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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 February 2008, 15:13 GMT
No CPS appeal over terror ruling
Clockwise from top left: Irfan Raja, Awaab Iqbal, Aitzaz Zafar, Akbar Butt, Usman Malik
Material downloaded by the men included ideological propoganda
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will not appeal against a ruling which freed five young Muslims from jail over extremist literature, it has announced.

The men - from Bradford and Ilford - were convicted in July 2007 but had their conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Freeing the men last week, the Lord Chief Justice said there was no proof of terrorist intent.

The CPS said it did "not see any necessity to clarify a point of law".

'Thought crime'

Irfan Raja, Awaab Iqbal, Aitzaz Zafar, Usman Malik and Akbar Butt were jailed for between two and three years each by the Old Bailey for downloading and sharing extremist terrorism-related material, in what was one of the first cases of its kind.

The items at the centre of the case were documents, compact discs or computer hard drives on which material had been electronically stored.

The material included ideological propaganda.

There were also communications between the appellants and others, which the prosecution alleged showed a settled plan under which the men would travel to Pakistan to receive training and "thereafter commit a terrorist act or acts in Afghanistan".

All five denied having articles for terrorism and said the material, downloaded from various internet sites, was not intended to encourage terrorism or martyrdom.

At the Court of Appeal, Lord Phillips said that while the men had downloaded such material, he doubted if there was evidence this was in relation to planning terrorist acts.

Imran Khan, solicitor for Mr Zafar, said the men had been jailed for a "thought crime".

He said the judgement had made it absolutely clear that possession of material must be for intent to use it unlawfully.

The Home Office said the threat of terrorism remained serious and real and the government was committed to ensuring it had the strongest possible anti-terrorism legal framework.

Lawyer Imran Khan on the appeal


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