Court of Appeal to rule in terror house seizure case
The Court of Appeal could pave the way later for the first ever seizure of a family home as a terrorist asset.
Munir Farooqi was convicted of trying to recruit people for the Afghan jihad, including undercover police officers.
If he loses his appeal, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) will apply to seize his home.
None of his family has been convicted in relation to his offences and say they will fight the attempt to take their home.
Munir Farooqi was given four life sentences in 2011 after being convicted of preparation for terrorist acts overseas, soliciting to murder and dissemination of terrorist publications.
His trial heard that he had used the family’s large Victorian home in Longsight, Manchester, to hold meetings to radicalise recruits. One of Farooqi’s sons was acquitted at trial of charges relating to his father’s actions.
Following his conviction, GMP and the Crown Prosecution Service said they would seek to take the property because it had been used for a terrorist purpose and had been “in the possession or control” of Farooqi at the time he committed the offences.
The property forfeiture powers are contained in the Terrorism Act 2000.
Police and prosecutors have used the power to take other personal property, but they have never tried to confiscate an entire home.
The future of the unprecedented application depends on the outcome of the Court of Appeal case on Monday afternoon in which judges will decide whether Farooqi’s conviction should stand.
If they uphold the conviction, the application to take the home will be legally activated and considered separately by another judge.
The family say the application is a breach of their right to family life and Parliament never intended the asset-seizing powers to be used in this way. They also argue that the home is owned by Farooqi’s wife and daughter.
Farooqi’s trial heard that he and two other men ran an Islamic market stall. He was approached by two undercover police officers who were pretending to be at a low ebb and interested in Islam.
Farooqi bragged about fighting with the Taliban and the jury heard he encouraged them to fight and die in Afghanistan.
Greater Manchester Police said the case had been about “a concerted effort” to ideologically prepare people to fight against British forces abroad.