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Russian student appears in court on university explosives charges
Updated 4:18pm Tuesday 17th June 2014 in News
A RUSSIAN student arrested in connection with bomb scares at a North-East university was allegedly carrying two knives when he was detained outside his country’s embassy.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Aust was arrested in central London on June 10 after a suspicious substance was found in Newcastle University’s language school buildings.
The INTO Building in central Newcastle, which provides accommodation for many of the university’s international students, was sealed off and evacuated twice in a matter of days. A controlled explosion was later carried out by bomb disposal experts on the nearby Town Moor.
The 18-year-old appeared in court this morning (June 17) accused of making an explosive substance between September 1 last year and June 11 this year.
Mr Aust is also accused of carrying two lock knives when he was arrested close to the Russian embassy in Bayswater Road.
The student, whose address was given as Haymarket Lane, in Newcastle, was remanded in custody when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court.
Wearing a grey-green T-shirt and white running bottoms, he spoke only to confirm his name and address with the aid of an interpreter.
The defendant showed no emotion when District Judge Emma Arbuthnot told him that he would be remanded in custody until he appears at Newcastle Crown Court on June 23.
Mr Aust is charged with the manufacture of an explosive substance, contrary to the Explosive Substances Act 1883.
He is also accused of carrying a bladed article in a public place.
A second 18-year-old Russian student who was also arrested last week in connection with the incident remains on police bail pending further inquiries.
Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Jo Farrell said: "We'd like to reassure people that following an extensive investigation a man has now been charged in connection with the incident at Newcastle University and will now progress through the court process.
“I'd like to stress to people that this appears to have been an isolated incident.
"We've worked closely with our partners including the Counter Terrorism Unit and Newcastle University throughout to keep the public safe and ensure they have been updated throughout the past week."