7 July probe tactics criticised

Police investigating the 7 July attacks on London have been criticised by the lawyer for Hasina Patel, the widow of suicide bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan. Imran Khan, who represents Ms Patel, spoke after she and two other men had been questioned over eight days and were released without being charged.

Mr Khan told BBC News 24 that police relations with the Muslim community have been further damaged. “Those in her community are incredibly angry at the way the police have approached this,” he said. “In my view, if their intention in this case was to destroy what relations they had with the Muslim community, then they have done that.”

He said he was “relieved” at Ms Patel’s release, but remained “shocked” at the police’s handling of her arrest. He did not reveal specific details but said police had been for some time in possession of evidence that “unequivocally” proved she had known nothing about what her husband was planning two years ago.

He added: “To arrest her in these circumstances – a woman who lost her husband, who has been accused of the most atrocious events that have taken place in this country, has now spent seven days in isolation in Paddington Green – I wonder what she must be feeling. She’s quite clearly innocent of anything, because she’s been released by police having trawled through her life and possessions and caused her a tremendous amount of grief.”

BBC News, 16 May 2007