Majority verdict granted in fertiliser bomb trial

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The judge presiding over the trial of seven British men accused of plotting to detonate bombs made from fertiliser in the UK has said he will accept a majority verdict.

Jurors have spent more than three weeks deliberating in the year-long trial, and have now been told by Sir Michael Astill that a majority of ten-two or 11-one is acceptable.

The seven defendants all deny charges of conspiring to cause explosions likely to endanger life between January 1st 2003 and March 31st 2004.

Charges were brought against the men, all British citizens, after 600kg of ammonium nitrate was discovered in a lockup in west London in March 2004.

The prosecution alleges that Kent's Bluewater shopping centre and the Ministry of Sound nightclub in central London were among their bomb targets.

Standing trial at the Old Bailey are Jawad Akbar, 23; Omar Khyam; 25, Shujah Mahmood; 20; and Waheed Mahmood, 35; all of whom are from Crawley, West Sussex, alongside Salahuddin Amin, 32, of Luton, Bedfordshire; Anthony Garcia, 25, of Barkingside, east London; and Nabeel Hussain, 22, of Hurley, Surrey.

Mr Garcia, Mr Hussain and Mr Khyam also deny an additional charge of possessing ammonium nitrate for terrorism purposes.

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