Commission refers the terrorism related conviction of Ismail Abdurahman to the Court of Appeal

Ismail Abdurahman was convicted in February 2008 of assisting an offender and failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism.

The charges related to the attack on the London underground on 21 July 2005 in which three devices were detonated but each failed to explode.

Four men, Hussein Osman, Muktar Ibrahim, Yassin Omar and Ramzi Mohamed were all convicted of conspiracy to murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommended minimum term to be served of 40 years.

At a separate trial at Kingston Crown Court, Mr Abdurahman was prosecuted as one of a group of people said to have given active assistance to the bombers.

Mr Abdurahman pleaded not guilty but was convicted and sentenced to a total of ten years’ imprisonment. He appealed and his sentence was reduced to eight years, but his appeal against conviction was dismissed.

Mr Abdurahman applied unsuccessfully to the CCRC in 2009. He applied again in February 2017 having received in September 2016 a judgment of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) in which the Court found that his Article 6 rights (right to a fair trial) were breached by the way in which he was dealt with by the police when interviewed as a witness.

Having conducted a detailed review of the case, the Commission has decided to refer the case to the Court of Appeal because it considers there is a real possibility that the Court will now quash the conviction. The referral is based on new evidence in the form of the judgment of Grand Chamber of the ECtHR which concludes that Mr Abdurahman’s trial was “irretrievably prejudiced”.

The ECtHR judgment in the Case of Ibrahim and Others v United Kingdom (Applications nos. 50541/08, 50571/08, 50573/08 and 40351/09) is available at https://hudoc.echr.coe.int

Mr Abdurahman has been represented in his application to the CCRC by Carters Solicitors, 47 Cumberland Street, Pimlico, London. SW1V 4LY.

This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 232 0906 or e-mail press@ccrc.gov.uk 

Notes for editors

  1. The Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for independently reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.
  1. There are currently 12 Commissioners who bring to the Commission considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
  1. The Commission usually receives around 1,500 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year.  On average, around 3% of all applications received are referred to the appeal courts.
  1. The Commission considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made.  New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal.  Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.
  1. If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.
  1. More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at www.ccrc.gov.uk The Commission can be found on Twitter using @ccrcupdate