Anxiang Du was today flown back to the United Kingdom on a Royal Air Maroc commercial airline following an “extraordinary” extradition process.
The police force in Northamptonshire has been largely kept in the dark as discussions between diplomats in the UK and their counterparts in Morocco continued over the return of the quadruple murder suspect.
However, a limited number of senior detectives who led the search for Du are believed to have been made aware he was being flown back today.
Du finally boarded a Royal Air Maroc flight from the Moroccan city of Casablanca at 12.20pm local time today, bound for London Heathrow.
The Chron understands most of the police force in Northamptonshire were only told about his imminent arrival this afternoon, as he was airborne on the Boeing 737.
The three-and-a-half hour flight, which ironically landed two minutes earlier than scheduled, ended a near two-year wait for detectives who led the hunt since the murders of the Ding family in 2011.
MP for Northampton North, Michael Ellis, yesterday congratulated Northamptonshire Police and stressed Du must still be viewed as an innocent man until proven otherwise.
He said: “This is an extraordinary case. This is a case I have taken a close interest in. The very nature of extradition means that quite a lot of the work has to be done behind the scenes. Over the course of the last few months I have been working behind the scenes to make sure this case never fell off the radar.”
Du was finally brought back to the UK following a “one- off” agreement between the UK and Morocco, which share no extradition treaties.
Mr Ellis said the process of returning Du had been led by the Foreign Office, which is responsible for foreign relations, as well as the Home Office, which deals with extradition.
He added: “It wasn’t the case that there was a particular thing that secured his return. It had to go through the proper Moroccan processes. They have to put the process through their own courts and through the relevant Moroccan officials.”