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Boxer escapes extradition on robbery charge

PUBLISHED: 15:37 01 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:53 25 August 2010

REARRESTED: Lee Murray has been held again in Morocco.

REARRESTED: Lee Murray has been held again in Morocco.

A BID to extradite a suspect from Morocco in connection with Britain s biggest cash robbery has failed.

A BID to extradite a suspect from Morocco in connection with Britain's biggest cash robbery has failed.

Lee Murray, formerly from Sidcup, who has joint British and Moroccan nationality, was arrested in Morocco in June 2006, four months after the £53 million raid on the Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent.

But last Wednesday a Moroccan court ruled that the cage fighter was of Moroccan nationality and cannot therefore be extradited.

If Mr Murray was sent back to the UK, he would have to stand trial at the Old Bailey for his alleged part in the robbery of February 21, 2006.

Now Kent police claim they are working with the Moroccan authorities as part of the inquiry.

Mr Murray's lawyer, Abdellah Benlamhidi, said his client had been rearrested in Morocco after the court ruling.

He said the British authorities had made a formal request to the Moroccan authorities to have him tried in that country, but that his client maintained his innocence.

Mr Benlamhidi said: "He has always said he had nothing to do with this robbery and he is not scared of a trial in Morocco."

International law expert Michael Caplan QC said it would depend on Moroccan domestic law whether it was possible to try Mr Murray there.

During the raid the Securitas depot manager Colin Dixon and his family were kidnapped at gunpoint by men posing as police officers.

The five convicted at the Old Bailey in January last year were found guilty of kidnap, robbery and firearms charges after a seven month trial.

Stuart Royle, Jetmir Bucpapa, Lea Rusha and Roger Coutts were given indeterminate sentences and ordered to serve a minimum of 15 years. Emir Hysenaj was given a 20-year sentence.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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