UK

Secret evidence for Old Bailey terror trial jury

Lady Justice at the top of Old Bailey

An Old Bailey judge has warned jurors that secret evidence in a terrorism case will be "for your ears only".

Mr Justice Globe said part of the trial would be held behind closed doors while "sensitive" evidence was heard from two unnamed prosecution witnesses.

"Under no circumstances must you repeat any part of that to anyone anywhere outside your number," he added.

Four men from Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent deny planning terrorist acts between May and August last year.

The prosecution will begin to outline the case against Naweed Ali, 29, and Khobaib Hussain, 25, both of Sparkhill in Birmingham, and Mohibur Rahman, 32, and Tahir Aziz, 38, of Stoke-on-Trent, on 21 March.

'Matter of law'

As the jury was sworn in, Mr Justice Globe said some of the proceedings would follow an "exception" to the principle of open justice and would be heard "in camera".

"I have already ruled as a matter of law that the evidence of two witnesses has to be given in private without the public or press present," he said.

"However, the matters that need to be covered in that evidence are sensitive and it is necessary that they be given in camera."

Mr Justice Globe told jurors they must look at and assess the evidence of the two witnesses in "exactly the same way" as all the other evidence.

He said the fact the evidence was being heard in private had nothing to do with the defendants.

"You will be hearing it because it is important that you hear all the evidence relevant to the issues you have to try," he said.

"But any dissemination of what you hear in camera outside your number would undoubtedly amount to a contempt of court," he added.