Page last updated at 01:22 GMT, Saturday, 6 September 2008 02:22 UK

Cash award after 'Bin Laden' joke

Scales of Justice
Halima Aziz was suspended from work by the Crown Prosecution Service

A lawyer who was suspended by the Crown Prosecution Service after saying she was treated like a friend of Osama Bin Laden has been awarded 600,000.

Halima Aziz was working at Bradford Crown Court in 2001 when she was accused of blaming Jews for 9/11.

Ms Aziz denied that comment, but said she had joked she was being treated like a friend of the al-Qaeda leader.

The CPS said it accepted the employment tribunal's decision to make the award on grounds of racial discrimination.

The case started just a month after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September, 2001.

Ms Aziz was suspended while a complaint from the court was investigated, and was cleared of all allegations in 2002.

'Astonishing' response

The tribunal said a previous investigation by the CPS had been a whitewash.

Its judgement said: "This would be a completely unacceptable response on the part of any employer, but for a public body like the Crown Prosecution Service it can only be regarded as astonishing."

The tribunal also ordered Ms Aziz to be reinstated to her job and given a full apology.

After the hearing, the CPS said: "The CPS accepts the recommendations made by the employment tribunal and will be implementing them as a matter of priority. We offer a full apology to Halima Aziz."

The service added that it took equality and diversity very seriously.

Ms Aziz said she was "100% certain this would not have happened unless I had been a Muslim and Asian."

She said she was hoping to use the payout to build an orphanage in Pakistan.


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific