5 Mar 2015

Emwazi family 'proves innocence' over Jihadi John claims

The Emwazi family lawyer tells Channel 4 News that his client has absolutely nothing to hide after being accused of “collaborating” with his son Mohammed.

While the father of the man reputed to be ‘Jihadi John’, has been reluctant to speak publicly here in Kuwait City, his lawyer has spoken at length to Channel 4 News on behalf of his client.

‘Legal pursuer’ Salem al-Hshash, who works from his offices in the up-market district of Salmiya, has been retained to represent Jasem Emwazi and the rest of the Emwazi family. Mr Emwazi’s son Mohammed is thought to have slipped into Syria in 2013 before becoming, it is thought, the Islamic State’s executioner and chief propagandist.


According to Mr al-Hshash however, both he and his client have not seen conclusive proof indicating that the man known to the rest of the world as ‘Jihadi John’ is actually his son.

Read more: Emwazi family ‘need conclusive proof’ that their son is Jihadi John

“We have watched the videos but we are not sure about the identity of man in them. Not me nor the boy’s father.”

The lawyer told us this week that Jasem Emwazi had no idea his son was involved with Islamic State militants, adding that the pair were estranged.

“(His father) had no idea that his son was in jihad because, from ages ago they have not been communicating. So how was he to know if it was his son or was not his son in the video. The video itself is not clear.”

Salem al-Hshash revealed that Mr Emwazi and his daughter Asma were interrogated by Kuwait’s security services for three hours on Saturday night, adding the pair were eventually allowed to go.

“We managed to prove the innocence of our client and we proved that (Jasem) is not involved with IS. All his belongings were checked, his phone calls, his records, they were all checked by (the security services) but they couldn’t prove that he has any contact with his son Mohammed.”

Mr Emwazi’s lawyer told us his client has absolutely nothing to hide. “He has a clear history, no criminal record, not even a civil case against him and he was surprised to hear all these rumours overnight that he has collaborated with his son and financed him. Some people have written that Jasem (Emwazi) gave (his son) orders, so he now feels quite offended.”

So offended in fact that Mr al-Hshash plans to sue a large number of international and domestic media organisations. “Today we are dealing with about 400 to 500 to 600 statements that came from newspapers, magazines, individual people and social media and every single one of them tells different story.”

“We have documents that proves and confirms what he said in the interrogations and that he is telling the truth. We will show them to the court and hold those who abused him (to account),” said an impassioned Mr al-Hshash, as he waved a wad of Arabic and English-language articles above his head.

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