Syria terror accused Eamon Bradley 'hid under trees' during battles

Eamon Bradley Image copyright Alan Lewis
Image caption Eamon Bradley denies six charges including attending a rebel training camp in Syria

A Londonderry man accused of terrorism told police that he hid from the sun under trees during battles in Syria, a court has heard.

Eamon Bradley - a Muslim convert from Melmore Gardens in Creggan - is on trial at Londonderry Crown Court.

The 28-year-old faces six charges, including attending a rebel training camp in Syria and receiving training in guns and grenades.

He denies committing the offences between 31 March and 29 October 2014.

On the fourth day of his trial on Tuesday, the court heard transcripts of police interviews with Mr Bradley, where he told officers that during battles "we were just waiting in cars or hiding from the sun under the trees".

A defence barrister asked a detective constable giving evidence to the court if Mr Bradley's account of his activities during battles reminded him of any battle scenes on television.

"This man has told you that his battles consisted of hiding from the sun and sitting in the car," the barrister said.

"He might as well have been describing a scene from Monty Python."

Image caption The court heard that police asked Mr Bradley if he was in Syria as he claimed

The barrister added that the defendant told police that he sheltered under the trees as he and other fighters came under fire from the air.

But the detective constable told the court that he presumed Mr Bradley was not on the front line at the time, and that it made sense to seek cover when under aerial bombardment.

The defence barrister also asked the constable if it was correct that the accused was "picked up" by the PSNI on his return to Derry on the basis of information that officers gleaned from a computer and a handful of photographs.

But the constable replied: "No, not in totality. I believe in the course of the first search there was information forthcoming from the family."

The court also heard that Mr Bradley told police that he did not know what kind of bullets were fired by members of the Army of Islam - the rebel faction he allegedly trained with in Syria - because these things were conducted in Arabic.

Check movements

During the course of the police interviews, Mr Bradley was also asked if he was in Syria, as he claimed.

His defence barrister told the court that "whoever is asking that question is clearly doubting".

He added: "It's almost despairing and it's asking 'was he even in the place?'"

But the constable told the court that the police officer was simply revisiting all the interviews conducted with Mr Bradley.

The detective also told the court that the PSNI did not contact police in Turkey to check the defendant's movements in the country.

Mr Bradley's barrister asked the constable if the PSNI rang police in Turkey or Interpol to check if they were aware if the defendant stayed in the country as he travelled to Syria.

The constable said that neither he nor the PSNI had done that, adding that this would usually be done through a letter of request on a country-to-country basis.

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