US & Canada

Plane bomb suspect represents himself in court hearing

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
Image caption Mr Abdulmutallab is being advised by a court-assigned lawyer

A Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a US-bound airliner with a bomb sewn into his underwear has appeared in court, acting as his own lawyer.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab did not repeat his indication last month that he would plead guilty to some charges.

At a hearing in Michigan, the 24-year-old was accompanied by a lawyer assigned by the court to advise him.

Mr Abdulmutallab is charged with the attempted murder of 290 jet passengers on 25 December 2009 and other counts.

The plane landed safely in Detroit when other passengers overcame the alleged bomber.

US District Judge Nancy Edmunds overrode the objections of Mr Abdulmutallab to insist that the lawyer advising him, Anthony Chambers, would have access to the evidence against him.

"You don't know the rules of evidence, the rules of criminal procedure," the judge said.

"We're taking a fresh look at the case," Mr Chambers said after the hearing, the Associated Press reported.

Mr Abdulmutallab remains in custody at a federal prison in Milan, Michigan. The next hearing is scheduled for 12 January.