “hopeful of getting an inquiry” despite the fact that Penning, who is Minister of State for Policing, could not make any promises during the meeting.
Mahmood said Penning had vowed to look at what he can do and how “the role of the police and the CPS” could be investigated.She also pointed to the legal limitations of the case pointing to the fact that Penning “cannot take direct control of the investigation and of course the double jeopardy rule means that we can’t have another trial of the men.”
Mahmood said the family; “haven’t asked for a specific form of inquiry, we are focused on trying to get that agreement in the first place before we look at the actual shape of an inquiry.”