NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Student cleared of terrorism offences to graduate in Aberdeen

Yousif Badri
Image caption Yousif Badri was cleared in October

A medical student cleared of terrorism offences is to finally graduate from the University of Aberdeen.

Yousif Badri was cleared by a jury at the High Court in Glasgow of being involved in conduct "with the intention of committing acts of terrorism".

The 30-year-old had been due to graduate in 2013 but did not due to his arrest and subsequent prosecution.

Mr Badri will now graduate in absentia with a degree in medicine, three years later than planned.

His trial heard allegations that a tub of nails found in his home could be ingredients for a bomb because he did not have a hammer - an accusation he branded "silly".

After the verdict last October, judge Lord Turnbull told Mr Badri: "The court would like to wish you well in your continued medical career."

The judge told the jury that he "wholeheartedly agreed" with the not guilty verdicts they had returned.

'Seeking compensation'

Speaking from his family home in Halifax, Yorkshire, Mr Badri told BBC's Good Morning Scotland: "When I think about it now I kind of forget about the bad times. Once you are acquitted you just want to get on with life.

"I can remember just wanting to be out of sight, not getting involved in things because you have this cloud hanging over you.

"I want to lay it to rest - I want to move on in my life.

"Maybe I didn't make it clear that I don't have an issue with people investigating.

"But there was a sub-optimal approach to the whole thing and questions should be asked.

"And yes, I am seeking financial compensation, but that's not the main issue - the main issue is education and better training."

On the evidence presented at his trial, Mr Badri added: "A tub of nails was found in a DIY cupboard but because the hammer wasn't there it was considered suspicious.

"When you look back it is funny, silly, but if you remember the context was that the Lee Rigby murder had just happened, ISIS were emerging, there were big issues.

"There were over 500,000 files on my computer. Books about social cohesion, tackling extremism, inter-faith ideas, promoting good ethics and morals.

"The evidence in trial eventually boiled down to 14 files."

'Fringe nutters'

During his trial, Mr Badri gave evidence and accused so-called Islamic State of "hijacking" Muslim history.

He said he had al-Qaeda material on his computer for research purposes only.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Berryden Retail Park was one of the places where offences were alleged to have been committed

When asked if he was a terrorist or intended to become a terrorist, he replied: "No, of course not."

The court also heard Mr Badri retweeted two weeks before he was arrested that the murderers of soldier Lee Rigby were "fringe nutters".

It was suggested that because Mr Badri had a large tub of nails and no hammer, the nails could be an ingredient for a bomb.

'Right thing'

However, the court heard the nails had been brought to the flat by Mr Badri's father while he was carrying out DIY work and the hammer had been borrowed by a friend and not returned.

The prosecution told the jury it was the "right thing to do" to return guilty verdicts.

However, defence QC Murdo Macleod said: "He is not a radical, he is not a terrorist, he has extremely tolerant views.

"He is a young man who wants to clear his name and get on with his career as a junior doctor."

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