July 25, 2009 – A POLICE killer with links to Sheffield who was finally
brought to justice after a daring James Bond-style mission to snatch him
from his African hideout has started a life sentence.
Ruthless Mustaf Jama thought he had escaped the British authorities when
he fled to his native Somalia - where his father is a warlord -
following the 2005 murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky in a botched travel
But in a desert mission which would not be out of place in a James Bond
movie he was captured by local militia men, put on a six-seat plane to
Dubai and flown back to Britain.
He was convicted of murder and firearms offences following a retrial at
Newcastle Crown Court.
While Jama's younger brother Yusuf and his friend Muzzaker Shah, the
gang's ringleader, were standing trial in 2006 for shooting the officer
and her colleague PC Teresa Milburn in Bradford, West Yorkshire Police
had already traced the escapee to Somalia.
Secret intelligence indicated he was lying low in Somaliland - a region
fighting for independence from Somalia.
The British authorities deemed it too dangerous to enter the failed
state, so agreed to pay the Somalis to get him out of the country.
The cost of the operation has never been released, but was split by the
police, Home Office and Foreign Office.
In October 2007 the 29-year-old was stopped in his Land Rover at a road
block near the village where his father is a warlord, then held
overnight in a cell by a 15-strong militia.
A pilot refused to fly him to Dubai the next day from a remote airstrip,
believing he was being asked to transport an al Qaida terror suspect,
until he was shown documents signed by senior Somali officials.
He was persuaded to take the captive on a four-hour flight to Dubai,
where British and United Arab Emirates police met him and put him on a
scheduled Virgin flight to Heathrow.
Jama had used friend Mohammed Gulled's passport to travel to Somalia
from Gatwick, via Dubai and Djibouti.
He claimed to have been given £2,000 by friends and said he drove the
final stretch from Djibouti to Somaliland.
He had fled to Britain aged 12 in 1992 after his family claimed they
were being persecuted in a tribal uprising, and he was given permission
to stay six years later.
Mustaf Jama's criminal record began in 1997, aged 17, and has been
jailed several times for offences including robbery, affray and driving
Ironically, the British authorities would not deport him to Somalia as
it was too unsafe, though he chose to hide out there following the
Jama received the same life sentence with a minimum 35 years term as his
brother and Shah, who was believed to be the gunman who shot the popular
38-year-old mother-of-three in the chest.
Jama made an aggressive single-finger gesture towards the police in
court as he was led away.
Mr Justice Openshaw said Jama was part of a "ruthless" gang, and said by
fleeing, he put the victims through the ordeal of a second trial.
Jama claimed he thought the guns used in the raid were fake, but the
judge said this was "inconceivable".
Source: Lancashire Evening Post, Jul. 23, 2009