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Last Updated: Monday, 11 June 2007, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
21/7 man turns against co-accused
Hussein Osman
Hussein Osman: Turned on Mukhtar Ibrahim
A defendant has turned on a co-accused, saying he was bullied into taking part in the alleged 21/7 bombing plot.

Hussain Osman allegedly told a prison officer that Muktar Ibrahim was the brains behind the alleged devices.

Mr Osman told the officer he now wanted to speak to someone about giving evidence against his co-defendant.

The new evidence was heard at Woolwich Crown Court where six men deny conspiracy to murder over alleged attempted bombings in London in 2005.

Closing speeches in the trial were stopped to hear the new evidence relating to Hussein Osman, the alleged Shepherd's Bush Tube bomber.

Mr Justice Fulford
Mr Justice Fulford: Allowed fresh evidence

Ben Murray, a prison officer at Belmarsh's high security unit, where the men are being held during the trial, told the court that Mr Osman had spoken to him at 3am on Friday.

Mr Osman was "slightly on edge" as he spoke quietly, the officer told the court.

"Osman told me Ibrahim was the brains behind making the bombs and trying to destroy parts of London," said Mr Murray.

"Osman stated that Ibrahim had bullied him into making the bombs and the distribution of such items.

"Osman said to me that he wanted to see someone about giving evidence against his co-defendants or going QE." QE means Queen's Evidence, a legal term for witnesses in the prosecution's case.

Mr Murray told the court that Mr Osman had also asked to speak to MI5, the security service.

Second officer

The court also heard that Mr Osman had earlier spoken to another officer, Philip Bell.

Mr Bell told the court that the defendant had called him to complain of stomach pains.

Manfu Asiedu
Manfu Asiedu: Turned against Mukhtar Ibrahim

"He said to me 'You know I was going to go guilty'," Mr Bell told the court. "He said 'If I do get guilty I will sue my co-d'," before mouthing the word Ibrahim.

"It was clear enough for me to understand what he was saying. He stated that he did not want to say it out loud as he did not want anyone else to hear."

Mr Bell said Mr Osman had asked if a senior officer could arrange for his co-defendants to be spied on and whether the officer had spoken to the prosecution about his safety.

Earlier in the trial, defendant Manfu Asiedu also turned on Mr Ibrahim, saying he was the controlling hand in the conspiracy. Mr Asiedu told the court he had never wanted to be a suicide bomber and had dumped his device before voluntarily going to the police.

The Crown finished its closing submissions at the end of last week but the judge allowed the case to be re-opened so the new evidence could be heard.

Mr Justice Fulford told the jury the prison officers' evidence was only to form part of their considerations in relation to Mr Osman and Mr Asiedu and was "irrelevant" to the cases of the other men.

In the dock are Mr Osman, 28, of no fixed address; Muktar Said Ibrahim, 29, from Stoke Newington, north London; Ramzi Mohammed, of North Kensington, west London; Yassin Omar, 26, from New Southgate, north London; Adel Yahya, 24, of Tottenham, north London; and Mr Asiedu, 34, of no fixed address.

All men deny conspiracy to murder. A second count of conspiracy to cause explosions is no longer being considered for legal reasons.

CCTV footage of the accused

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