British radical preacher Choudary granted bail

4th September 2015, Comments 0 comments

A British judge on Friday granted bail to high-profile radical preacher Anjem Choudary, who faces charges for inviting support for the Islamic State jihadist group through social media.

The 48-year-old Choudary, who has been frequently interviewed by British and US media on his views on Islam and the Middle East, was arrested last month and has indicated he will plead not guilty.

He appeared via video link from the top security prison where he was being held.

Choudary and his co-accused Mohammed Rahman, who faces the same charge, are due to stand trial next year.

"I am concerned about anything being disseminated publicly by either of them or on their behalf which would encourage others to go to live in Syria as part of their religious duty," judge John Saunders said.

"I have not found this an easy decision but I do consider that the conditions of bail proposed will substantially reduce the risk of dissemination of those views," he added.

The Conservative government of Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to clamp down on extremists it blames for radicalising young people after hundreds of recruits were reported to have left Britain to join Islamic State.

Cameron has promised new legislation to "put out of action the key extremist influencers who are careful to operate just inside the law, but who clearly detest British society and everything we stand for".

© 2015 AFP

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