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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 October 2005, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
Al-Qaeda court case to continue
Scales of justice
The trial of an Algerian man with suspected al-Qaeda terror links is to proceed, a judge in Belfast has ruled.

Abbas Boutrab, 27, denies possessing 25 computer discs containing instructions on bomb-making downloaded from the web.

The defence had argued he should be cleared because the evidence against him was of a "tenuous nature".

However, Mr Justice Weatherup said he was satisfied the trial should go ahead on those charges, but acquitted him of using a doctored Italian passport.

Mr Boutrab, who has been charged under three different aliases, has an address at Whitehouse on the Shore Road in Belfast.

The prosecution claim he downloaded material from the internet onto 25 floppy discs.

The material is alleged to include details of how to construct a bomb capable of downing a jet aeroplane and how to make a silencer for an assault rifle between October 2002 and April 2003.

Mr Boutrab denies possessing and collecting information "for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism".

Employment agency

He also denies handling a stolen Nokia mobile phone.

Defence lawyers at the non-jury Belfast Crown Court said on Wednesday the evidence against Mr Boutrab was "of such a tenuous nature that no jury properly directed could safely convict him".

Mr Justice Weatherup said he was satisfied the trial should proceed on the terrorist-related offences.

However, he directed that Mr Boutrab be found not guilty of using the doctored passport to get a job at the Holiday Inn through Lynn Recruitment, as no contract existed between Mr Boutrab and the employment agency.

The judge adjourned the case until Thursday when the defence case is due to start.


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