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Dublin: 2 °C Sunday 25 March, 2018

Student weeps in court after being cleared of planning terrorist attack

Journalists were allowed in for small sections of the trial – but they still cannot report on the details.

Erol Incedal court case A court artist sketch from last October of Erol Incedal (centre). Source: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire/Press Association Images

AFTER A TRIAL held largely behind closed doors, a British law student has been acquitted of planning a terrorist attack, UK media reports.

Erol Incedal (27) was previously convicted for possessing a bomb-making manual, something for which he will be sentenced next week.

However, the jury in that trial failed to reach a verdict on whether the student was planning to carry out a terrorist attack.

Today, the defendant wept in court as a new jury returned their verdict.

A piece of paper with an address belonging to former British prime minister Tony Blair had previously been found in Incedal’s possession.

However, the exact details of the accusation can not yet be revealed.

The Telegraph reports that the trial was mostly held in private. However, a small group of journalists were allowed in the courtroom for some segments (a total of less than 20% of the evidence heard) following a challenge at the Court of Appeal.

Tony Blair calls for EU reforms Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

A court order bars those journalists from reporting on the details of the case, however, and the paper notes that that the Crown Prosecution Service had previously warned “that there would be pressure for the trial not to go ahead if it was heard in public”.

Some of this evidence is the reasoning behind his possession of the manual.

According to details in the Guardian, after being stopped and questioned by police for motoring offences – and the piece of paper containing the address discovered – a listening device was placed in Incedal’s car.

He was heard discussing plans to buy a gun, for protection while dealing drugs.

The jury were told the defendant had expressed an interest in the Islamic State group.

Journalists with details of the trial are yet to discover whether they will be able to report on details of the trial. A legal challenge may be mounted if they are blocked from doing so.

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