7 July plot: Jury given majority direction

The jury in the trial of three men accused of helping the 7 July suicide bombers plan their attack by carrying out a two-day reconnaissance mission in London was today told majority verdicts could be returned.

The jurors began their deliberations on 14 July following a three-month trial at Kingston Crown Court.

Mr Justice Gross told them at noon today that if they cannot reach verdicts on which they all agree he will accept verdicts on which 10 jurors agree.

Waheed Ali, Sadeer Saleem and Mohammed Shakil visited the London Eye, the Natural History Museum and the London Aquarium while allegedly pinpointing potential targets during the trip seven months before the 2005 atrocity.

The trio, from Beeston, Leeds, are charged with conspiring with the four bombers and others unknown to cause explosions between 17 November, 2004, and 8 July, 2005.

Suicide bombers Mohammed Siddique Khan, Shezhad Tanweer, Hasib Hussain and Jermaine Lindsay killed 52 people and injured up to a thousand more when they detonated rucksack devices packed with explosives on three Tube trains and a bus.

The trial had heard how Ali, 25, Saleem, 28, and Shakil, 32, travelled from Leeds to London with Hussain on 16 December, 2004. They met up with Lindsay in the capital.

The group stayed overnight in a hostel and over the two days visited a series of locations which bore a "striking similarity" to where the bombs were detonated on 7 July the following year, the prosecution claimed.

The three defendants admitted making the visit but claimed it was an entirely innocent "social outing" and the purpose was for Ali to see his sister.