On August 25 the Melbourne Magistrates Court dropped terrorism charges against 18-year-old Harun Causevic, who had spent 120 days in maximum security solitary confinement for the alleged “Anzac Day terror plot”.
In April more than 200 police were deployed to arrest five Melbourne teenagers. The mainstream media unquestionably repeated police allegations about the plot, allowing politicians to talk and act as if its existence were an established reality.
Causevic’s lawyer Rob Stary said: “I think there’s something to be said now that those charges have been dropped, in circumstances where there was never any real evidence against him.
“It’s not going to instill confidence in those intelligence and policing agencies.”
Calling for Causevic to be compensated by the government, Stary said, “You've got to remember the clamour, the grandstanding that occurred by politicians when he was arrested. They ought to be a bit more circumspect and let the process take its usual course rather than grandstanding the way they did.
“He ought to be recompensed and the family ought to be recompensed for what they’ve been subjected to. This episode, I’m afraid, is going to erode confidence in the authorities, when they charge a young man on this basis without any evidence.
“I'd hope that they would offer the family and Mr Causevic a proper apology because he's been accused of something that he simply never did.”
Two of the five teenagers were released in April without charge and another two are still imprisoned awaiting trial.