Terrorism Court Cases

Early terrorism cases include the following:

2003

Zeky Mallah

The first person charged under the 2002 legislation. He was acquitted in April 2005 of two charges of preparing for a terrorist act, when a jury found he had not planned to shoot dead ASIO and Foreign Affairs officers in a suicide mission. He pleaded guilty to threatening to kill a Commonwealth officer and was jailed for 2 1/2 years. R v Mallah [2005] NSWSC 317 ; [2005] NSWSC 358

2004

Joseph Thomas ("Jihad" Jack Thomas)

Was found guilty of intentionally receiving funds from al-Qaeda and holding a false passport. The first person convicted under terrorism funding legislation. Sentenced to a maximum of 5 years jail with a minimum of 2 years. Sentence overturned on appeal; confession not freely given- R v Thomas [2006] VSCA 165. On 28/8/06 was subject to the first control order. High Court challenge to the control order: Thomas v Mowbray & Ors, preliminary hearing 2/10/06, 19/10/06, 31/10/06; main hearing 5/12/06, 6/12/06, 20/2/07, 21/2/07. Decision upholding control order, 2/8/07. Retrial of original charges ordered by the Vic Court of Appeal [2008] VSCA 107. Found guilty (23/10/08) of possessing a false passport but not of receiving funds from al-Qaeda

2004

Jack Roche

Found guilty of conspiring to blow up the Israeli embassy. Jailed for 9 years. R v Roche [2005] WASCA 4. Note that the conviction was under pre-2002 legislation (Crimes Act s.86, as at 2000) and not under terrorism legislation.

2006

Faheem Khalid Lodhi

First person to be convicted of preparing for a terrorist act. Also found guilty on 2 other charges. Sentenced on 23/8/06 to 20 years jail, with 15 year non-parole period. R v Lodhi [2006] NSWSC 691. Several related NSW Supreme Court cases 2005+ - see AustLII. Appeal dismissed 20/12/07. Further appeal to the High Court refused 13/6/08 [2008] HCATrans 225

2006

Belal Khazaal

Charged with inciting terrorism by producing a book on how to wage a jihad. Found guilty by NSW Supreme Court jury in September 2008. Sentenced to12 years imprisonment.

2006

Izhar ul-Haque

Charged with training with a terrorist organisation. NSW pre-trial hearings 27/5/2004 hearing & decision, 8/2/06, 9/8/06, High Court hearing re constitutionality of legislation 6/7/06 and 4/8/06, and again on 9/2/07. Charge dropped 12/11/07 after trial judge criticises conduct of ASIO officers 5/11/07. IGIS report

2006

Abdul Nacer Benbrika

Arrested along with 21 others (11 in Victoria & 9 in NSW). Charged with being a leader of a terrorist cell. Trial before Victorian Supreme Court February-September 2008. Some related decisions on AustLII eg [2007] VSC 261. Found guilty by a jury 15 Sept 2008. Judge's sentencing remarks. Of the 9 arrested in Sydney 4 pleaded guilty to lesser charges, while 5 were found guilty of conspiracy & sentenced to a maximum of 23 to 28 years imprisonment on 15/2/10 . Some convictions and sentences were overturned by the Victorian Court of Appeal, 25/10/10.

2006

John Howard Amundsen

Charged with using false documents to obtain explosives, preparing to commit an act of terrorism, using telecommunications to make a threat and a hoax threat, possessing a foreign passport without reasonable excuse, and making counterfeit money or counterfeit securities. Terrorism charges dropped, February 2007.

2007

First non-Muslim related terrorist charges

Three Melbourne men (Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, Arumungan Rajeevan and Sivarajah Yathavan) charged with supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) in Sri Lanka. AFP press release, 1/5/07. Victorian Supreme Court bail application, 17/7/07. Trial 24/12/2009. Sentencing hearing 2-5 February 2010. Given suspended sentences, 31 March 2010 [2010] VSC 148.

Mentions of terrorism trials in Australia or involving Australians from 2010 may be available in The Australian newspaper

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