One of the most damning developments in this story is how the University has publicly diminished the role play by Hicham Yezza in the School of Modern Languages in an effort to protect its image. The University misidentified research materials on his computer as ‘illegal’ failing to properly evaluate them. Subsequently they have repeatedly claimed that Hicham had “no academic reason to possess such a document”.  This, unfairly, overlooks three important points:
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1) As a member of staff Hicham had even better terms of access to the library than Rizwaan! The book is available to ANYBODY with a library card.
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2) Post-arrest the University has glossed over Hicham’s other roles. In an article for the Guardian, Hicham wrote:
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“As an undergraduate and PhD student, I had spent the best part of 10 years serving the university, including as a member of its senate and student union executive. I was a key point of contact between management and Muslim students on campus. For a decade, university prospectuses carried a profile of me, quoting my description of the institution as “excellent”.

He was also editor of the politics and current affairs magazine Ceasefire. He was extremely well known and so were his writing abilities, which is why Rizwaan emailed him  research materials when asking for help with his PhD proposal on Islamic Extremism.
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3) Even if Hicham needed an academic reason to possess a perfectly legal document there was one. Click on this link for the ‘Centre for Post-Conflict Cultures‘ and see where the “school home” tab takes you  –  it takes you to the School of Modern Languages where Hicham was “Principal Administrator” to the Head of School. Within the remit of his work, which involved interactions with the School’s entire academic staff, Hicham was routinely sent a wide range of academic literature (including  papers and books in pdf format) by academic colleagues including some that touched on the academic study of terrorism and conflict. Yet the University continues to claim that Hicham was “an individual who was neither an academic member of staff, nor a student, and in a School where one would not expect to find such material being used for research purposes”.
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