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Ex-soldier accused of receiving terrorism training in Iraq or Syria

James Matthews will face trial at the Old Bailey in November, accused of attending camps run by militia fighting against Islamic State.

A British ex-soldier accused of attending terrorist training camps run by militia fighting against Islamic State is to face trial in late November.

James Matthews, 43, from Dalston, east London, is charged with receiving instruction or training in Iraq and Syria on or before February 15 2016 “for purposes connected to the commission of preparation of terrorism”.

The defendant appeared at the Old Bailey before Mr Justice Haddon-Cave and was represented by Joel Bennathan QC.

He spoke to confirm his identity and British nationality and stood in the well of the court behind his barrister.

The senior judge set a preparatory and plea hearing to take place on a date in May with a provisional three-week trial from late November.

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said the case would be heard by a High Court judge and take place at the Old Bailey.

It is believed this is the first time that terrorism legislation has been used to prosecute someone who is helping a group who are also being assisted by the UK Government.

Matthews, who has previously indicated he will plead not guilty, was remanded on conditional bail.

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