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15 months on,Indian suspect stuck in jail in Spain

It is 15 months since Jogeshwari resident Roshan Jamal Khan (51) was arrested by Spanish authorities in Barcelona in connection with a suspected terror plot.

Written by Sagnik Chowdhury | Mumbai |
April 8, 2009 1:01:56 am

It is 15 months since Jogeshwari resident Roshan Jamal Khan (51) was arrested by Spanish authorities in Barcelona in connection with a suspected terror plot. As he remains in ‘unconditional imprisonment’,his family back home is gradually losing hope of securing his release.

Their lawyer in Spain had told them Khan would be produced in a Spanish court and the trial would begin in March,but that did not happen. The family is now banking on the Indian Embassy in Madrid for an update. The embassy has promised to send an official to meet Khan in prison next week to take the case forward.

“Our lawyer had told us my brother would be produced in court in March this year,and that a trial would follow soon after. That has not happened and the case is stuck. He has been in jail for almost 15 months without formal charges being pressed against him or a trial taking place. We don’t know what to do now,” Khan’s brother Mehboob said.

“Roshan’s brother-in-law Amanullah Khan,who lives in Barcelona,is in touch with the Indian Embassy in Madrid. The last time anybody from the embassy met my brother was in July. Now,they have told Amanullah that an official named Mr Bhanud,who met my brother once,will go to the prison in Leons to meet him again next week,” said Mehboob.

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In February,Khan’s family sent an appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Council,and a reply is awaited. The family also set up a blog to create awareness on the case.” We collected all documents we could on the case and sent an appeal to the UNHRC. We still have not got a reply. We first filed an appeal by e-mail in January,and a week later we sent it through courier. We only hope it intervenes to put an end to what is a clear violation of fundamental human rights,” said Mehboob.

Khan is one of 14 Muslim men picked up by Spanish authorities from a mosque in Barcelona on January 19 in connection with an alleged plot to carry out attacks in that city. Four of them,including another Indian,were released later. Khan,who is being held along with nine Pakistanis,was in Spain to explore business opportunities,his family has said.

On January 23,he was produced in a Madrid court where the judge awarded him ‘unconditional imprisonment’. On June 18,Khan was again produced in court and his statement recorded,but no charges have been filed against him yet. Khan’s family had urged the Prime Minister,the External Affairs Ministry and the Spanish Consulate-General to intervene; immigrant groups have staged protests in Spain seeking his freedom.

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First published on: 08-04-2009 at 01:01:56 am

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