Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jeremy Corbyn, a candidate to lead Britain’s Labor Party, participated in efforts to release two men convicted of bombing a Jewish charity building in London in 1994, the Jewish Chronicle reported on Tuesday.
The pair, Jawad Botmeh and Samar Alami, both UK-educated Palestinians, were found guilty of having been involved in the car bombing of the charity building, Balfour House, as well as of the adjacent Israeli Embassy.
While Botmeh and Alami admitted to having cached 5 pounds of explosives and three handguns in a storage unit, both suspects denied that the material was meant to be used in Britain. Botmeh, who was eventually released in 2008, alleged that the Israeli government carried out the attack.
Corbyn was actively involved in the 20-year legal battle to overturn the conviction, the Chronicle noted, calling the conviction a “miscarriage of justice,” in a 2013 letter.
In June 2003, Corbyn challenged then-home secretary David Blunkett over the 1994 bombings, casting doubt on the investigation’s integrity by questioning whether fingerprints linked the pair to the attack, whether either of the men was identified as a driver of the weaponized vehicles, and whether there was reason to believe that either Botmeh or Alami manufactured the explosives.
Separately, between 2002 and 2006, Corbyn went so far as to offer motions on the case in Parliament five times in hopes of having it addressed.
Blunkett admitted that it was never fully established where the bombs were made or who drove the cars, although royal prosecutors, despite not releasing full information concerning the incident, insisted that evidence linking the pair to the bombing was “overwhelming.”
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Corbyn’s campaign has yet to respond to requests that he explain his support for Botmeh and Alami.
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