British law student accused of targeting Tony Blair facing retrial after 'secret terror trial' jury discharged

Mr Justice Nicol discharged the Old Bailey jury today following three-and-a-half weeks of evidence

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The Independent Online

The jury in the UK's first secret terror trial has been discharged, leaving a British law student accused of targeting Tony Blair facing a retrial.

Erol Incedal was charged with preparing an act of terrorism with others abroad, either against individuals or in a "Mumbai-style" attack, as well as possessing a bomb-making document on a memory card. The 26-year-old denied the offences.

Mr Justice Nicol discharged the Old Bailey jury today following three-and-a-half weeks of evidence.

Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told the court that the Crown would seek a retrial.

During the trial, the court heard Incedal was stopped and arrested by police in September last year for driving his black Mercedes at 60mph in a 40mph zone with no licence and insurance.

A slip of paper with the address of former prime minister Mr Blair and his wife Cherie was discovered in the car by officers, who planted a bug which picked up the Turkish-born defendant's conversations in the following days.

Incedal was heard on tape to complain about "pigs" to his wife and talk about a "Plan B".

He said: "I made a big mistake. Some very important stuff was in the car. If they find it, I would be f*****."

Armed police stopped Incedal's car again, near Lonon Bridge, in October, and arrested him on suspicion of being a terrorist.

The father-of-two's home address in south London was also searched, where notes on a "Plan A" were found.

A checklist of "three to four workers, two tennis racquets, one month's surveillance, rent nearby flat, transport, assess security, assess risk, legitimacy, action etc" was detailed, the court heard.

At a second shared flat near Paddington, officers found a laptop computer containing coded messages about a Mumbai-style attack and a Kalashnikov rifle, the court has heard.

A photograph of an East End synagogue was also discovered on his iPhone while YouTube pages on Isis were discovered on an internet search history.

In his defence, Incedal denied that he had been planning a terrorist attack. He accepted that he possessed the memory card but said he had a reasonable excuse for it.

The majority of the Old Bailey trial has been heard behind closed doors, at times with accredited journalists present but unable to report on proceedings, but mainly completely in secret.

In all, 40 hours of evidence was heard behind closed doors, eight hours with accredited reporters present and 12 hours in open court.

Incedal was formerly known in the court case as AB and his co-defendant Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, 26, who has admitted possessing a bomb-making document, as CD.

The arrangements for the secret trial were made after a media challenge at the High Court against the entire case being heard in secret on grounds of national security.

As well as opening up the case to partial reporting, it led to the defendants being named in public for the first time.

Additional reporting by PA