UK

UK law student denies intending to commit terrorism act

Erol Incedal Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption Erol Incedal denies all of the charges against him

A British man accused of planning to attack ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair or carry out a Mumbai-style street massacre has denied intending to commit an act of terrorism.

Erol Incedal is charged with preparing for an act of terrorism and possessing bomb-making plans on a memory card.

He told the Old Bailey in London that he owned the card and knew what was on it, but had not viewed the contents.

Mr Incedal, 26, is being tried partly in secret and denies all charges.

During the first part of the father-of-three's defence, held in open court, his counsel Joel Bennathan QC asked: "Did you intend anything you did would commit an act of terrorism?"

Mr Incedal replied: "No, Mr Bennathan, I never did. I never intended."

'Reasonable excuse'

Asking about the two documents on bomb-making found on a memory card inside Mr Incedal's iPhone case when he was arrested in October 2013, the defence lawyer said: "Did you have any idea of the sort of documents on that card?".

When Mr Incedal replied that he did, Mr Bennathan asked if his client had a "reasonable excuse", to which he said: "I believe I did, yes."

The prosecution has told the court that a senior police officer who examined the documents concluded that following the instructions could produce viable explosives.

The trial has previously heard that Mr Incedal was secretly recorded talking about being in Syria after police bugged his car.

He was also heard saying that terrorist was a "great word" to describe him.

Mr Incedal was recorded as he drove around the capital with Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, who has pleaded guilty to possessing bomb-making plans.

Giving evidence, Mr Incedal said he had become interested in religion at the age of 13 and joined a religious movement called Tableeghi Jamaat along with Rarmoul-Bouhadja, a school friend of his.

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