Feeds

Students win appeal against cyberjihad convictions

'Thought crime' verdict overturned

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Five British muslim students jailed for downloading extremist material from the internet were released today, after the Appeal Court ruled their convictions were unsafe.

The Lord Chief Justice said that although the evidence was clear that the five had accessed the jihadi websites and literature there was no proof of any terrorist intent, the BBC reports.

"Difficult questions of interpretation have been raised in this case by the attempt by the prosecution to use [anti-terrorism law] for a purpose for which it was not intended," he said.

"We do not consider that it was made plain to the jury [in the original trial]...that they possessed the extremist material for use in the future to incite the commission of terrorist acts. We doubt whether the evidence supported such a case."

Irfan Raja, 20, of Ilford, east London, and Awaab Iqbal, 20, Aitzaz Zafar, 21, Usman Malik, 22, and Akbar Butt, 21, of Bradford, all received sentences of between two and three years in a landmark trial last year.

In a statement today via his solicitor, Malik said: "As I said when I was arrested, I do not, have not and will not support terrorism in any form against innocent people.

"My prosecution was a test case under the 2000 Terrorism Act. Today's decision means no first year student can ever be prosecuted again under this Act for possessing extremist literature."

The original case was sparked when police were contacted by Raja's parents. The schoolboy had run away to Bradford to meet the other students, who he had met online, leaving a note to say he intended to fight abroad.

He returned home within days, but the investigation had already begun.

In the appeal, lawyers for the five successfully argued that the Terrorism Act 2000 is not intended to make reading propaganda a crime, but to stop terrorists planning attacks. They also said the students had no intention of encouraging terrorist acts.

The government has seven days to appeal against today's decision. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.