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Jabir Moti linked to designated terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, UK court told

twitter-logoPTI | July 3, 2019 | Updated 22:38 IST

By Aditi Khanna (Eds: Updating with more details) London, Jul 3 (PTI) Pakistani national Jabir Moti, a "high-ranking member" of the D-Company, has been linked to "designated terrorist" Dawood Ibrahim and he would be at risk of being held in extreme pre-trial detention conditions were he to be extradited to the US, a UK court heard Wednesday. During the ongoing extradition trial of 51-year-old Moti, Westminster Magistratesí Court in London heard that underworld don Dawood, a fugitive from Indian justice and currently in exile in Pakistan, is wanted for coordinated bombings in Mumbai in 1993 that killed more than 200 people. "The head of D-Company is Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian Muslim currently in exile in Pakistan. Dawood Ibrahim and his brother and top lieutenant, Anis Ibrahim, have been fugitives from India since 1993, when D-Company was implicated in coordinated bombings in Mumbai that killed more than 200 people," according to excerpts of a US Attorney's affidavit for extradition read out by Motiís barrister Edward Fitzgerald. "The present investigation has revealed that Jabir Motiwala is a top lieutenant in D-Company who reports directly to Dawood," he added. Fitzgerald was trying to establish that his client being linked by the US authorities to Dawood and D-Company would mean he would be subjected to "special administrative measures" (SAMs) at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York, which would involve isolation and put him at the "risk of harm" due to his "suicidal tendencies". However, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), on behalf of the US government, countered that argument highlighting the US Attorney's "express declaration" that Moti is not to be subjected to SAMs. CPS barrister John Hardy said that even though Dawood is a "designated terrorist" by the FBI, D-Company - an international criminal network based in Pakistan, India and the UAE - is not a designated organisation. "Moti is not being pursued at trial as a terrorist," Hardy said, adding that the US authorities had declared they were unaware of facts related to Moti that would warrant holding him under SAMs. However, Judge John Zani took note that the moment the word "terror" is associated with an individual, that aspect of the case is likely to influence some detention decisions. On day three of the extradition case brought by the US government after Motiís arrest last year, the court heard evidence via videolink from a series of witnesses from Pakistan and the US to establish the threat to Motiís mental health while being held in US detention on being extradited. Moti, appeared in the dock for the hearing wearing a jacket and looking downcast, but was later taken to the medic within the court premises after complaining of high blood pressure related health issues. He faces extradition to the US on charges of money laundering, extortion and conspiracy to import unlawful substances such as heroine after his arrest by Scotland Yardís Extradition Unit last year. At the start of Wednesday's hearing, two witnesses, including a solicitor named Ahmed Masood, who appeared via videolink from Pakistan on behalf of Moti, were permitted to give their evidence in camera. Judge Zani accepted an application by Motiís defence team for an "in chambers" evidence by the witnesses, one of whom remains unnamed. Following the in camera evidence, the court resumed the hearing with a videolink evidence from the US of a former prison warden, Maureen Baird, who said that being designated in the US affidavit "as a top lieutenant of D Company - a support system of known terrorist organisations", Moti would be a prime candidate for SAMs and would not receive constant psychiatric care. The trial, which opened on Monday, has heard how Moti was the subject of a sophisticated undercover operation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which deployed Pakistani-origin Americans in Pakistan to monitor many of his illegal activities dating back over 10 years. Moti, who is referred to during the court proceedings under different names including Jabir Motiwala and Jabir Siddiq, is accused of laundering around USD 1.4 million to date on behalf of D-Company. The case will now return for a routine remand hearing on July 22 but before then the legal teams will determine a time-frame for its conclusion after scheduling one final hearing in the case. The charges against him relate to a period between 2010 and 2014 and could carry a sentence of around 25 years behind bars in the US. PTI AK ZH ZH

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