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'jihad Jack' Faces 25 Years' Jail

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This was in the paper today...

 

 

'Jihad Jack' faces 25 years' jail

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JOSEPH "Jihad Jack" Thomas yesterday became the first person convicted under the Federal Government's new counter-terrorism laws when he was found guilty of receiving money from al-Qaeda.

 

He faces a maximum 25 years in jail but, crucially, the Supreme Court jury found him not guilty of agreeing to act as a sleeper agent in Australia when it cleared him of two charges of providing resources to a terrorist organisation.

 

Despite hailing the verdicts as a victory, lawyers for Thomas are believed to be already preparing an appeal because they claim an interview he gave Federal Police was wrongly admitted into evidence.

 

They claim that the interview should not have been relied on because it followed extensive interrogations with Pakistani and US intelligence agents during which he was bashed, strangled and threatened with castration and electrocution.

 

When filing the appeal, they are also expected to cite his lack of access to legal advice at the interview.

 

Thomas, 32, appeared agitated and tearful when he entered court, and tried to insist on his five-year-old daughter being present.

 

He was impassive when the verdicts were announced.

 

Outside court, his lawyer Rob Stary said the fact that he was acquitted on the two most serious charges of supporting a terrorist organisation was "a very significant victory".

 

Thomas' father Ian praised the jury and said the family's faith in their son had been borne out. "As we have always known, Jack had nothing to answer for with these charges," Mr Thomas said.

 

"We thank the jury and the acquittal has been a great victory. We have always supported our son and family and will continue to do so."

 

In an interview with The Age before his trial, Thomas said he travelled to Afghanistan because he was curious about the possibility of a pure Islamic state.

 

"You are not going to understand it, and 95 per cent of the Australian population are not going to understand it. I was going to see for myself whether the ideal Islamic state was being created," he said.

 

 

(www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.theage.com.au/news/national/jihad-jack-faces-25-years-jail/2006/02/26/1140888749187.html"]Click here if you want to read more[/url]

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