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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Britain’s 'most wanted' man accepts extradition from Spain

Jamie Acourt was arrested on Friday over an alleged large-scale Barcelona cannabis plot

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives Jamie Acourt was arrested in Barcelona, Spain following a joint police operation. UK National Crime Agency via AP
One of Britain's most wanted fugitives Jamie Acourt was arrested in Barcelona, Spain following a joint police operation. UK National Crime Agency via AP

Jamie Acourt, one of Britain’s most wanted criminals, has accepted his extradition from Spain after he was arrested over an alleged large-scale cannabis plot in Barcelona.

Mr Acourt, 41, is accused of being part of a conspiracy to supply drugs in Britain. He was arrested on Friday after a joint police operation between Scotland Yard, the National Crime Agency and Spanish National Police.

On Sunday, the Spanish High Court said Mr Acourt, from south London, will not challenge his extradition after a hearing in Madrid.

He was denied bail during the hearing, in which he participated via video-link from Barcelona.

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Mr Acourt was one of five white men suspected of murdering Stephen Lawrence in a racist 1993 knife attack that shocked Britain. Mr Acourt has always maintained his innocence and charges against him were eventually dropped for lack of evidence.

One of the judges at the time described the attack as a "murder which scarred the conscience of the nation".

Officers arrested Mr Acourt on a European Arrest Warrant over the alleged drug crime as he left the Metropolitan Sagrada Familia Gym, the National Crime Agency said.

Police reportedly had Mr Acourt under surveillance for a while but he escaped arrest by using false documents.

Scotland Yard said the arrest warrant was issued to trace Mr Acourt in relation to a narcotics investigation launched in 2016 with the Serious and Organised Crime Command.

Mr Acourt was last seen in the UK in February 2016.

The long-running Stephen Lawrence murder case file remains open. Two men, Gary Dobson, 42, and David Norris, 41, have been jailed for life.