Man appears in court to deny terror offence after arrest

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An Austrian national has pleaded not guilty after being charged with a terror offence at the officers of an independent Iranian television station in west London. Magomed-Husejn Dovtaev, 30, was detained at Chiswick Business Park on Saturday by officers from the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command.

It alleged he had in his possession several records containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

These were seven videos depicting the outside of Building 11, Chiswick Business Park, as well as its security arrangements, contrary to section 58 (1) (b) of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Speaking via a German-Austrian interpreter, Dovtaev pleaded not guilty to the charge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Dovtaev was bearded and wearing a grey sweatshirt and tracksuit bottoms.

Chief magistrate Paul Goldspring remanded Dovtaev in custody, to next appear at the Old Bailey on March 3.

Michael Haggar was prosecuting and Seemsa Dosas was defending.

The unit is the base of a Persian language television station critical of the Iranian regime.

In a statement issued after the remand, Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “We are aware that an arrest of this nature in this particular area, and the subsequent charge against this person may cause some concern amongst the local community and those who work in the area.

“With criminal proceedings now active we are unable to comment any further on this particular case.

“However, detectives worked quickly to gather evidence that has led to this particular charge, and officers will continue to work to support the prosecution.”

He continued: “Those who work in and around the Chiswick Business Park are likely to be aware that we introduced enhanced security measures in that particular area late last year.

“We continue to work closely with those affected by any threats to ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support. We have also put in place a number of protective security measures to mitigate against these threats, but we would ask people to continue to stay alert, but not be alarmed.

“As always, the public should stay vigilant and report anything suspicious to police right away.”

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