London, Aug.2 : Over three years after three men were accused of helping bombers plan a terror attack on July 7, 2005, the trial has collapsed with the jury failing to reach a verdict.
According to The Telegraph, the jury of eight women and four men had deliberated for almost three weeks after a three month trial at Kingston Crown Court in southwest London, but failed to reach a verdict. It is now understood that the prosecution will seek a retrial.
Waheed Ali, 25, Sadeer Saleem, 28, and Mohammed Shakil, 32, are the only people ever to be charged in connection with the bombings which killed 52 people. The three men, all from Beeston in Leeds, were accused of conducting a "hostile reconnaissance" mission for the bombers seven months before the attacks. They were joined by two of the bombers as they visited Kings Cross along with the London Aquarium and Natural History Museum, eight days before Christmas in December 2004. All three had also been on training camps in Pakistan with Mohammed Sidique Khan, the leader of the bombers, the last, just months before the attacks.
Queen's Counsel Neil Flewitt told the jury: "It is the prosecution case that, although these defendants may not have been the masterminds of the plan that lay behind the London bombings, they shared the same beliefs and motivation as the London bombers and so willingly and knowingly agreed to assist them in their preparations by carrying out a hostile reconnaissance." e said the places they visited bore a "striking similarity" to the targets of July 7 and the trip was an "essential preparatory step" for the attacks.
But no CCTV had survived from the trip and the prosecution relied on mobile phone cell site analysis to show where the men had been.
The defence claimed the men were really on a "small adventure" to London, only visited Kings Cross to stay in a hostel, and never went onto the London Underground because they had a car.
All three said they had fallen out with the gang in the months before July 2005.
Andrew Hall, who is representing Sadeer Saleem, warned the jury: "This man is no bomber. He was a friend of the bombers but someone who was in complete ignorance as to their intentions. He was a man in the wrong place at the wrong time and now caught up in a nightmare."