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'Air plot' police given more time

BBC | August 30 2006

Police have been given more time to question five suspects in connection with the alleged airplane terror plot.

Anti-Terrorist Branch officers were granted warrants of further detention for seven more days for the five.

The lawyer for one of them, Muhammed Usman Siddique, 24, criticised the conditions his client has been held in since his arrest three weeks ago.

A total of 15 people have been charged with various offences in connection with the investigation.

The five suspects still being held without charge have spent 21 days in police custody.

Under anti-terror laws, they can only be held for a further seven days before they have to be charged or released.

'Difficult conditions'

Mr Siddique's lawyer, Khalid Elahi, said his client had been subjected to daily strip-searches and his physical and mental wellbeing had suffered.

Speaking outside Paddington Green police station, Mr Elahi said: "As you can appreciate my client has had a very difficult 21 days in police custody.

"During this time he has been questioned continuously on a regular basis under extremely difficult conditions."

The lawyer said that, if Mr Siddique was eventually released without charge, the memory of Paddington Green was "likely to haunt him for the remainder of his life".

He said the decision to hold Mr Siddique for a further seven days was not justified.

Earlier on Wednesday, three men appeared in court on terrorism charges over the alleged plot to bring down planes over the Atlantic.

Mohammed Shamin Uddin, 35, Mohammed Yasar Gulzar, 25, and Nabeel Hussain, 22, were accused of conspiracy to murder and preparing an act of terrorism.

The men, all from London, were remanded in custody by City of Westminster magistrates until 18 September, when they will appear at the Old Bailey.


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