A UK police organisation faces a High Court challenge today after being accused of illegally supplying information which led to the death of five relatives of bank worker, Habib Rahman.
The UK’s ‘Serious and Organised Crime Agency’ (SOCA) is accused of supplying information to help compile and review NATO’s ‘Joint Prioritised Effects List’ (JPEL), which is a list of individuals who coalition forces in Afghanistan try to capture or kill.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Rahman are calling for a judicial review of SOCA’s role in supplying information for the JPEL which led to an airstrike on the 2nd September 2010 against a convoy carrying the men in Takhar province.
The airstrike was called on the convoy believing it was targeting an alleged member of the ‘Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan’, Muhammad Amin. Ten people were killed during the air strike, including Rahman’s two brothers, two of his uncles, and his father-in-law.
Rahman’s family members were helping another family member who were campaigning for a parliamentary seat, and were trying to gain support by driving around the province.
SOCA’s remit is to collect intelligence on, and track down criminal gangs and drug traffickers, and the legal challenge states that by assisting with JPEL they have breached their mandates powers.
According to Rahman’s lawyers, under the legislation which gives SOCA its powers, it would be illegal for the organisation to provide information which would lead to someone being killed. They claim that because SOCA is a civilian organisation they are not authorised under the 2005 legislation to carry out activities beyond civilian law enforcement.
In response to the legal challenge, SOCA has stated that it is not involved in gathering information for, or providing information to, JPEL.