Source: The Guardian
Five young Muslim men yesterday had their terrorism convictions quashed after judges concluded that reading Islamist material was not illegal unless there was "direct" proof it was to be used to inspire violent extremism.
The men had been jailed in July 2006 with the trial judge saying they had been "intoxicated" by extremism after Islamist ideological CDs and computer downloads were found in their possession. The prosecution at their trial claimed the men were preparing to train in Pakistan before fighting in Afghanistan.
They were prosecuted under section 57 of the Terrorism act 2000, which makes it an offence to have books or items useful for a terrorist. Striking down the convictions, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips said: "[Section 57] must be interpreted in a way that requires a direct connection between the object possessed and the act of terrorism."