Media outlets are fighting a courtroom battle seeking the right to name the first Australian man facing charges of advocating terrorism. Adelaide Magistrates Court previously heard allegations the Flinders Park man, 51, was psychotic when he allegedly posted videos online encouraging violent acts against Jewish people.
The man's name and image are banned from publication and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions wants to expand suppression orders to include the videos. But media organisations have argued there is "huge public interest" in the case.
At an Adelaide District Court hearing, defence lawyer Stacey Carter said she was concerned that revealing the man's name would let future jurors find his videos and could prejudice proceedings.
"Google is an amazing beast," Ms Carter told the court.
She said if the court made a decision which drew a "huge amount of media to this, [the man's] mental health will deteriorate" Ms Carter also expressed concern for her client's safety while in custody. "We need to keep this defendant healthy and in a fit frame of mind," she said.
Commonwealth prosecutor John Clover said suppression orders were necessary to avoid prejudice leading into a trial.He acknowledged some of the man's videos remained on the internet but said members of the public were more likely to see them if they appeared in mainstream media.
Judge Stephen McEwen said he was "struggling to see why any suppression should be made".
"How is it different to what we see in the media every day, such as affray captured on CCTV?" he asked. "Everywhere I look, it's tissue-thin at best." Representatives of several media outlets opposed the suppression orders, citing a significant interest in the case as a "matter of public safety".
Judge McEwen said he would decide in August whether to change the publication ban.
See Article: HERE