A former British paratrooper who volunteered to help the Kurds in Syria was charged with terror offences after Turkey applied diplomatic pressure on Britain and threatened trade links, his lawyers have claimed.
Daniel Burke, 33, spent seven months on remand, much of it in solitary confinement, after volunteering to help the Kurdish People’s Protection Units or YPG in its fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS).
After returning to Britain he was charged with three terror offences and faced possible life imprisonment, despite the fact the YPG is an ally of the West and has never been proscribed by the Home Office as a terrorist organization.
Last week the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) abruptly withdrew the charges after his defence team applied to obtain more details about the decision to charge Mr Burke.
Prosecutors have refused to disclose the material and Mr Burke’s lawyers have now accused them of bringing charges in order to appease the Turkish government, which has been lobbying to have the YPG declared as terrorists.
Pippa Woodrow from Doughty Street Chambers, who represented Mr Burke said: “The YPG is not a proscribed organization but an ally of the UK in the fight against ISIS.
“It is funded, armed and trained by the US which is a major partner in the International Coalition Against ISIS.
“Daniel Burke, an ex-Parachute Regiment soldier, volunteered to join that effort as a result of his horror at the Manchester Bombings in his home city, and spent eight months risking his life.
“Rather than being treated as a hero for his fight against terrorists, he has been treated as a terrorist himself”.
Read more: The Telegraph