British YPG fighter Daniel Burke 'confused' as terror case dropped

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Daniel Burke
Image caption,
Daniel Burke spent eight months in prison before terror charges against him were dropped

A former paratrooper says he wants answers after spending eight months in prison before terror charges against him were dropped.

Daniel Burke, 33, said he had been left feeling "confused and frustrated".

He joined the Kurdish YPG militia to fight the Islamic State group in Syria following the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it had concluded its "legal test for a prosecution could no longer be met"

Mr Burke, from Manchester, returned in December but was charged of two counts of preparing acts of terrorism when he tried to leave the country.

The former soldier, who served in the Parachute Regiment between 2007 and 2009, said: "I've just been released and thrown back into the world with nothing.

"I wanted to know what happened in the last couple of weeks that couldn't have happened eight months ago."

Image caption,
Daniel Burke served in the Parachute Regiment between 2007 and 2009

Mr Burke's case was dropped at the Old Bailey on 3 July when prosecutors said they would be offering no evidence.

"My story's never changed, the evidence has never changed, everything's been the same since December last year," Mr Burke said.

"It's more of a political basis, behind closed doors, that's why I've been released.

"I want an explanation why this has happened. I can't even get my own job back due to the gravity of the word terrorist.

"Even though I've not been charged, it still follows you around."

Mr Burke's father, Paul Newey, 49, was arrested, taken for questioning, and was charged with funding terrorism in February.

The offence related to £150 he had lent to his son, who had then joined the Kurdish YPG militia.

Samuel Newey, 19, who is Mr Burke's brother, was also accused of assisting him to prepare for acts of terrorism.

They both had the charges against them dropped, bringing to five the total number of Britons charged and then acquitted of terrorism offences relating to the YPG in the past two years.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said: "The CPS's function is not to decide whether a person is guilty but to make fair and independent decisions.

"As part of that responsibility, we have concluded our legal test for a prosecution is no longer met.

"We have therefore offered no evidence in the case against Paul and Samuel Newey and Daniel Burke."

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