Five terrorists lose appeal

FIVE men jailed for life for plotting a series of bomb attacks to rival the 9/11 New York atrocities lost challenges against their convictions today.

Omar Khyam, Waheed Mahmood and Jawad Akbar, from Crawley, West Sussex, Anthony Garcia, of Barkingside, east London, and Salahuddin Amin, of Luton, Bedfordshire, were all found guilty of conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life after a lengthy trial at the Old Bailey last year.

At the Court of Appeal in London today, three judges rejected their bids to overturn their convictions.

The jury was told by the prosecution that the five plotted to bomb public places such as the Ministry of Sound nightclub in London and the giant Bluewater shopping centre in Kent using chemical fertiliser bombs.

Khyam, Mahmood and Garcia were told by the trial judge that they would have to serve a minimum of 20 years in jail. Akbar and Amin were told they would have to serve at least 17-and-a-half years.

Today Sir Igor Judge, Mr Justice Bean and Mrs Justice Dobbs reduced Garcia’s minimum term to 17-and-a-half years.

They also cut the minimum term in Amin’s case to 16 years and nine months.

During their recent appeals against conviction, criticisms were raised over the trial judge’s handling of their case. Patrick O’Connor QC, representing Amin, giving an overview of the case, said criticisms related to rulings made by Judge Sir Michael Astill and his “approach to various issues”.

Khyam and Garcia were also convicted of having 600kg (1,300lb) of ammonium nitrate fertiliser. Khyam was further found guilty of having aluminium powder for the explosives.

The gang was arrested after the fertiliser was found stored in a warehouse in Hanwell, west London, in early 2004.

SOURCE

Tarn Lass

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