THE prime suspect in a Bradford execution-style murder more than 13 years ago could be brought back to the UK from a US prison in the first extradition of its kind since an agreement was reached between the countries’ governments.
Family man Mohammed Basharat, 33, was gunned down in cold blood in the minicab office where he worked in the Little Horton area of the city on October 20, 2001.
The father-of-four, from Heaton, Bradford, was shot twice in the head with a .38 calibre handgun by a lone hooded gunman who burst into the offices of Little Horton Taxis.
Three years ago, detectives named Ricardo Linton, serving a substantial jail sentence in the US for a shooting in New York, as a “person of significant interest” to the Basharat murder inquiry.
Linton, who was living in Bradford at the time of the killing, had refused to speak to West Yorkshire detectives.
Now US authorities are preparing extradition proceedings under a ‘temporary surrender agreement’ to bring Linton back to the UK to face trial.
If approved by the US courts, it is thought this would be the first extradition of its kind to the UK.
It is understood the temporary surrender agreement was part of the 2003 US-UK bilateral extradition treaty, ratified in 2007.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Snow, of West Yorkshire Police’s Protective Services (Crime) department, who is in charge of the murder investigation, said it had brought new hope to Mr Basharat’s family.
He said: “The Temporary Surrender Agreement was agreed by the UK and US governments and allows either country to apply for a serving prisoner to be extradited to stand trial in that country with the agreement that, after the conclusion of the trial, they return to the original country to serve the rest of their sentence.
“With the support of the Home Office, we have secured the authority to extradite a man under this agreement who is currently serving a sentence in a US prison.
“We are told this is the first time the treaty has been used in the UK. On his return to this country, the man will be charged with murder and will face trial.
“We have been working closely with the US authorities and the US Justice Department, and are waiting while they prepare a case for extradition.”
Mr Snow said the efforts of the police to make use of the new treaty had brought renewed hope to the family of Mr Basharat that one day they would see justice for the killing.
He said: “Mr Basharat’s family have waited a long time for justice and, even after all this time, we have continued to pursue the person who we believe is responsible for the murder of their husband, father and brother.
“We hope that this new legislation will enable us to finally bring Mr Basharat’s killer to face trial.”
Police said at the time that Mr Basharat was “an innocent man going about his business when his life was taken away from him”.
The day before his murder, powerfully-built Mr Basharat, who was 6ft 5in tall, had been involved in a road rage incident in his taxi. He came to blows with the other driver, a Jamaican man, who told him: “I am going to kill you.”
At the time, Linton, who was nicknamed Teddy and had the alias Wayne Alfonso MacDonald, lived in Little Horton and Girlington and often frequented the Young Lions Club in Lumb Lane.
He came to the UK in June 2001, initially lived in London, but soon moved to Bradford, where he stayed with a number of girlfriends.