Friday, September 04, 2015

Preacher Anjem Choudary to leave prison after being granted bail

The radical preacher Anjem Choudary is to be released from custody at a high-security London prison after being granted bail over allegations he encouraged support for Islamic State.

Choudary has been held at Belmarsh prison since he was charged with inciting support for the terrorist group on 6 August. 
He appeared via video link at the Old Bailey in central London on Friday alongside co-defendant Mohammed Rahman.
The judge, Mr Justice Saunders, ruled the pair should be released on bail subject to a number of conditions, including one preventing them from attending or organising any demonstration or da’wah (preaching) stall.
They are also banned from posting any material on any social media platform and from possessing any internet-enabled telephone or computer.
Another condition is they must not associate with any other worshipper at Friday prayers. Outside the mosque, they are banned from being in the company of more than two associates other than family members.
Saunders said he did not believe that either defendant would attempt to skip bail, but restricted them from possessing any international travel document and ordered them not to enter any UK port or leave the country.
They are also subject to an electronic curfew between 9pm and 7am. A surety of £15,000 each has been provided on their behalf.
In his ruling, Saunders said: “I am not persuaded in either case that there are substantial grounds for believing that either defendant will fail to surrender to custody.
“While I accept the points made by the prosecution, they are both men who are settled in this country. They have families to support and with the conditions that are suggested I think it is unlikely that they will attempt to abscond. 
“I have been much more concerned to whether there are substantial grounds for believing that they will commit further offences.
“I am concerned about anything being disseminated publicly by either of them or on their behalf which would encourage others to go to live in Syria as part of their religious duty.
“I have not found this an easy decision but I do consider the conditions of bail proposed will substantially reduce the risk of dissemination of those views. 
“Accordingly, I am prepared to grant bail, but it is important that compliance with the conditions is carefully monitored and if there is a breach, the defendant concerned is to be arrested and brought before me or another judge as soon as possible.”
Choudary, 48, wore a white gown and glasses and took notes during the 45-minute hearing.
He and Rahman are due to go on trial before a high court judge on 11 January. It is alleged that between 29 June last year and 6 March, Choudary invited support for Isis contrary to section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000. 

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