UK

Trial date set for 'Syria kidnap' man Shajul Islam

John Cantlie
Image caption British photographer John Cantlie was taken hostage for a week while working in conflict-torn Syria

An NHS doctor accused of kidnapping a British photographer in Syria will stand trial on 5 June next year.

Shajul Islam, 26, appeared at the Old Bailey on via videolink from Belmarsh prison, charged with keeping John Cantlie and Dutch journalist Jeroen Oerlemans captive.

He is accused of being part of an extremist group that held the pair for about a week during the Syria conflict.

A plea and case management hearing will also take place on 12 April.

Mr Islam, from Stratford, east London, was arrested at Heathrow airport on 9 October when he arrived back in the UK with his wife and one-year-old daughter on a flight from Egypt.

He is accused of being a doctor for a jihadi group that kidnapped the journalists and held them at a camp in Syria.

Mr Cantlie and Mr Oerlemans were kept handcuffed and blindfolded after being captured as they travelled into Syria to cover the conflict.

It is alleged Mr Islam, with others, unlawfully and injuriously imprisoned Mr Cantlie and Mr Oerlemans against their will between 17 and 26 July. The trial is due to last six weeks.

Mr Cantlie worked for various newspapers including the Sunday Times. Mr Islam studied at St Bartholomew's and University of London hospitals.

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