Trial date set for doctor accused of keeping John Cantlie and a Dutch journalist captive


Margaret Davis
Friday 02 November 2012 12:39

An NHS doctor accused of kidnapping a British photographer in Syria will face trial in June.

Shajul Islam, 26, who studied at St Bartholomew's and a University of London hospital, appeared at the Old Bailey today via videolink from Belmarsh prison, charged with keeping John Cantlie and a Dutch journalist captive.

He is accused of being part of an extremist group that held Mr Cantlie, who worked for various newspapers including the Sunday Times, and Jeroen Oerlemans for around a week in the war-torn state.

Islam, from Stratford, east London, was arrested at Heathrow Airport last month as he arrived back in the UK with his wife and one-year-old daughter on a flight from Egypt.

He is accused of being a doctor for the jihadi group that kidnapped the journalists and held them at a camp in Syria.

Mr Cantlie and Mr Oerlemans were kept handcuffed and blindfolded after being captured as they travelled into Syria to cover the conflict there.

It is alleged that Islam, with others, unlawfully and injuriously imprisoned Mr Cantlie and Mr Oerlemans against their will, between July 17 and 26.

He was remanded in custody until a plea and case management hearing on April 12.

A six-week trial is due to begin on June 5.