Hamza trial takes a new turn
The radical cleric who is standing trial on charges of inciting religious hatred denied all knowledge about the alleged 'jihad encyclopaedia'.Updated: Jan 27, 2006 19:49 IST
The radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri who is standing trial on charges of inciting religious hatred and soliciting murder denied all knowledge about an alleged "terror manual" said to have been found in his house and that it contained a dedication to Osama Bin Laden.
The prosecution also say the "Encyclopaedia of Afghani Jihad" included a passage suggesting a list of potential targets. Giving evidence he also denied urging a "tinderbox" congregation at London's Finsbury Park mosque to go out and murder.
When asked about the encyclopaedia, which he said was given to him as a gift and which he had not read; he said that Bin Laden had not been a wanted man in 1994.
"He was not required by anyone. The Sudanese government even offered him to America. They said 'we have a person here...' They said 'we do not need him'. He was only sought by the Americans after 1998."
He said topics covered included "what provokes Muslims; what is so-called suicide bombing evidence; the ideals of Muslims; who comes to this country; what would be provoking them; freedom of speech and the limits." And, as he finished giving evidence, the cleric repeated his denial that he had either incited Muslims to kill or incited racial hatred.
First Published: Jan 27, 2006 00:00 IST