Saturday Apr 10, 2021
LONDON: The United States government has withdrawn an extradition request for Karachi businessman Jabir Motiwala, days after an exclusive media report from March 19, 2021 uncovered that a former Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agent had come forward alleging that his bosses had ordered him to trap the Pakistani national at any cost.
The US administration has formally written to the British government withdrawing the extradition request for Motiwala, who is set to leave for Karachi soon but remains at the high security Wandsworth prison, pending procedural matters.
The Crown prosecution has confirmed the development.
The CPS said: “The US have withdrawn the extradition request, therefore we will not be appealing any decision to grant unconditional bail.”
The Westminster Magistrates’ Court, which originally ordered Motiwala’s extradition, said an application to withdraw the extradition request was sent on April 7. The Home Office then informed the court that the US might be withdrawing the extradition request.
The dramatic development comes nearly three weeks after The News and Geo revealed on March 19, 2021 the full extent of former FBI agent Kamran Faridi’s involvement in the case and how he had issued a detailed statement to the London High Court stating that he had abused the process to trap Motiwala in Karachi posing as a drugs dealer.
Motiwala’s release will come as a shock to Indian media, which had attempted to portray Motiwala as mob boss Dawood Ibrahim’s right-hand man.
In the last week of march, the London High Court formally heard the witness statement from Faridi, who is currently in a US jail.
It had previously been reported that the former FBI agent was stopped from entering the UK when he attempted to reach there with his wife Kelly Faridi to provide evidence to Motiwala’s lawyers to confirm that he regretted trapping Motiwala.
Motiwala was arrested on August 15, 2018 from Hilton Hotel on Edgware Road when he arrived in London from Cyprus on a visit – on charges of import of Class-A drugs, extortion and money laundering.
In February 2020, district judge John Zani ordered the extradition of Motiwala and sent his case to Home Secretary Priti Patel, who cleared his extradition a month later.
Motiwala had immediately appealed the decision, arguing that he was at suicide risk and that the district judge didn’t take into consideration the full evidence related to conditions of US prisons.
At the London High Court appeal hearing two weeks ago, the media report published by The News and Geo News was confirmed when the lawyers of Motiwala told the court that Faridi had told them in a witness statement that the FBI created problems for him to stop becoming a witness in the UK court to support the Pakistani national.
According to the US government, three FBI agents, including Faridi, took part in a 'trap mission' set for Motiwala. One agent travelled to Karachi in 2010 to hold meetings with Motiwala to set up deals for the smuggling of drugs into the USA. The US government says these meetings were secretly recorded.
However, Motiwala suspected he was being trapped, and reported it to the Pakistani authorities.
Motiwala’s lawyers had told the court that the FBI informant was not given the opportunity to speak on behalf of his conscience.
Deepak Vij and Amirah Ajaz of ABV solicitors told this reporter they will be releasing full information exclusively in due course but cannot comment at this stage due to legal reasons.