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sydney man faces first anti terror charges

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4.12.2003. 13:15:58

A Sydney man has been remanded in custody after appearing in court on Thursday morning on the charge of committing acts in preparation for a terrorist act.


Police say 20-year-old Zak Mullah, from Condell Park in Sydney's west, is the first person to be charged with an offence under the new federal government anti-terrorism laws.


Mr Mullah's lawyer, Adam Houda told the Bankstown court his client suffers from a psychiatric condition.


New South Wales Deputy Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione says Mr Mullah was arrested on Wednesday night.


"New South Wales police from the counter-terrorism coordination command, last night, performed a controlled operation which resulted in the arrest of a man in Condell Park. They were assisted by officers from the Australian Federal Police. The man's been charged under recent Commonwealth legislation with acts in prepartion for a terrorist act."


Deputy Commissioner Scipione says police seized a number of items after arresting Mr Mullah in a reserve in Condell Park.


"Police, last night, seized a number of exhibits and whilst they were executing a search warrant they did in fact come across a video recording. As I've already indicated, you will understand that it's very difficult to discuss the contents of the evidence and as such that will be put before the court and I really wouldn't want to go into that at this stage."


Mr Mullah was reportedly arrested after allegedly making a threat against an officer of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, but Mr Scipione has so far been unable to confirm that allegation.


"Again, for the same reasons that I have already stated it will be very difficult. I want to ensure we do not in any way potentially damage this prosecution. It's a very serious matter. Those matters will be put before the court at Bankstown this morning and it would be more appropriate if we were to deal with it at that time."



SOURCE: Radio News

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