Preacher Anjem Choudary to face trial on terror charge

Anjem Choudary, the radical Muslim preacher, is to go on trial in January accused of inviting support for Islamic State.

The 48-year-old is accused of encouraging his followers to support the group, which has conquered swaths of Iraq and Syria and established a radical Islamist regime, in speeches posted online between 29 June last year and 6 March this year.

Choudary, of Ilford, east London, appeared via videolink from Belmarsh prison in court 3 of the Old Bailey on Wednesday morning alongside his co-defendant Mohamed Rahman, of Whitechapel, east London. Both men spoke only to confirm their names.

Mr Justice Saunders set a plea and case management hearing on 11 December, ahead of a provisional trial date of 11 January. The trial will take place somewhere in London, Saunders said. He said he would recommend that it be heard by a high court judge.

“It’s clearly a matter which a jury needs to determine, as far as I can see,” Saunders added.

Despite extensive submissions from Jacob Hallam, for the crown, Blinne Ghrailaigh, for Choudary, and Naeem Mian, for Rahman, decision on the bail application was adjourned for further information to be obtained. A decision is expected by next Friday.

About eight men sat in the public gallery to support them. They defied tradition by refusing to stand for the judge as he left the courtroom.

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