News24

Radio Islam boss off wanted list

2010-03-31 21:39

Johannesburg - The CEO of UK-based broadcaster, Radio Islam, arrested in South Africa after appearing on Interpol's most wanted list, was removed from the list, the Media Review Network (MRN) said on Wednesday.

MRN chairperson Iqbal Jassat said Mohammed Ali Harrath received information on Wednesday that he was no longer on the list.

"Confirmation of his de-listing was received this morning, which means that Mr Harrath has no record either as a so-called 'terror' or 'criminal' suspect as originally classified at the behest of the Tunisian regime," Jassat said.

He said Harrath's office in the UK told him that he and 10 other Tunisians were taken off the wanted list.

Hawks spokesperson Musa Zondi could not deny or confirm Harrath's de-listing.

Harrath, 47, was arrested on January 24 when his passport was scanned on arrival at the OR Tambo airport and showed a red flag notice - used by Interpol to track the movement of people on its wanted list.

The MRN, in co-operation with the non-governmental organisation for the Protection of Constitutional Democracy, applied for an interdict to prevent him from being extradited to his home country Tunisia.

Jassat said Harrath was a political refugee who sought asylum in the UK, after leaving Tunisia about 20 years ago.

Although the MRN was relieved after hearing the news of Harrath's de-listing, the organisation still wanted the South African government to investigate his arrest.

"It is inexplicable that Harrath was able to clear immigration without any red alerts. After having entered the public arena at OR Tambo (airport) he is then detained."

All charges against Harrath were dropped in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Monday.