UK bombing suspect says statements were a joke

September 15, 2006 20:01

A man accused of plotting to detonate bombs in Britain acknowledged talking about blowing up the Houses of Parliament, but said the suggestion was meant as a joke. Omar Khyam, 24, who is standing trial along with six others, denies conspiring to cause an explosion. He told jurors at London's Central Criminal Court that, while watching Prime Minister Tony Blair take questions in the House of Commons in 2003, "we just made a comment 'Can you imagine if you dropped a bomb right there and then? You would take out all the MPs (Members of Parliament)." Khyam confirmed it was him who had made the comment, but when asked by defense lawyer Joel Bennathan if the proposal was serious, he said "no."

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