UK

Brothers deny kidnapping journalists in Syria

john cantlie
Image caption UK photographer John Cantlie was taken hostage for a week while working in conflict-hit Syria

Two brothers from east London have denied being involved in kidnapping journalists in Syria in July 2012.

NHS doctor Shajul Islam, 27, is accused of being part of a group that held a British photographer and a Dutch journalist for a week in July 2012.

He entered a not guilty plea at Kingston Crown Court to unlawful imprisonment, which prosecutors say he carried out as an act of terrorism.

His brother Najul Islam, 32, denied one count of assisting the kidnap.

He has been charged with paying for the doctor to travel to Syria, along with another man, Jubayer Chowdhury, knowing that they would "be engaging or be prepared to engage in acts of terrorism".

He is also accused of paying for supplies including night vision goggles, air rifle optic mounts and medical equipment, and driving from the UK to Turkey to deliver them to his brother, Shajul.

Chowdhury, 24, of no fixed address, is also accused of unlawful imprisonment but has yet to enter a plea.

The Islam brothers, who are from Stratford, are due to face trial later in the year, with the next hearing in the case due at Kingston Crown Court on 2 August.

Photographer John Cantlie and journalist Jeroen Oerlemans were kept handcuffed and blindfolded at a Syrian camp after being captured as they travelled into Syria to cover the conflict.

Mr Cantlie worked for various newspapers including the Sunday Times.

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