Not guilty verdict in secret state trial

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LAW student Erol Incedal has been cleared at the Old Bailey of planning a terrorist attack in a secret prosecution, closed to the public.

Turkish-born Incedal, 27, was found not guilty after the jury deliberated for a total of 27 hours and would not accept the ‘secret evidence’.

Most of the trial had been held in secret, and the details of the accusation cannot be reported.

It had previously been revealed that the address of a property belonging to Tony and Cherie Blair had been found during a search of Incedal’s car.

On 13 October 2013, armed police blew out the tyres of a car near the Tower of London. That much is known for sure about Incedal’s arrest and prosecution.

Since then, he has faced two trials for preparing for acts of terrorism. But what his alleged plan was is still not known.

It has emerged that the intelligence service had bugged the car.

A few journalists were allowed into the court for some brief open sessions, but most of the time the doors were locked.

They were permitted to hear some of the secret sessions after handing in their mobile phones and notebooks, but they will go to prison if they reveal what they learned.

In the brief public opening of the trial, prosecutor Richard Whittam QC alleged Incedal had been considering a range of options for a terrorist attack, including against an ‘individual of significance’ or, perhaps, a gun attack on the streets, similar to that in Mumbai in 2008.

During the first trial, these allegations were left hanging in the air.

In the second, the court was told Incedal had allegedly met a British jihadist called ‘Ahmed’ on the Turkish-Syrian border earlier in 2013 and this second man had asked him to do something in the UK.

They allegedly exchanged coded emails relating to Mumbai and Kalashnikov rifles.

Incedal denied the allegation, and the Crown’s case was not fully detailed in open court. There was no cross-examination in public. It is not even known if either of these allegations were at the core of the case or peripheral to something else said behind the closed doors.