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Vicar of Baghdad Canon Andrew White defiant after Met Police drops investigation

Wed 06 Jun 2018
By Alex Williams

The Metropolitan Police has dropped an investigation in a British clergyman - known as the Vicar of Baghdad - who was accused of sending money to Islamic State extremists.

Rev Canon Andrew White learned he will face no further action after a probe into an accusation he paid terrorists in order to secure the release of six or seven Yazidi women being held as sex slaves in Syria and Iraq.

He always insisted that the captives were freed thanks to successful negotiations utilising his contacts in the region - and not by illegal payments to the group, which is also known as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

 

Speaking on Premier's News Hour with a touch of sarcasm, the 54-year-old said: "I have had this police investigation hanging over my head because I did the awful thing of trying to get back sex slaves from ISIS.

"What I didn't do at any time was pay money to ISIS.

"It was a story which really had no foundation because at no time had I ever committed this crime."

When the allegations surfaced, Canon White was suspended as president in 2016 from a charity he founded - the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.

Facebook/Canon Andrew White

 

An investigation by the charity watchdog into the organisation is currently ongoing. The Charity Commission told Premier it will publish a report "once the inquiry has concluded".

Last year, Canon White posted on social media that he was "kicked" out" of his job. This is disputed by the FRRME. 

In a statement given to Premier, the organisation said: "The Reverend Canon Andrew White resigned as president of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East on grounds of ill health in October 2016.

"The police investigation was one hurdle that needed to be cleared.

"There is an ongoing Charity Commission investigation, and, as it is an active investigation, we are unable to say anything more about it.

"The Trustees released a statement at the time of Canon White's resignation wishing him well, and continue to wish him well."

Click here to listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking with Canon Andrew White:

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