Australia: 'Onerous' jail conditions and lack of education: Convicted terrorist appeals 22-year sentence - PressFrom - Australia

Australia 'Onerous' jail conditions and lack of education: Convicted terrorist appeals 22-year sentence

02:00  06 october  2019
02:00  06 october  2019 Source:

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Imprisoned: Sulayman Khalid has appealed his 22-year prison sentence.© YouTube Imprisoned: Sulayman Khalid has appealed his 22-year prison sentence.

A convicted terrorist who conspired to attack an Australian Federal Police building and a NSW jail has appealed his 22-year sentence arguing his status as a high-risk inmate at Goulburn’s notorious Supermax jail is ‘‘very onerous’’.

Sulayman Khalid, aged 22 when he was sentenced to as many years for conspiring to commit a terrorist attack in 2014, also claims his youth and minor record were not taken into account in his prison punishment.

Khalid and two other men pleaded guilty in Sydney in 2017. Another conspirator, a 17-year-old who can only be called IM, has also been jailed.

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The families of the victims, meanwhile, were angry prosecutors refused to appeal the 12- year sentence , a relatively light punishment considering the “With such light sentencing requests by the prosecution, why is anyone surprised more and more minors are joining the ranks of terrorists and

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In telecommunications and documents discussing the plot they named a federal police building and Lithgow jail in NSW as possible targets for "something major" and "something massive".

The men wrote about "gorilla [sic] warfare" and going "to the woods and attack the dogs there" - a reference to police officers. They also acquired multiple guns and ammunition.

Khalid appeared in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Friday, where three Supreme Court judges heard an appeal for his re-sentencing. His mother and father were in court for the appeal.

an aerial view of a car: Goulburn's  Supermax prison.© Supplied Goulburn's Supermax prison. Khalid is currently housed in the High-Risk Management Correctional Centre at Goulburn, where he is designated as an "AA extreme high risk inmate".

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As a result, Khalid is permanently confined in an area with a secure physical barrier that includes electronic surveillance equipment.

The court heard he resided in a "2m x 3m" cell, with "a cage at the back of the cell" measuring about 2m x 2m. He has access to an outdoor yard area for a maximum of one hour a day.

"The conditions of imprisonment are very onerous ... [with] no suggestion of any change ... in the immediate future," said Khalid's defence barrister John Stratton SC.

Justice Harrison, one of three judges who heard the appeal, said it was "a bit hard to get away from the fact the conditions of incarceration are fairly harsh".

Mr Stratton conceded the offence of which Khalid has been convicted was objectively "very grave", but said it was important that despite discussion of possible targets "no actual target had been fixed".

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"My submission is that in resentencing ... your honours give substantial weight to the matters which his honour [sentencing judge Justice Geoffrey Bellew] did not give sufficient regard."

Mr Stratton SC listed his client's youth, his lack of criminal record at the time of sentencing and the jail's conditions. He also said Khalid's prison record was "in his favour" with few, minor breaches.

"In relation to one of malicious damage ... that appears to have been an offence of having turned his prison-issue trackpants into shorts."

a man wearing a hat: Sulayman Khalid on the set of SBS program Insight in 2014.© SBS Sulayman Khalid on the set of SBS program Insight in 2014. Khalid was motionless appearing via audio-visual link on Friday, only offering a smirk when the court heard mention of his 2014 appearance on the SBS program Insight several months before the plot.

In an affidavit filed to the court, Khalid's solicitor Stephen Alexander said Khalid was unable to access educational resources in custody, despite expressing an interest social sciences and youth work to prepare for his eventual "re-integration into society".

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The Crown's David Jordan said while Khalid was not charged with performing the ultimate act of terrorism, there was "not a lot of difference" in the objective seriousness of Khalid's case and that of Raban Alou, whose own sentence appeal was rejected in the same court earlier on Friday. He also submitted that Khalid was in a "position of leadership" among the conspirators, as a "spiritual counsellor" to the teenage IM and led coordination of the plot.

Alou was appealing his 44-year sentence for providing the loaded gun to 15-year-old Farhad Jabar for the fatal shooting of accountant Curtis Cheng outside NSW Police headquarters in October 2015.

Mr Jordan acknowledged Khalid's youth but said that was the nature of terror offences.

"[This] tends to be a young man’s crime," pointing to Jabar, who killed Curtis Cheng in 2015 and was "sadly ... also a young boy".

In sentencing Khalid in 2017 Justice Bellew found he had demonstrated "he was a devout terrorist ... corrupted by a dangerous, violent and perverted ideology to which he unequivocally subscribed, which he wore as a badge of honour, but which has no place in any civilised society", he said.

The Court of Criminal Appeal has reserved its decision.

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