A Dewsbury businessman who was convicted of a terror offence after Mujahideen training notes were found at his home today lost his bid to clear his name.
Adeel Amjad, 35, of Headfield Road, Savile Town, was arrested after cops found the allegedly illicit document at his home in November 2013.
The notes were discovered in a search during an entirely different investigation and concerned required fitness levels for fighters.
Amjad said he had been given the information, but denied any unlawful intention. He only wanted to lose weight, he said.
However, he was found guilty at Leeds Crown Court in October last year of having a record containing information contrary to the Terrorism Act.
He was given a suspended jail term, but took his case back to court in June in a bid to clear his name.
But today, after considering the case with Mr Justice Singh and Mr Justice Kerr, appeal judge Lady Justice Rafferty dismissed Amjad’s arguments.
The case reached the Court of Appeal because the notes found at Amjad’s home were strikingly similar to material found online.
Police searches of the internet revealed similar material in a document titled Crusaders War on Iraq and in a Wikipedia reference to its author being a “terrorist”.
The prosecution said it was no coincidence that material identical to that in Amjad’s notebook was attributed to a known terrorist.
The defence tried to stop the “open source” material from the internet being used in the trial, but the crown court judge allowed the jury to hear of it.
Appealing, Amjad’s barrister, Paul Crampin, argued that the trial judge had been wrong to allow the internet search material into the case.
But rejecting the appeal, Lady Justice Rafferty said the prosecution was entitled to rely on the notes’ similarity to the alleged terror materials online.
And Judge Peter Collier QC, who heard the original trial, had given the jury a strong warning not to place too much weight on the online evidence.
“He cautioned the jury to beware of the use it made of it and directed it not to convict on the basis that material identical to that found in Amjad’s home was also on the internet and attributed to a person believed to be a terrorist engaged in Jihad,” she said.
“At most, he said, it might be some support for the crown’s case.
“The judge’s uncompromising and powerful warning to the jury, we are confident, was a sufficient safeguard.
“This appeal is dismissed.”