Erol Incedal: Student being sentenced for possessing bomb manual

Erol Incedal
Erol Incedal is being sentenced alongside his friend Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar

A law student cleared of plotting a terror attack is being sentenced for possessing a bomb-making manual.

Erol Incedal, 27, from London, was acquitted of the terror plot last week – but was convicted last year of having a bomb-making manual on a memory card.

Most of the trial was held in secret and details of the accusation can still not be reported.

Incedal and his friend Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, also 27, are being sentenced by Mr Justice Nicol at the Old Bailey.

Rarmoul-Bouhadjar admitted having a manual identical to the one found in Incedal’s possession.

At the beginning of the sentencing process, the court heard that both men had crossed into Syria in 2013 and stayed with jihadists.

Richard Whittam QC, prosecuting, said the men were carrying memory cards with bomb-making plans when they were arrested.

Some of these plans were viable and some were “farcical”, he said.

Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar
Rarmoul-Bouhadjar admitted having a bomb-making manual

Counsel for Incedal, Joel Bennathan QC, said his client’s visit to the Turkish/Syrian border had been lawful and he could not be sentenced for that.

He said Incedal’s acquittal on the bomb plot charges meant his sentence for possessing bomb-making plans must be on the basis that he was not a terrorist.

Legal first

The case involving the two men became a legal first after an attempt by the Crown Prosecution Service to hold the entire trial in secret was scuppered by a media challenge at the High Court.

It led to the defendants, previously referred to as AB and CD, being named for the first time and the decision to split the trials into three parts – public, private with 10 accredited journalists present but barred from reporting, and completely secret.

Before the sentencing process began Mr Justice Nicol refused to lift further reporting restrictions, and said he could not give further details.

Lawyers representing several media outlets, including the BBC, had asked the judge to allow some of the secret evidence to be reported.

Incedal has been in custody since his arrest in 2013.

The maximum sentence for possession of the bomb-making document is 10 years imprisonment.


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