Britain turns over evidence to US in IS ‘Beatles’ case

International

LONDON (AP) — Britain says it has turned over to U.S. authorities evidence against two members of an alleged terror cell known as “the Beatles,” ending a drawn out legal battle to block the handover of the information.

The evidence against Shafee El Sheikh and Alexanda Kotey was given to U.S. prosecutors after the High Court of Justice in London refused to allow El Sheikh’s mother to appeal earlier rulings that paved the way for the move.

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted late Tuesday that “the further evidence to support the prosecution of Kotey & El Sheikh has now finally been transferred to the U.S. I sincerely hope that justice for the victims and their families will now be served.”

El Sheikh’s mother had sought to block the evidence transfer for more that two years, arguing that turning over the information would violate data protection laws because it could lead to the execution of her son.

U.S. Attorney General Robert Barr last month promised that the two suspects wouldn’t face the death penalty if they were tried in American courts.

Kotey and El Sheikh are alleged to have beheaded 27 people, including three U.S. and two British hostages, while fighting for the so-called Islamic State group in Syria. They are believed to have been part of a four-man cell that became known as “the Beatles” because all four spoke with British accents.

Both men were raised in London before traveling to Syria to join Islamic State. British authorities revoked their citizenship because of their actions in Syria.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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