[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007, 18:21 GMT
'False confession' only evidence
Clockwise (from top left): Jawad Akbar, Omar Khyam, Shujah Mahmood, Waheed Mahmood, Anthony Garcia, Salahuddin Amin.
Mr Amin (bottom left) says he was tortured by the Pakistani authorities
The only evidence against a defendant in a terror trial was the false confession he had been tricked into giving, the Old Bailey has been told.

In his closing speech Patrick O'Connor QC said Salahuddin Amin only made the comments because he had been tortured by Pakistan's ISI security service.

He said Mr Amin was tricked into flying to England and repeating the story.

Mr Amin is one of seven men accused of conspiracy to cause explosions in the UK, using a giant fertiliser bomb.

Six of the men were arrested in March 2004 after the discovery of 600kg of ammonium nitrate at a self-storage depot in Hanwell, west London.


But Mr Amin was arrested later in Pakistan and was allegedly tortured for several months before being returned to Britain in February 2005.

Mr O'Connor said: "The remarkable fact is when he arrived in this country there was not a jot of evidence against him and if he had not spoken in Paddington Green police station and exercised his right to silence, the police could not and would not have charged him with this offence.

Both the mistreatment and the deception affected Amin's London confessions... and must in law be excluded by you from his cas
Patrick O'Connor QC

"Both the mistreatment and the deception affected Amin's London confessions... and must in law be excluded by you from his case."

Mr O'Connor said his client was not in the UK at all during the period of the alleged conspiracy, but was thousands of miles away in Pakistan.

He said Mr Amin did not have any dealing with the substances - ammonium nitrate fertiliser and aluminium powder - alleged to be at the heart of the conspiracy.

Mr O'Connor said the prosecution case against Mr Amin rested on three allegations - the sending to co-defendant Omar Khyam of an e-mail containing a formula for a bomb, the arranging and participating in explosives training in Pakistan and the providing of detonators to Mr Khyam.

'No hard evidence'

But he said: "There is not a piece of hard, objective evidence to confirm any of these acts actually happened. No record of the formula being sent, no evidence of the Kohat training and no independent evidence of the existence of these detonators."

The main source of the allegations against him were his own confessions to the police in London.

Mr O'Connor ridiculed the idea that Mr Khyam needed to be told the formula for making an ammonium nitrate bomb by Mr Amin.

He said the evidence showed that Mr Khyam already knew by 2001 about explosives and had three years to gather the information, which was simple to obtain and use.

"You don't have to be an international man of mystery to retain this information," he said.

'Mr Amin not mentioned'

Mr O'Connor also drew attention to the evidence of the prosecution's main witness, Mohammed Babar, who he claimed had made no mention of Mr Amin's involvement in any conspiracy.

Seven men deny conspiring to cause explosions likely to endanger life between 1 January 2003 and 31 March 2004.

Omar Khyam, 25, his brother Shujah Mahmood, 20, Waheed Mahmood, 34, and Jawad Akbar, 23, all from Crawley, West Sussex; Anthony Garcia, 25, of Barkingside, east London; Nabeel Hussain, 21, of Horley, Surrey; and Salahuddin Amin, 31, of Luton, Bedfordshire, deny conspiring to cause explosions likely to endanger life between January 1 2003 and March 31 2004.

Mr Khyam, Mr Garcia and Mr Hussain also deny a charge under the Terrorism Act of possessing 1,300lb (600kg) of ammonium nitrate fertiliser for terrorism.

Mr Khyam and Shujah Mahmood further deny possessing aluminium powder for terrorism.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific