James Scobie QC and Catherine Oborne of Garden Court represented Abdul Lounici, instructed by Nawal Asskoumi of Stuart Miller Solicitors.
Following a four week trial, Mr Lounici was acquitted of double murder by the jury in just over an hour on 17th October 2019.
Mr Lounici was charged with the double murder of two young men from Leytonstone. The murders took place in 2014. Shortly afterwards, Mr Lounici left the country for Algeria, and he remained there for five years.
In the meantime, seven others were tried at the Central Criminal Court. Four were convicted and three were acquitted.
Mr Lounici returned to the UK on 28th February 2019 in order to “clear his name”. He was immediately arrested on arrival at the airport and interviewed. In his interview, he said that he was not at the scene. He said that there had been an incident shortly before the murders where youths from Leytonstone had threatened the car he was in, causing him to get out of the car to escape. At the same time the driver of the car, his friend and one of those convicted in the first trial, had reversed the car, knocking him over and causing him bleeding injuries. This explained why his blood was found in a vehicle which went on to be present at the scene of the murders later that evening. Mr Lounici said that he was subsequently dropped off home because he was injured and was not present at the scene of the murders later on.
Mr Lounici provided his mobile telephone number to police on arrest, saying that it would support his case that he was at home at the time of the murders. Although there was a gap in his telephone data at the time that the murders took place, the cell site data before and shortly after the murders was consistent with him being at his home.
Following a four week trial at the Central Criminal Court, and after Mr Lounici gave evidence for four days, he was acquitted by the jury in just over an hour.
James Scobie QC of Garden Court, representing Mr Lounici with Catherine Oborne, also of Garden Court, said:
"Catherine Oborne’s input in achieving this result cannot be underestimated . Her mastery of the thousands of pages in this telephone heavy trial closed the Crown down from making points against the Defendant’s usage of his phone they otherwise would have done. Her legal argument drafting curtailed the Crown from putting the case in the way they initially wanted. She spotted jury points that greatly assisted in dismantling much of the Crown’s case. Her strength, resilience and sheer hard work pushed her to achieve all she could for the client.That he was acquitted by the jury within an hour was no small measure down to her efforts.This was a double murder allegation of the utmost gravity. Catherine’s efforts will not be forgotten by the Defendant and his family, nor those on all sides of this difficult trial."