Anti-terror police were criticised by a senior judge as a Staffordshire doctor cleared of the London Glasgow car bomb plot said the case had “obliterated” his life.
Mr Justice Mackay expressed concern about tactics used by officers as he sentenced Bilal Abdulla, aged 29, to at least 32 years in prison for plotting to murder hundreds of people.
The judge said breaches by police who interviewed Abdulla’s co-defendant Dr Mohammed Asha, a neurologist at University Hospital of North Staffordshire, could have led to vital evidence being excluded from the trial.
Abdulla and co-conspirator Kafeel Ahmed planted two car bombs in London’s West End in June last year before driving a Jeep packed with petrol bombs and gas canisters into a terminal building at Glasgow airport.
Indian engineering student Ahmed died one month later from burns.
During the trial, jurors were shown footage of police “safety” interviews with Dr Asha, hours after his arrest on the M6 in Cheshire on June 30 last year.
Officers are accused of failing to grant the neurologist access to legal advice and falsely implying they had evidence against him. Terrorism legislation allows police to interview suspects without a solicitor if they believe members of the public remain at risk.
The judge said: “The safety interviews themselves were unsatisfactory and in my judgment a mumbled caution was inadequately articulated and entirely unexplained to an unrepresented defendant.
“Had there been anything said by Dr Asha that incriminated him and supported the prosecution case, I would have felt bound to rule it inadmissible.”
Recommending a review of training for officers who deal with terror investigations, he added: “The seriousness of terrorist offences should never be a reason for anything other than the best of good practice.”
Dr Asha has lodged an appeal against deportation and could sue the Home Office or police, his solicitor Tayab Ali said.
He read a statement outside court on the medic’s behalf which said: “This case has obliterated my life and the lives of my family. For the last 18 months, each day we have lived under a heavy cloud of the most serious allegations possible.
“Finally yesterday a jury cleared me completely of any involvement in these allegations. The jury had no doubt whatsoever that I am an innocent man.”
Dr Asha, who has worked at hospitals in Shrewsbury and Staffordshire, faces being sent back to his native Jordan on the grounds that his presence in the UK “is not conducive to the public good”.
His statement continued: “All I want to do is put my life back together with my wife and child, but the Government continue to bully and punish me for something I did not do.”