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'JFK plot suspects can't get fair trial'

world Updated: Dec 11, 2007 11:56 IST

Two men accused of plotting to bomb New York's John F Kennedy International Airport should not be extradited because they cannot get a fair trial in the US, their defence lawyer said on Monday.

Syerd Hussein, who represents suspects Abdul Kadir and Kareem Ibrahim, said in a Trinidadian court hearing that his clients should not be sent to the US because widespread publicity has made a fair trial impossible.

The two men and a third suspect, Abdel Nur, were arrested in the twin-island Caribbean nation in June and face conspiracy charges in the US. A fourth man, Guyanese-born Russell Defreitas, who worked as a cargo-handler at the airport until 1995, is in custody in New York.

The suspects have denied allegations they participated in a terror cell that planned to blow up a jet fuel artery that runs through residential neighborhoods and feeds JFK.

US authorities say the alleged plotters unsuccessfully sought help in Trinidad from Jamaat al Muslimeen, a radical Islamic group that staged a deadly coup attempt in 1990. According to court documents, the men also planned to seek help from Iran.

In early August, a judge rejected a defense argument that Ibrahim, Kadir and Nur could not be extradited under Trinidadian law.

Yesterday, appeals court Judge Nolan Bereaux scheduled a Wednesday continuation for the cases of the three suspects, who are being held without bail.