Secret trial defendant pleads guilty to possessing terrorist document
The Guardian, October 9, 2014
Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar was due to face charges in Old Bailey trial, much of which was to take place in secret
One of the defendants due to face charges in a partly secret trial has pleaded guilty to possessing a terrorist document.
Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, 26, entered the plea at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, but it was only reported on Thursday after reporting restrictions were lifted.
Rarmoul-Bouhadjar was due to go on trial next week with co-defendant Erol Incedal, also 26, with much of the case being heard behind closed doors.
Mr Justice Nicol had originally ruled that the trial should take place entirely in private with the identity of both defendants withheld and a permanent prohibition on reporting the case.
After media organisations challenged his “unprecedented” decision, three appeal judges overruled the ban on naming the defendants, both from London, who were previously known only as AB and CD.
They ruled in favour of the core of the trial being held “in camera”.
At the Old Bailey hearing on Tuesday the court was told that Rarmoul-Bouhadjar admitted possessing a “document containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, namely a document entitled Bomb making”. A second charge of improperly obtaining an identity document was dropped.
Rarmoul-Bouhadjar was in court for Tuesday’s hearing, and Incedal appeared via videolink.
Incedal will now stand trial alone next week accused of an offence contrary to section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 (preparation of terrorist acts) and an offence contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (collection of information).
Rarmoul-Bouhadjar will be sentenced after Incedal’s trial.