Judges rule 'core' of major terror trial can be held in secret

The "core" of a major terrorism trial can be held in secret, the Court of Appeal has ruled. However, the judges said the defendants, who were previously identified as AB and CD, can now be named as Erol Incedal and Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar.

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Terror trial secrecy debate urged after court ruling

A bid to hold a major terrorism trial in complete secrecy must be debated in the Commons, an MP and campaigner on civil liberties has said.

Dominic Raab, a former Foreign Office lawyer, told MPs that even after today's Court of Appeal ruling to lift some of the restrictions, journalists would still be "hand-picked" to cover the trial.

Esher and Walton MP Dominic Raab posed the question to Commons leader Andrew Lansley. Credit: Pool

"Given what is at stake in terms of principles of open justice and democracy, can we have a statement or debate in the near future?" he asked.

Commons leader Andrew Lansley replied, "The issues were considered, though it is not a matter for the Government to decide these things, they were decided by the court ... we can look to the courts to ensure the interests of justice will be maintained."

Court of Appeal judge: This case is exceptional

A Court of Appeal judge said the "core" of a major terrorism trial will be held in secret as "this case is exceptional."

Lord Justice Gross, one of three judges who made the decision, said:

We are persuaded on the evidence before us that there is a significant risk - at the very least a serious possibility - that the administration of justice would be frustrated were the trial to be conducted in open court; for what appears to be good reason on the material we have seen the Crown might be deterred from continuing with the prosecution.

The trial is due to start at the Old Bailey on June 16.

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Attorney General's Office 'pleased' trial will go ahead

The Attorney General's Office said they are "pleased" a major terrorism trial will go ahead after the Court of Appeal ruled the "core" of the trial can be held in secret.

A spokesman for the Attorney General said:

The principle of open justice is key to the British legal system and trials will always be held in public unless there are very strong reasons for doing otherwise.

The measures applied for by the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] in this case were, they believed, justified in order for the trial to proceed and for the defendants to hear the evidence against them while protecting national security.

We are pleased that the Court recognised the strength of some of these arguments, and that the case can go ahead.

Defendants in 'secret' terrorism trial are named

The defendants in a major terrorism trial have been named as Erol Incedal and Mounir Rarmoul-Bohhadjar following a ruling by the Court of Appeal.

They were previously identified only as AB and CD before judges ruled they could be named despite the "core" of their trial being held in secret.

Court rules terror trial defendants can be identified

The "core" of a major terrorism trial can be held in secret however the defendants can be identified, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Court of Appeal judges felt this case was 'exceptional'. Credit: ITV News

Media organisations had contested the "unprecedented" decision by Mr Justice Nicol last month at the Old Bailey relating to the pending trial of two defendants only known as AB and CD.

Richard Whittam QC, for the Crown, said it supported open justice but there were exceptional circumstances which had led to exceptional procedures in the case.

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