In other words, you must not educate yourselves about the context of these men’s actions. To do so would be prejudiced. Of course, Justice Bernard Bongiorno is himself pre-judging that no such material would be relevant or illuminating in this case, and assuming that Islam has nothing to do with it on a priori grounds and almost certainly in defiance of the defendants’ own sentiments. But that’s not prejudice.
“No place for prejudice in terror case, judge tells potential jurors,” by Karen Kissane for The Age (thanks to Wallhacker):
POTENTIAL jurors in a terror trial due to open next week have been warned by a Supreme Court judge that they should excuse themselves from jury duty if they were prejudiced against Muslims.
Justice Bernard Bongiorno is presiding over the trial of Abdul Nacer Benbrika and 11 other Melbourne men accused of terrorist activities. The men were arraigned yesterday before a jury of 10 women and five men. All the defendants pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The trial is tipped to be one of Victoria’s longest and most complex, with an extra-large jury of 15 empanelled to sit for between six and nine months.
Nearly 1200 Victorians were called as potential jurors in the case over four days last week, as it was expected that many would need to be excused because of the length of the trial.
Justice Bongiorno told them the Crown alleged the defendants were members of a terrorist organisation.
He said: “All the accused in this case are Muslims “¦ There are people in our community who hold and sometimes express attitudes which might be regarded as hostile to or discriminatory towards Muslims simply because they are Muslims.
“Let me say this to you very clearly: there is no place for such a person on a jury in this case. No place whatsoever.”
Justice Bongiorno told them if they could not be impartial, they should ask to be excused from jury duty.
“For a juror to judge an accused person not by reference solely to the evidence against him, but because of who he is, would be wicked indeed,” he warned. […]
Justice Bongiorno warned them strongly against being influenced by media reports or trying to do their own research on topics linked to the trial. “You must not start reading about Islam or Muslims or terrorism or anything of that nature. You must not go to the internet and seek any information. The information that you have to decide this case will be given to you in this courtroom. I can’t emphasise this more strongly.”…