Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Government in the Dock after Afghan Torture Trial

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Government in the Dock after Afghan Torture Trial

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL CHESTON

THE Government today faced questions about its priorities in the war on terror after an asylum seeker was convicted of kidnapping and torturing people in Afghanistan more than 10 years ago.

Attorney General Lord Goldsmith QC was accused of diverting overworked antiterrorist officers away from protecting the public at home in order to investigate crimes committed long ago on non British nationals. He took personal responsibility for prosecuting Faryadi Zardad and insisted on a retrial when the first jury failed last November to agree a verdict.

Today a second Old Bailey jury convicted Zardad - described as a "cruel and merciless" Afghan warlord who kept a "human dog" to attack victims - of kidnap and torture, leaving the taxpayer with an estimated [pounds sterling]3 million bill.

Zardad, 41, fled Afghanistan after the rise of the Taliban and eventually arrived in Britain on a false Pakistani passport in 1998, claiming asylum and living in Streatham. …

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