‘Secret trial’ man pleads guilty

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Published: Thursday 9th October 2014 by The News Editor

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One of the defendants in the UK’s first secret trial has pleaded guilty to possessing a terrorist document.

Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, 26, entered the plea at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, it can be reported today, after reporting restrictions were lifted.

The court heard that the defendant admitted possessing a “document containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, namely a document entitled ‘Bomb making'”.

A second charge of improperly obtaining an identity document was dropped.

Richard Whittam QC said: “The prosecution do not seek a trial of the second defendant on Count Four. A verdict of not guilty can be entered.”

Rarmoul-Bouhadjar was in court for the hearing while his co-defendant, Erol Incedal, appeared via video-link.

Incedal, also 26, will now stand trial alone next week accused of an offence contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 (preparation of terrorist acts) and an offence contrary to Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (collection of information).

Rarmoul-Bouhadjar will be sentenced after Incedal’s trial.

Part of the case is to be held behind closed doors following a ruling in the Court of Appeal.

It came after a challenge by media organisations against an ”unprecedented” decision by Mr Justice Nicol that the trial should take place entirely in private with the identity of both defendants withheld and a permanent prohibition on reporting what took place during it and their identities.

But the three appeal judges said they were not persuaded that there was a risk to the administration of justice warranting the anonymisation of the defendants, both from London, who were previously known only as AB and CD.

Published: Thursday 9th October 2014 by The News Editor

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