Wednesday

Jim Sturman QC, says it was "perfectly reasonable" for NHS terrorist doctors, who blew up Glasgow airport, "to support violent insurgency in Iraq"


A jury has been told to clear an Iraqi NHS doctor accused of terrorism because he was only trying to protest against British government policy.

Bilal Abdulla set fire to cars in London and Glasgow because of his "frustration" with continued fighting in his homeland, Woolwich Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

Summing up his defence case, Jim Sturman QC (counsel for Harold Shipman's wife) said jurors must acquit his client if they find it is unlikely the devices would explode and kill people.

He said: "The sole question you will have to decide next week is how far was it intended to go? If even to terrorise with a big incendiary burst of flame in London and Glasgow the verdict is not guilty."

Prosecutors must prove Abdulla's intention "was to kill and that the death was going to be via a big explosion," the court heard.

Mr Sturman added: "If you come to the conclusion that it was very unlikely that these devices were going to explode you have no choice but to find this defendant not guilty.

"Can you be sure beyond reasonable doubt that the plan was to kill? We submit not."

Abdulla, a doctor at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley, is accused of masterminding attacks in London's West End and at Glasgow Airport last summer.

He is on trial alongside a second man, Mohammed Asha, 28, a neurologist at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, accused of conspiracy to murder and to cause explosions.

Prosecutors said the men – along with a third man, Kafeel Ahmed, who died following the Glasgow attack - were Islamic extremists and members of an al Qaida-style terrorist cell.

The West End bombs were two Mercedes saloons packed with petrol, gas canisters and nails triggered by two mobile phone initiators, the court has heard.

When they failed to explode, a four-wheel drive car, carrying a similar inflammable payload, was driven into Glasgow Airport's main terminal building.

Prosecutors said the home-made car bombs deliberately targeted busy public places and were designed to kill and maim as many people as possible.

But Abdulla claims the devices were intended to spark bloodless fires that would draw attention to the plight of Iraqis following several wars and continued insurgent fighting.

Mr Sturman added that it is "perfectly reasonable" that Abdulla supported the violent insurgency in Iraq.

He said: "But this doctor considered it was beyond the pale to kill but it was not beyond the pale to create a graphic demonstration of what is being done in our name in Iraq."

Mr Sturman added that the Government gave Abdulla "no other option than to create this flaming demonstration out of frustration of what happened to his people and to him."

Addressing the jury, he said a decision to acquit his client would "reverberate right around the world" and be "the greatest example ever of the jury system standing up for what is right".

The barrister said Abdulla did not explain himself in police interview on advice from his solicitor.

He said: "Why have a dog and bark yourself? The solicitor said do not answer questions and he took the advice."

Abdulla has admitted being a terrorist and planting "fire devices" in central London, but denies he intended to kill.

Asha and Abdulla deny conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life.

The jury is expected to consider their verdicts next week.

The trial continues.

Source: STV.TV

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