News Criminal Defence 15th Jul 2016

Naeem Mian and Robert Dacre Secure Acquittal in Terrorism Trial

Naeem Mian and Robert Dacre, instructed by Itpal Dhillon of Irvine Thanvi Natas Solicitors, secured the acquittal of Mahamuud Diini after a five-week trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Mr Diini had been charged under s. 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006, which makes it an offence to engage in conduct in preparation for giving effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism. He was alleged to have attempted to travel to Syria to fight for so-called Islamic State. He had been found attempting to leave the UK in the back of a lorry in April 2015 with three other men, one of whom later pleaded guilty to an offence under s. 5. He faced trial alongside another of the men found in the back of the lorry.

The prosecution relied on the account of an undercover officer who gave evidence to the court from behind a screen. He had spent several months undercover in the Birmingham area, and had recorded a series of conversations involving Mr Diini’s co-defendant. Passages from the recording were played to the jury.

The case also involved allegations of torture at the behest of the British security services, and of inappropriate collusion between the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit and MI5. The jury were provided with letters that had been written by Mr Diini’s brother Ahmed Diini whilst he was in prison in Egypt and Turkey. These letters, which had been smuggled out of prison, described Ahmed Diini’s arrest and torture by the Egyptian security services, and made allegations of British complicity.

Mr Diini and his co-defendant also gave evidence in relation to an alleged attempt by the WMCTU to facilitate a meeting between the two men and officers from MI5.

Mr Diini’s account in evidence was that he had left the country in a clandestine way in order to find his brother, who had disappeared after being released from prison in Turkey.

The jury returned a not guilty verdict after four days in retirement.

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