Give Phillip Boulten an award for imagination. It wasn’t jihad, it was detergent. It wasn’t a terrorism manual, it was a kid’s toy. “‘Terrorism manual’ a ‘Boy’s Own spy kit,'” from the Sydney Morning Herald, with thanks to JE:
The case against accused Sydney terrorist Faheem Khalid Lodhi was completely and utterly rebutted and based on “speculative analysis”, a court has heard.
Lodhi not only did not believe in “violent jihad”, as alleged by the Crown, but did not support any type of violence against anyone, his defence barrister told the NSW Supreme Court today.
Defence barrister Phillip Boulten, SC, said there were legitimate business reasons for Lodhi possessing maps of the Australian electricity grid and aerial photographs of three Sydney defence sites.
Mr Boulten said Lodhi was planning to start a detergent business and that was why he contacted Deltrex Chemicals inquiring about substances.
“He was not planning a terrorist act, he certainly may have collected and possessed documents, but none of them were intended to be used or in connection with terrorist acts,” Mr Boulten said.
Lodhi is on trial on four terror-related charges – namely that he was preparing in October, 2003, for a terrorist act.
Mr Boulten said Lodhi did not own and had no knowledge of two CDs which the Crown alleged were his and contained fundamentalist doctrine including “violent jihad”.
He said he looked at aerial photographs on the internet of defence sites Holsworthy Army Barracks, Victoria Barracks and HMAS Penguin – which he had previously worked on as an architect – simply because he was able to and with no illegal motivation.
He said material that Lodhi possessed, which the Crown called a “terrorism manual”, was nothing more than a “Boy’s Own spy kit”.
He said Lodhi had never been convicted of any criminal charge and had strong family ties to Australia, with many relatives working here in professions.
His wife is a medical doctor, said Mr Boulten.
Oh, his wife’s a doctor! Then he can’t be a terrorist. Why didn’t you say so sooner?