LBC Exclusive: Parents Of British Terror Suspect “Jihadi Jack” Speak To Eddie Mair
28 June 2019, 18:18
Speaking to LBC the parents of British terror suspect “Jihadi Jack” say their son is being tortured in Syria, but admit if their son has done something wrong "he should be locked up."
John Letts, and Sally Lane who were found guilty of funding terrorism after they sent their son £223 while he was in Syria despite concerns he had joined the Islamic State group.
Their son Jack Letts is currently being held by Kurdish authorities in a prison in northern Syria over the accusation that he was a member of Islamic State.
Speaking exclusively to Eddie Mair, Mr Letts said he believed his son had been a victim of torture.
Describing it as "painful and difficult" to talk about Mr Letts said he was concerned what he was saying could have "severe repercussions" on his son Jack.
Telling LBC his son had answered questions in interviews as a result of torture, he said his son only answered questions in a certain way to stop the torture continuing.
"He knew what he had to say," the father said "but he was not a member of ISIS."
The father said his son has been "locked up for two and a half years," and that it was hard for "even the Red Cross to get in" to see Jack.
Eddie Mair asked "who else was in the room when this torture was going on?"
"Guards," Mr Letts said, adding the guards were filming the interview.
When Eddie Mair asked the parents if it was possible they had been blinded by love for their son, and it was possible he is "guilty of terrible things," Sally Lane said: "I think he deserves the opportunity to actually have a fair trail.
"Where he can have the opportunity to speak for himself."
Mr Letts was quick to say he had considered the possibility, adding: "If he has done something wrong he should be locked up after a fair trial."
He added he would still love his son, even if he was guilty of crimes.
Eddie asked the pair how they were planning on getting their son back. Mrs Lane said they had been talking to the Foreign Office, but that it was going "very badly."
She said no matter what they told the Foreign Office they always got the same reply. Jack's mother told LBC they had received 15 identical letters.
Mrs Lane said even when they told them her son had been tortured they were informed there was "no consular assistance in Syria" so there is nothing the Foreign Office can do.
Amazingly Mr Letts said one excuse from the Foreign Office was that they couldn't "find the phone number to contact the Kurds," adding that it was "interesting" given how many "billions of pounds" they had given the coalition.
"Even the Canadian government has accepted the claims of torture as credible," the father said.
Revealing to LBC that his time in HMP Wandsworth was "horrendous," the pair said they were remanded in custody for a week during the on-going legal proceedings. Mr Letts said he was left in solitary confinement and was only allowed out once.
Eddir Mair said that when the parents were asked if they would do the same thing again they said yes, Mr Letts said: "Absolutely, well you have to save your child."
"I don't regret trying to save my son," the father said. Adding that they asked for help "we went to the police, who I would instinctively turn to, we went to the Home Office, we went to the Canadian High Commission, we went everywhere."
Telling LBC that the reply he received was "people smugglers" he claimed "we had no choice but to get him out with a people smuggler."
"I needed to save his life" Mr Letts said he would have handed his son over to British or Canadian custody.
"You're innocent until proven guilty," Mr Letts said.
Following a trial at the Old Bailey the parents each received 15 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.