27 year old Erol Incedal London has been acquitted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court of preparing terrorist acts which the prosecution alleged included a plot to target Tony Blair and his wife Cherie.
The father of two wept when the verdict was announced.
Large parts of the trial have been held in secret and an initial order by the trial judge, Mr Justice Nicol, to hold all the proceedings in secret was challenged by the media.
Incedal has been previously found guilty of possessing a bomb-making manual on a memory card at the time he was arrested in October 2013.
He’ll be sentenced on Wednesday next week with his friend Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, who’s also 27 and from London, who admitted having the same document.
Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC alleged the preparatory acts for terrorism:
…were about the murder of a limited number of individuals; the murder of an individual of significance such as Tony Blair; and a wider ranging and indiscriminate attack using Kalashnikovs such as the one in Mumbai, where you know automatic rifles were used and a great deal of people killed and wounded.
In his defence Incedal denied that he had been planning a terror attack with others.
He said the note with the Blairs’ address on it found in his car had been taken from an item on the BBC news about their son’s wedding venue which was in the public domain.
He said terrorism in the UK was ‘illegal, immoral and contrary to Islam.’
Commander Richard Walton, Head of the SO15 Counter Terrorism Command said:
This has been an unprecedented investigation, where some of the evidence was heard in secret. Public safety remains our primary consideration and in this case, the trial Judge agreed there was a requirement for elements of the evidence to be aired in closed proceedings.
The jury heard all of the evidence presented and have now reached a decision based on that evidence. We always respect the decision of the jury.