Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

New head of UK’s anti-terror watchdog helped recoup £23m from former Nigerian dictator

Barrister Jonathan Hall QC has been appointed as the UK government’s new Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation

Jonathan Hall QC has been appointed as the UK's new Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation.
Jonathan Hall QC has been appointed as the UK's new Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation.

The new head of the UK’s anti-terror watchdog has successfully recovered millions from dictators and fraudsters and fought cases against terror suspects.

Barrister Jonathan Hall QC has been appointed as the government’s new Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation by the Home Secretary.

During his career he has specialised in covering national security and serious crime cases.

He made headlines last year when he successfully obtained the UK’s first wealth order using the country’s new anti-corruption laws against the wife of a disgraced banker jailed in Azerbaijan.

While her husband was in jail for fraud, Zamira Hajiyeva spend £16m (Dh74,538,575) shopping in London's Harrods and she now has to explain how she obtained the money for the shopping and her two £22m (Dh106.1m) UK properties or it will be seized.

He was also responsible for freezing £23m (Dh107,149,202) of assets stolen by former Nigerian dictator General Sani Abacha.

Acting for the home office, he has also successfully challenged legal cases by suspected terrorists who sought to claim their human rights were being breached.

In his spare time, Mr Hall QC volunteers as a security guard at a synagogue in London, attended by his family, following a rise in anti-Semitic attacks.

Mr Hall QC, 47, has taken over his new role from Max Hill, QC, who left last October to become director of public prosecutions.

“I am very pleased and honoured to take up this appointment. This is an important role at a time when the threat to the UK is increasingly complex,” he said.

“As a practicing barrister with extensive experience of national security and serious crime, I look forward to working across the landscape of terrorism legislation to ensure that the UK is an international proponent of best practice.”

As part of his role, Mr Hall will be required to provide an annual report on his findings, which the government must lay before Parliament and publish.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “With the threat from terrorism continuing to evolve and diversify, it is vital we have robust oversight to ensure our counter-terrorism laws are fair, necessary and proportionate. Mr Hall brings a wealth of experience and legal expertise to help deliver this.”

He is due to commence the role on Thursday.

Updated: May 22, 2019 10:19 PM

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