ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The attorney for a British Muslim described as a key suspect in an alleged plot to bomb trans-Atlantic passenger jets challenged his client's arrest Friday, demanding the man's immediate release.
The uncovering of the alleged plot also led to nearly two dozen arrests in Britain, triggering a security alert that led to canceled flights to and from London's Heathrow Airport for several days.
However, an anti-terrorism court on Dec. 13 dropped terrorism charges against Rauf and reclassified his case as a regular criminal one.
But the case took a turn Wednesday, when a superior court heard an appeal from the government and suspended the anti-terrorism court's ruling until Jan. 15.
Rauf's lawyer, Hashmat Habib, told The Associated Press on Friday that he had challenged his client's arrest in the Supreme Court and challenged a recent three-month extension of Rauf's detention.
Habib said he hopes the Supreme Court will hear the case in January.
"I am also seeking compensation for Rashid Rauf," he said, adding his client was innocent.
Rauf, a British Muslim of Pakistani origin, has also said he has been wrongly implicated in the alleged London terror plot.
Rauf arrived in Pakistan soon after his uncle was stabbed to death in April 2002. Pakistan has said British authorities had asked Pakistan to extradite Rauf in connection with a murder inquiry.
Pakistan and Britain do not have an extradition treaty, and Pakistani officials have said that no decision has been made on the extradition request.