Two members of Islamic State face prosecution in US for beheading

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British officials have handed over key evidence to United States as a go ahead to the prosecutions of two alleged Islamic State members accused of carrying out a series of beheadings.

The material was given to Washington after high court judges sitting in London dismissed a challenge brought by the mother of one of the accused men.

Maha Elgizouli, whose son El Shafee Elsheikh is in US custody with his co-accused Alexanda Kotey, brought a judicial review of the decision taken by the home secretary, Priti Patel, in August to comply with a US mutual legal assistance (MLA) request for the material. She argued it was unlawful because it was incompatible with the Data Protection Act.

However, in a ruling delivered on Tuesday, Dame Victoria Sharp and Mr. Justice Garnham said Elgizouli’s case was “not properly arguable” after she (Elgizouli) had asked the court not to provide material to US officials, who had already signaled their intention to prosecute.

Speaking after the decision was made public; the Home Office confirmed that officials “have now transferred the evidence to support the US investigation”.

The men are accused of being part of a murderous four-man team known for their brutal treatment of captives and nicknamed “the Beatles” because of their British accents.

One of the others, Mohammed Emwazi, was killed in a US airstrike in 2015 and the fourth, Aine Davis, has been jailed in Turkey.

At a hearing in London on 11 September, Elgizouli’s lawyers argued the evidence transfer was not necessary because the director of public prosecutions (DPP) was considering whether there was enough evidence to prosecute Elsheikh in the UK, which US authorities had previously said they preferred.

The judges said: “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 US authorities remained a conclusion properly open to the secretary of state.”

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