The defendant’s outburst doesn’t appear to have helped the attorney’s “bless his heart, the boy ain’t right” defense. The judge was not amused. “Terror accused yells at ‘criminal judge’,” for the Australian, May 6 (thanks to Dumbledoresarmy):
A man convicted of conspiracy to commit an act of terror yelled abuse at a Victorian Supreme Court judge, calling her a criminal moments after his lawyer appealed to her to be “as lenient as possible upon a simple man”.
The man, who cannot be named because of a pending separate trial, was convicted last year along with two others of conspiring to attack Sydney’s Holsworthy army base, in a bid to kill as many soldiers as possible and dying martyrs’ deaths.
Islamic martyrdom, wherein those who “slay and are slain” in Allah’s cause are promised paradise (Qur’an 9:111)
In comments apparently aimed at western institutions, the man, who has been held in solitary confinement for the past 22 months, yelled at judge Betty King: “Why do you charge us as criminal? Why don’t you charge yourself as criminal? You kill people for oil. You kill kids. You kill innocent people. You are criminal, we are not criminal.”
In a pre-sentencing plea hearing, the man’s lawyer, Patrick Tehan QC, had described his client as “a vulnerable, naive person”, while the plot to attack Holsworthy was “an amateurish, stupid act”, but at the “mid- to low-range level” of seriousness because “nothing happens”.
Mr Tehan said the men had no ammunition, explosives or maps, and when his client went to Sydney and took a train to the perimeter of the Holsworthy base, where he was filmed on CCTV, he looked “like Charlie Chaplin . . . with his little bag”.
Judge King then interjected, “Except it’s not very funny. The comedy is lacking.”
Judge King said that while she accepted the Holsworthy plot was “as amateurish as I’ve seen” and the man had an extremely low IQ of less than 70, “there is no doubt the community is appalled by a plan to attack the armed services in our country”.
The prisoner, 34, along with Saney Edow Aweys, 27, of Carlton, and Nayef El Sayed, 26, of Glenroy, were found guilty last December of conspiring to prepare for or plan a terrorist act. Two other men were acquitted.
Mr Tehan said his client, who was born in Tripoli, was “a simple man with a simple faith”.
The hearing continues.