A man accused of terrorism offences was unable to attend court after a Covid-19 outbreak at the prison where he is being held on remand, a jury heard.
Sam Imrie, 24, wasn’t able to participate in proceedings against him on Wednesday at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Judge Lord Mulholland told jurors that this was because an inmate at Perth Prison had tested positive for coronavirus.
The jury heard that Imrie is on remand at ‘Bravo Hall’ of the jail and isn’t serving a sentence for any offences. They were also told that Imrie has been identified as a “close contact” of the prisoner with Covid-19 and must remain in isolation until October 24.
Lord Mulholland read jurors the contents of a letter which had been sent to the court by the governor of Perth Prison detailing the Covid outbreak.
He told jurors that the case wouldn’t be able to progress against Imrie as the law stated he must physically attend the court.
Telling the jurors that the court wouldn’t sit for the rest of the week, Lord Mulholland added: “Sometimes you have to play the cards that you are dealt with.”
Imrie denies all nine charges against him. He is accused of publishing or causing another person to publish statements, images and video footage on Facebook and internet platform Telegram glorifying terrorist acts committed by Tarrant and Breivik.
He is accused of posting statements on Telegram indicating he planned to stream live footage of “an incident” and posting statements suggesting he was going to carry out an attack on the Fife Islamic Centre.
Prosecutors allege Imrie collected information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism between June 20 and July 4 2019.
Prosecutors claim that Imrie possessed a quantity of ‘Nazi, neo-Nazi, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic and other racist’ texts, audio files and texts which ‘glorified terrorism’.
He is said to have driven to the Fife Islamic Centre in Poplar Road, Glenrothes where he ‘carried out observations’ whilst in possession of a can of petrol. It is said that he later posted images of the place of worship to instant messaging website Telegram.
It’s claimed that he was planning to attack Fife Islamic Centre and was planning to “live stream” an incident.
It is also alleged that Imrie then went to St Drostan’s cemetery at Markinch, Fife, and set fire to a property there.
Imrie denies nine charges. As well as those relating to the materials and online posts said to have breached the Terrorism Act 2006, he also faces charges concerning child pornography, possessing ‘extreme’ pornographic material and being found ‘unfit to drive through drink or drugs’ in July 2019.
Imrie has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The trial, before judge Lord Mulholland, continues on Monday.