Hearing go ahead in bootlegging case

CROWN Court officials today confirmed that a hearing is expected to take place in October to progress the case against an alleged cigarette smuggler.It is believed Colin Berry, who is accused of smuggling seven million contraband cigarettes into Suffolk, will be assessed to establish whether he is fit to enter a plea to the charge against him.

CROWN Court officials today confirmed that a hearing is expected to take place in October to progress the case against an alleged cigarette smuggler.

It is believed Colin Berry, who is accused of smuggling seven million contraband cigarettes into Suffolk, will be assessed to establish whether he is fit to enter a plea to the charge against him.

A spokesman for Chelmsford Crown Court said: "There is going to be a hearing at some point, it just a question of when. The case has not been listed yet.

"The hearing is likely to be heard at Chelmsford as the judge dealing with the case sits here most of the time."

Berry returned to the country after being released from an Afghan jail after he had been held there for six months accused of killing two police officers at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul.

Mr Berry, from Stanway, near Colchester, flew back to the UK at the weekend to be reunited with his wife, Alison.

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The 38-year-old father of two young sons, was released on Wednesday following an appeal on compassionate grounds from Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. He is thought to be in urgent need of medical treatment.

Mr Berry, who was helping build homes in the war-torn city, was shot in the stomach during the exchange of fire and was treated in hospital before he was taken into custody.

Mr Berry was arrested after the contraband was seized at Deben Freight, based at Rendlesham airfield in December 2000.