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November 19, 2013

Secret terror trial adjourned while judge considers press ban

By Darren Boyle

A secret court case involving two unidentified terror suspects has been adjourned until next month.

Prosecutors want the names of both defendants kept secret as well as a number of the charges.

In addition, prosecutors want to bar the public and journalists from the court room while the trial is underway.

Both men are understood to be 25 year old British citizens. One of whom is of Turkish background while the second man is believed to of Algerian heritage.

The court heard today from a secret source who gave evidence behind closed doors on the need for an order to prevent the press from reporting on the case.

Mr Justice Sweeney adjourned the proceedings in order to consider the application.

One of the men, known only as AB is charged with preparing terrorist acts and possessing a terrorist document. He faces life imprisonment.

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The second man, CD, has been charged with possessing a terrorist document and an offence under the Identity Documents Act.

The court has been told that neither defendant should be identified as it would interfere with an ongoing investigation.

Prosecutors claim that associates of the men may be able to identify them if specific details relating to the charges are made public.

Measures included within the Justice and Security Act have allowed secret sessions to go ahead in High Court actions involving national security, while anonymity orders are also common at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

However, this level of secrecy is rare in criminal courts, where almost all proceedings are held in public.

The judge will announce his decision on 13 December. 

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