Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 17:51 UK

Judge urges caution in 7/7 trial

Waheed Ali, Sadeer Saleem and Mohammed Shakil
Waheed Ali, Sadeer Saleem and Mohammed Shakil deny the charges

It would be unfair to convict three men accused of helping the 7 July suicide bombers just because the attacks were so "horrific", a jury has been advised.

Mr Justice Gross said it would be wrong to convict simply because the bombers themselves could not face justice.

Summing up at Kingston Crown Court, he also told the jury not to assume the men "masterminded" the 2005 atrocity.

Mohammed Shakil, 33, Sadeer Saleem, 28, and Waheed Ali, 25, all from Leeds, all deny conspiracy to cause an explosion.

The men, from Beeston, West Yorkshire, are accused of taking part in a London scouting mission in December 2004.

'Hostile reconnaissance'

Mr Justice Gross told the jury: "These were chilling, horrific events. It would be surprising if you are not outraged by them. Your sympathy will inevitably lie with the dead, bereaved and injured."

But he added: "It would obviously be wrong to convict the defendants because the events of 7 July were so horrific."

The three men are alleged to have spent two days in London visiting tourist attractions as part of a "hostile reconnaissance" of potential targets.

"It is not the prosecution case that they were the masterminds or that they were responsible for making or detonating the bombs," he said.

But it was alleged that they knew about the plot more than eight months before it was carried out, he said.

However, the defendants called the allegation "a conspiracy theory without foundation", the judge reminded the jury.

Outlining the defence, he said: "They knew the bombers, they sympathised with some of their views, in particular a shared interest in jihad, but they do not support suicide bombings or attacking innocent people.

"They say the trip had no sinister purpose and they were, and remained, in complete ignorance of the bombers' plan."

Suicide bombers Mohammed Siddique Khan, Shezhad Tanweer, Jermaine Lindsay and Hasib Hussain murdered 52 people when they set off bombs on London Tube trains and a bus.

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