Radical British preacher Anjem Choudary faces May trial on terrorism charges

LONDON (AP) — The trial of radical British preacher Anjem Choudary on a charge of leading a terrorist organization will start in May of next year, a judge said Friday.

Choudary, 56, is also charged with two other counts under the Terrorism Act: membership in a banned organization, the radical Muslim group al-Muhajiroun, and addressing meetings to encourage support for the organization over the past year.

The British government outlawed Al-Muhajiroun in 2010. The group has since operated under many names, including the Islamic Thinkers Society, prosecutors said.

Choudary, a high-profile Islamist preacher, appeared for his preliminary hearing in Central Criminal Court, known as the Old Bailey, by video link from a jail in Yorkshire. The gray-bearded and bespectacled Choudary wore a white robe.

A co-defendant, Khaled Hussein, 28, a Canadian citizen, appeared by video from a jail in South London.

Hussein, of Edmonton, Alberta, is charged with membership in al-Muhajiroun. Prosecutors said he worked online with Choudary to provide a platform for the group’s views.

Neither man entered a plea, and each only spoke to confirm their identities.

Justice Jeremy Baker scheduled a plea hearing for Jan. 5 and a provisional trial date of May 20 in Kingston Crown Court.

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