'Terror' trial nears end

August 16, 2008

On August 13, Justice Bernard Bongiorno began his summing up in the trial of 12 Muslim men accused of terrorist offences.

The 12 are accused of belonging to a terrorist organisation (consisting of themselves) and some are accused of other offences such as providing money to this alleged organisation.

The evidence against them consists solely of secretly recorded conversations in which they engaged in radical talk. No evidence was presented of any preparations or plans for a terrorist attack.

Civil Rights Defence (CRD), a Melbourne-based organisation that campaigns against repressive legislation, has condemned the laws under which the men were tried.

"Anti-terror laws are dangerous when they are couched so broadly that they can be used for political purposes against individuals who are no real threat to society ... Australia's anti-terror laws are dangerous to our freedoms and to our society and lay the foundation for a repressive police state. They do not serve the purpose of ending terrorism. Australia's anti-terror laws should be repealed", the CRD stated.

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