Aidan James, 28, has been cleared of making ready acts of terrorism after a choose dominated he travelled to Syria in 2017 with the only real intention of preventing towards ISIS
A British father who travelled to Syria to struggle towards ISIS has been cleared of 1 terrorism cost at present after the choose dominated he had no case to reply.
Aidan James, 28, has been on trial on the Outdated Bailey in London accused of making ready acts of terrorism by preventing alongside proscribed Kurdish militia the PKK towards jihadis in Iraq and Syria in 2017.
However the prosecution dropped these prices halfway by means of the trial on the premise that James’ actions had been solely centered on opposing ISIS, moderately than attempting to additional the Kurdish trigger.
The daddy-of-one, of Merseyside, stays on trial accused of attending two terrorist coaching camps – one in Iraq with the PKK and one other in Syria with one other Kurdish preventing power, the YPG.
He determined at present to not give proof over these prices and the case was adjourned till tomorrow for closing speeches.
The PKK is proscribed in Britain as a result of it has fought a terrorist marketing campaign in Turkey, however the UK has supported the YPG, who kind the primary contingent of the anti-ISIS forces.
Addressing the jury, on the finish of the prosecution case, Mr Justice Edis instructed instructed the jury: ‘Yesterday afternoon I made a ruling that there isn’t any case to reply in respect of rely one, the allegation of preparation of terrorism.
James, pictured in 2017 shortly earlier than leaving the UK, had been accused of ‘choosing a trigger’ by coaching and preventing with proscribed Kurdish militia the PKK
However the prosecution dropped the costs towards James, pictured left in Iraq and proper in Syria, as a result of a scarcity of proof that he was attempting to additional the Kurdish trigger. He stays on trial accused of attending terror coaching camps in Iraq and Syria
‘The prosecution don’t search a conviction of Mr James if his exercise was solely restricted to the struggle towards ISIS.
‘They don’t invite you to say that collaborating, by way of weapons by a civilian, within the struggle towards ISIS, is terrorist exercise – whether or not or not it’s in regulation, they don’t search prosecution on that foundation.’
He added: ‘I’ve to resolve whether or not it’s protected so that you can come to the conclusion that Aidan James’s exercise was to offer impact to an intention for terrorist exercise overseas – aside from preventing for ISIS.
‘My ruling was there was no proof adequate so that you can ensure that he had any intention aside from preventing towards ISIS and that’s the reason I made a decision that there was no case to reply.
‘His participation was to do with ISIS. And that being so there isn’t any case on rely one as a result of that’s all about what he was making ready to do.’
Jurors heard James instructed police he ‘simply needed to supply humanitarian help’ however noticed video footage of him firing weapons
His ruling got here as a result of the YPG was ‘absolutely occupied’ with preventing ISIS through the six month ‘tour of responsibility’ that James spent with them.
The choose left open the likelihood that the YPG had wider goals for an autonomous Kurdish area that might imply their coaching camp, and that of the PKK, had been for terrorist functions.
He added: ‘That doesn’t imply that the YPG, which he went to hitch, just isn’t a terrorist organisation that intends to hold out navy exercise to attain its aims.
‘You’ll have to think about if you retire what the intention of the YPG is, whether or not it has intentions past the defeat of Isis.
James, pictured in Syria, determined to not give proof in his defence on the remaining prices
‘Counts two and three are about what sort of coaching was offered when he was there and what it was for and what he knew concerning the coaching and what its objective was. It is about attending a camp the place terrorist coaching is offered.’
The trial has already heard that James had no hyperlink to Syria and no earlier navy expertise.
Mark Heywood QC, prosecuting, mentioned he had ‘picked his trigger’ which ‘fuelled the violence’ within the Syrian civil battle.
James was arrested 4 months earlier than he left Britain and placed on the Forestall de-radicalisation programme, however the bail was later cancelled and his passport returned.
He went on a coaching course in North Wales and acquired physique armour and tools earlier than travelling out to Iraq after which Syria to hitch Kurdish forces in August 2017.
The jury formally entered a not responsible verdict on the cost of making ready acts of terrorism and the case continues towards him on two prices of attending a spot for terrorist coaching.
Andy Corridor QC, representing James, instructed the courtroom his shopper had determined to not give proof in relation to the remaining prices and the case was adjourned earlier than closing speeches on Wednesday.
The choose instructed the jury that James’s resolution meant ‘the jury can draw such inferences as they need from his resolution to not give proof.’
The case continues.
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