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UK halts co-operation with US over Islamic state suspects

UK halts co-operation with US over Islamic state suspects

Alexanda Kotey (left) and El Shafee Elsheikh were captured by Syrian Kurdish forces
The UK has suspended co-operation with the US over two Islamic State suspects.This follows legal pressure to demand that the pair do not face the death penalty if tried in the United States. This week, ministers said they could share intelligence with the US that could lead to a conviction, without opposing a death penalty sentence.The men, both of whom have been stripped of British nationality, are wanted for being part of the IS kidnap gang behind hostage executions. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh are currently being held by Kurdish forces and the UK believes it cannot legally extradite them to face trial here.
This week it emerged that the US was preparing the ground to prosecute the men itself - and that it had asked the UK for information that would help convict them. On Tuesday, lawyers acting for Mr Elsheikh's London-based mother threatened to take the Home Office to court to prevent that information sharing.On Wednesday morning the Home Office agreed that it would temporarily suspend co-operation with the American authorities until a judge has had a chance to consider an application for judicial review. Those lawyers have now prepared detailed grounds challenging Home Secretary Sajid Javid's decision to share information without a death penalty assurance - meaning a case could be before High Court judges in days. Lawyers for Mr Elsheikh's mother said the home secretary's actions revealed "a clear and dramatic departure from the UK's long standing international and domestic commitment to oppose the continuing exercise of the death penalty."
Islamic State group
Syria
Capital punishment
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