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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 August 2007, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Terror solicitor in police probe
Mudassar Arani
Mudassar Arani: Sent cash to defendants, court was told
Police have begun a bribery probe into one of the country's leading terrorism solicitors accused in court of sending cash to a 21 July defendant.

Mudassar Arani was accused during the trial of sending cash to Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, whom she did not represent.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman told BBC News that detectives were scoping the allegations and reviewing material from the six-month-long trial.

Ms Arani has denied any wrongdoing in relation to the allegations.

The solicitor represented three of the defendants at the trial, including the plot leader Muktar Ibrahim, now jailed for life.

Mr Asiedu was represented by a separate legal team and the allegations against Ms Arani surfaced when the court was told she sent 600 to Mr Asiedu while he was awaiting trial in Belmarsh Prison.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the Crown Prosecution Service had asked detectives to look into two specific allegations.

The first allegation is that Ms Arani sent cash which was intended to influence a co-defendant before the trial.

The second claim is that Ms Arani and the three defendants she represented pressurised a co-defendant to change his account.

Stephen Kamlish QC, for Mr Asiedu, told the court that his client's defence documents had been changed to make the case appear better for the other defendants.

Mr Asiedu's account of events differed to that of the other men and the jury failed to reach a verdict against him. He faces a retrial later this year and denies conspiracy to murder.

Ms Arani has previously declined to comment on the allegations other than to deny any wrongdoing, telling reporters she had acted in accordance with her "professional duty".

The solicitor is one of the most high-profile lawyers working on counter-terrorism trials in the UK. Her clients include the now-jailed radical preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri.




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