Australian Government: Attorney-General's Department
Australian Government: Attorney-General's DepartmentAchieving a Just and Secure Society

Counter-terrorism and related cases

Counter-Terrorism Cases

To date, four people (Philip Howells, Faheem Lodhi, Jack Roche and Shane Della­-Vedova) have been convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offences in Australia. More than 20 additional defendants are currently before Australian courts on terrorism-related charges.

Counter-Terrorism Cases

Joseph 'Jack' Thomas

On 26 February 2006 Mr Thomas was found guilty of receiving funds from a terrorist organisation and possessing a falsified passport. However, the Victorian Court of Criminal Appeal upheld an appeal by Mr Thomas and quashed the convictions. On 20 December 2006 the Victorian Court of Criminal Appeal remitted Mr Thomas’ matter to the Supreme Court for a re-trial. His re-trial is listed to commence on 18 February 2008.

In August 2006, an interim control order was issued against Mr Thomas, on the basis that he posed a risk to the community. Mr Thomas challenged the constitutionality of the control order legislation in the High Court and on 2 August 2007, a majority of the High Court upheld the validity of the control order legislation.

Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, Sirajah Yathavan and Arumugan Rajeevan

On 1 May 2007 Mr Vinayagamoorthy and Mr Yathavan were charged with three offences under the Criminal Code relating to membership of, and support for, a terrorist organisation. They are also charged with one offence under the Charter of the United Nations Act relating to alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE). On 10 July 2007 Mr Rajeevan was also charged with offences concerning alleged links to the LTTE. On 17 July 2007 Messrs Yathavan, Vinayagamoorthy and Rajeevan were released on bail. All three were committed to stand trial on 14 December 2007.

Operation Pendennis Sydney

Messrs Hasan, K Cheiko, M Cheiko, Sharrouf, Mulahalilovic, Touma, Elomar, Baladjam and Jamal have each been charged with one count of conspiring to do acts in preparation for a terrorist act contrary to sections 11.5 and 101.6 of the Criminal Code and are committed to stand trial. This offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The trial is listed to commence in February 2008.  

Operation Pendennis Melbourne

Messrs Benbrika, Atik, Haddara, Joud, Kent, Merhi, A Raad, E Raad, Sayadi, Taha, B Raad, M Raad and Hammoud have each been charged with one count of being a member of a terrorist organisation contrary to section 102.3 of the Criminal Code. Each of the defendants has also been charged with other terrorism offences under the Criminal Code, including directing the activities of a terrorist organisation, recruiting for a terrorist organisation, providing funds or support to a terrorist organisation and doing an act in preparation for a terrorist act. They have been committed to stand trial and the trial is listed to commence in February 2008.

Belal Khazaal

Mr Khazaal is charged with two terrorism-related offences, namely making a document in connection with the engagement of a person in a terrorist act (section 101.5 of the Criminal Code) and inciting a person to commit a terrorist act (sections 11.4 and 101.1 of the Criminal Code).  Pre-trial hearings in Mr Khazaal's matter began on 12 November 2007 and are listed to recommence in February 2008.

Izhar Ul-Haque

Mr Ul-Haque was alleged to have intentionally received training with respect to the combat and use of arms from a terrorist organisation.  Mr Ul-Haque’s trial began on 15 October 2007, but the prosecution was subsequently withdrawn after records of AFP interviews were excluded from evidence.  

Faheem Lodhi

On 19 June 2006 Mr Lodhi was convicted of three terrorism offences under Part 5.3 of the Criminal Code which involved acts done in preparation for a terrorist act. Mr Lodhi was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, with a 15 year non parole period. Mr Lodhi appealed both his conviction and sentence, but both were upheld by the New South Wales Criminal Court of Appeal on 20 December 2007.  Mr Lodhi has lodged an application for special leave to appeal to the High Court. 

Shane Della-Vedova and Steven Taylor

Mr Della-Vedova and Mr Taylor were both charged with Commonwealth property offences and NSW weapons offences.  Mr Della-Vedova pleaded guilty on 28 November 2007 and his sentencing hearing is listed for 22 February 2008.  Mr Taylor has been committed for trial which is listed to commence on 7 April 2008.  Both men are remanded in custody. 

Philip Howells

On 10 January 2006 Mr Howells entered a plea of guilty to two terrorism-related offences under the Crimes (Internationally Protected Persons) Act 1976. Mr Howells was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years subject to good behaviour and a self recognizance of  $1000.   

Jack Roche

In June 2003 Mr Roche was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment, with a non parole period of 4.5 years, for conspiring to destroy the official premises of internationally protected persons by means of explosives, with the intent to endanger the lives of internationally protected persons. This offence is contained in section 8(3C)(a) of the Crimes (Internationally Protected Persons) Act 1976. Mr Roche was released on parole on 17 May 2007. 

Other related matters

Mamdouh Habib

Mr Habib is claiming damages against the Commonwealth for injuries allegedly sustained during his detention overseas. The Commonwealth denies Mr Habib's claims.

David Hicks

Mr Hicks was sentenced by a United States Commission to seven years imprisonment after pleading guilty to the charge of material support for terrorism.  All but nine months of this sentence was suspended by the Convening Authority in accordance with the sentence and the terms of the pre-trial agreement.  Mr Hicks was released from the Yatala Labour Prison in Adelaide on 29 December 2007.

An interim control order in relation to Mr Hicks was made by a Federal Magistrate on 21 December 2007.