Alamgir & Ors, R v, Court of Appeal - Criminal Division, July 04, 2018, [2018] EWCA Crim 1553

Resolution Date:July 04, 2018
Issuing Organization:Criminal Division
Actores:Alamgir & Ors, R v
 
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Neutral Citation Number: [2018] EWCA Crim 1553

Case No: 2016/4281/B5 AND 2016/4400/B5 AND 2016/4283/B5

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CRIMINAL DIVISION)

ON APPEAL FROM CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT

His Honour Judge Topolski QC

T20150445 and T20160037

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Date: 04/07/2018

Before:

LORD JUSTICE TREACY

MRS JUSTICE McGOWAN

and

HIS HONOUR JUDGE STOCKDALE QC

Sitting as a Judge of the CACD

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Between :

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(Transcript of the Handed Down Judgment.

Copies of this transcript are available from:

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Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)

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Mr Sean Larkin QC and Miss Michelle Nelson (instructed by Crown Prosecution Service) for the Respondent

Mr Paul Hynes QC (instructed by The Registrar of Appeals) for the 1st Appellant

Mr David Gottlieb (instructed by The Registrar of Appeals) for the 2nd Appellant

Mr Richard Doman (instructed by The Registrar of Appeals) for the 3rd Appellant

Hearing date: 21 June 2018

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JudgmentAs Approved by the Court

Lord Justice Treacy:

  1. These are appeals against conviction. The three appellants were convicted on 16 August 2016 at the Central Criminal Court. Alamgir was convicted of three offences contrary to s.12(3) of the Terrorism Act 2000, encouraging support for a proscribed organisation. Bashir was convicted of one count, as was Khan. In addition, Khan was also convicted of an offence of arranging a meeting to support a proscribed organisation contrary to s.12(2).

  2. The ingredients of the s.12(3) offence in the context of this case required proof that:

    i) ISIS was proscribed;

    ii) the defendant addressed a meeting;

    iii) his words in fact encouraged support for ISIS; and

    iv) the purpose of his address was to encourage support for ISIS or further its activities.

  3. In relation to the s.12(2) offence, the Crown had to prove that Khan:

    i) arranged a meeting to support a proscribed organisation;

    ii) knew that its purpose was to support a proscribed organisation or further its activities.

  4. The trial judge correctly directed the jury as to the need for the Crown to prove the above elements of the offences. In summary, these appellants had been tried along with others. The case against them was that they were members of a Luton branch of a national group believed to have violent Jihadi views. All three had made speeches at meetings during the holy month of Ramadan in 2015 on occasions between 29 June and 15 July which were designed to encourage support for ISIS. The jury's verdicts show that that was their intention. In addition, Khan had arranged for a meeting to take place in the garden of a co-defendant (Rahman's) house. Between March 2014 and November 2015 an undercover police officer had infiltrated the Luton group and was thus able to acquire materials about the appellants' activities going beyond the content of the speeches which were the subject of counts.

  5. The facts of this case are set out in detail in the judgment of this court in R v Alamgir and Others [2018] 1 Cr App Rep (S) 49. That was a judgment of this court relating to appeals against sentence passed after the trial. There is no need for us to repeat the detail set out there.

  6. All three appellants appeal on the basis that the judge was wrong to admit in evidence recordings of speeches made on occasions other than those identified in the indictment and evidence of materials gathered about the appellants' activities more generally. This type of evidence was referred to for convenience as ``mind-set material''. In addition, Khan has renewed an application on grounds refused by the single judge. They are:

    i) The judge failed properly to direct the jury in relation to the applicant's connection with the Security Services and/or permitted the prosecution to engage in impermissible cross-examination of the applicant in relation to that issue.

    ii) the judge failed to provide sufficient safeguards to prevent breaches of articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. We will return later to those applications.

  7. The material which is the subject of the ground of appeal common to all three appellants broadly relates to:

    i) The content of speeches or statements in classes outside the period in the indictment which had been made by Alamgir or Khan, and on one occasion speeches made by other members of the group at which all defendants were present. On that occasion the speaker applauded ISIS's policy of murdering homosexual men, adding that no one should feel sorry for any kufr (infidel), specifically Britons killed on holiday in Tunisia, temple worshippers attacked in Kuwait, or factory workers in France, one of whom had been beheaded recently by an Islamist extremist.

    ii) Written materials distributed at events.

    iii) Material found at an appellant's premises.

    iv) Material found on an appellant's phone or electronic device.

    v) Previous convictions of non-defendants associated closely with these appellants.

  8. The defence argued at trial that the Crown should only be permitted to adduce evidence of the content of the speeches referred to on the individual occasions which featured in the different counts. No evidence of any other speech should be admitted, nor should evidence of conversations between any defendant and the undercover officer. Objection was also taken to the mindset evidence which was said by the Crown to be evidence revealing the nature, depth and commitment of the appellants to radical Islamist beliefs entirely consistent with support for ISIS and the establishment of a Caliphate in territory seized by ISIS. It was contended that the evidence objected to had marginal significance and was either inadmissible or so prejudicial that the judge should exclude it in the exercise of his discretion.

  9. The judge rejected the application, holding that the jury was entitled to consider the evidence described. Views such as were propounded in the indicted 2015 speeches at meetings arranged for the purpose of those speeches being heard by an invited audience did not come to the fore suddenly, but developed as a result of a number of factors. At the heart of the Crown's case was the declaration of the Caliphate on 29 June 2014 in land taken by force by ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Evidence of what the appellants were...

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