Friday 30 September 2016

Made In Chelsea star and billionaire friends of Princes Harry and William discussed in Britain's first secret terror trial

Published 02/01/2016 | 16:38

Former law student Incedal, 27, was acquitted of planning either a Mumbai-style attack or the assassination of Tony Blair following the retrial at the Old Bailey in April 2015. Photo: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire
Former law student Incedal, 27, was acquitted of planning either a Mumbai-style attack or the assassination of Tony Blair following the retrial at the Old Bailey in April 2015. Photo: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

A Made In Chelsea star, billionaire friends of Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge, and "high end" drug dealing were all discussed behind closed doors in Britain's first secret terror trial.

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Former law student Erol Incedal, 27, was acquitted of planning either a Mumbai-style attack or the assassination of Tony Blair following the retrial at the Old Bailey in April 2015.

But he was jailed for three and a half years for possessing a bomb making document on an SD card along with his co-defendant Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, also 27, who was handed three years.

Much of the case was heard in secret in the interests of national security and the Lord Chief Justice will rule in January on a media challenge over the principle of open justice.

Meanwhile, dozens of transcripts have been made public following a review - giving a fresh insight into the Turkish-born Londoner's unusual lifestyle while keeping the crux of the case firmly under wraps.

Here are 19 things the public was not allowed to know about Incedal's defence during the controversial case:

:: Incedal's fellow student friend Ruslan Mamedov used to work as a gofer for billionaire friends of Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge, and would siphon off thousands of pounds he was entrusted with when they went to plush Mayfair clubs.

:: Ruslan used to take Incedal and Rarmoul-Bouhadjar on shopping sprees to look the part when they went out with him and the wealthy sons of an Azerbaijani minister.

:: The jury was shown pictures of Incedal trying on expensive jackets in Harrods which he said he sent to his wife to see which one she liked best.

:: During a night out at Mamounia Lounge, in Knightsbridge, Incedal took a photograph of a cast member of Made In Chelsea who was pointed out to him by Rarmoul-Bouhadjar.

:: Among hundreds of other pictures on his phone, was an image of a champagne bottle with a sparkler in it taken on another outing at Tramp nightclub in Mayfair.

:: Incedal, a father-of-three, wanted to make money by getting into the "high end, high quality, very expensive drugs trade" in Knightsbridge and Mayfair - rather than a "back street in Peckham".

:: When Mamedov was arrested, £244,000 was found in a safety deposit box in Metrobank to be used to build houses in Azerbaijan.

:: The defendant said: "The only thing I can say on Ruslan's part is he is not being totally truthful with his billionaire friends in taking out money but other than that there's nothing criminal about it."

:: When Incedal was detained in 2013 on suspicion of planning a terrorist act, he had on him £4,850 in cash wrapped in a Harrods bag.

:: Incedal said he used to go to the gym three or four times a week as he tried to get fit.

:: The defendant became interested in Islam after 9/11 when he was 13 years old, but he insisted it had nothing to do with the terror attacks.

:: Ex-prime minister Mr Blair did not just make some people angry, he had made "a lot of people angry" because "he invaded Afghanistan and he invaded Iraq", Incedal said.

:: Via Skype, he told his jihadi contact in Syria that he had seen the deputy prime minister of Iraq in a chemist but denied this was code for Mr Blair.

:: At the time, he said he was unaware that there were four deputy prime ministers for Iraq, a fact he only learned in prison from Iraqi inmates.

:: In 2011, he thought about killing himself, he said: "Such was the state of my mind I used to drive my car 60, 70mph on the Old Kent Road and close my eyes and hope that I crashed and died, so these were the thoughts that went through my mind."

:: Pornography was why Incedal deleted the Safari history on his iPhone, there was "absolutely no other reason", he said.

:: Asked why he took a picture of a London synagogue, Incedal said it was "out of love". On Islam, Judaism and Christianity, he said: "All three religions believe in Abraham, Moses, Jesus so - not exactly Jesus bit when it comes to Judaism - but yes to the nearest meaning."

:: On a bugged conversation in his car about putting the Islamic flag up at the Syrian embassy in London, he said: "But we were laughing, we were just joking, it was just some black humour. It was nothing serious."

:: Cross-examining, prosecutor Richard Whittam QC asserted: "You were planning a terrorist attack of some sort in this country, weren't you." Incedal replied: "That's absolutely false."

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