Former Guantanamo Bay detainee pleads not guilty to terror charges

Moazzam Begg denied seven terror offences in connection with the Syrian war

Click to follow
The Independent Online

An ex-Guantanamo Bay prisoner has formally pleaded not guilty to seven terror offence in connection with the conflict in Syria.

Moazzam Begg, 45, appeared via video link from jail as a final charge sheet was read out at the Old Bailey before judge Mr Justice Wilkie.

Begg sat throughout the hearing and said "not guilty" to each of the charges.

The first count relates to attending a terrorism training camp in Syria between 9 October 2012 and 9 April 2013.

The next five charges are for the possession of "an article" for a purpose connected to terrorism between 31 December 2012 and 26 February 2014. They were listed as being electronic documents with the titles Camp 1, Camp 2, Tactical Training Schedule, Camp Rules, and Fitness Training Schedule (training exercises).

Finally, Begg was charged with funding terrorism by making available a Honda generator between 14 July and 26 July 2013.

Begg, of Boden Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, is due to stand trial at the Old Bailey on 6 October. A further pre-trial hearing was scheduled for 1 October.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that a US Navy nurse had refused to force-fee detainees at the Cuba detention camp, where there are currently 149 prisoners. The unidentified nurse is the first known conscientious objector to speak out against the treatment of terrorism suspects still being held at the notorious prison camp.

The nurse in question – who holds the rank of lieutenant – is said to have declined to administer force-feeding after deciding that the practice was a criminal act.

Men held at Guantanamo Bay have used hunger strikes to protest over conditions since shortly after the prison opened in January 2002, with force-feeding starting in early 2006 following a mass hunger strike.

In December last year a spokesman said that the US military would no longer make the number of inmates on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay public knowledge.

Additional reporting by Press Association