Two men accused of being members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria are set to stand trial in the United States after a British court ruled against their argument that the United Kingdom could not provide evidence against them, the Independent reports.
Former British citizens El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey are accused of being members of a militia group known as “The Beatles,” called that because of their British accents, who executed multiple Western captives. Elsheikh and Kotey were both raised in the U.K. but have had their British citizenship revoked. They are accused of taking part in the killing of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning. They were captured in 2018 and held in Iraq before being transferred to the U.S., where they await trial.
Elsheikh’s mother, Maha Elgizouli, hired lawyers who argued that British Secretary of State Priti Patel violated the Data Protection Act when she provided evidence against the two to the U.S., which Patel agreed to do in August. The attorneys also claimed that sending the evidence was “not strictly necessary,” since the Director of Public Prosecutions was going to make a decision about whether to try the case in the U.K., but the court ruled against them on Tuesday.
High Court Judges Dame Victoria Sharp and Sir Neil Garnham rejected the case, which they declared was “not properly arguable,” with Sharp saying that the prosecution’s preference for where the trial takes place has “no relevance” to the issue faced by the court.
“The conclusion that, even if Mr. Elsheikh could be prosecuted in England, it would still be necessary and proportionate to transfer the data to the U.S. authorities remained a conclusion properly open to the Secretary of State,” Sharp said.