A SOUTH Australian man charged with advocating terrorism by filming demonstrations on how to kill Jewish people was “acutely psychotic” at the time, a court has heard.
The western suburbs man, 50, cannot be named for legal reasons after the Adelaide Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday that his violent videos remained online almost two months since his arrest. In a landmark prosecution, authorities allege he posted several videos on the internet, and social media, including one in which he menacingly waves a chainsaw and another that encourages those in international conflict zones to commit terrorist acts.
Police will allege the videos — which remain online and have been reposted by others — were filmed at his home between July 28, 2015, and November 4, 2015. Despite his lawyer insisting her client’s identification remained an issue, the court heard that doctors had concluded he was “acutely psychotic at the time of these offences”. “He is deemed to have a defence of mental impairment,” said Stacey Carter, defending. The court heard the 19-page psychiatric assessment provided immense detail on the man, of Flinders Park, including his background and events surrounding the alleged offences.
Ms Carter successfully asked for the contents of the report to remain a secret as her client had yet to read, and digest, its contents while she had been unable to review the material or take legal instructions from him. The Advertiser is aware of his past, which he has documented in a lengthy manifesto that also cannot be detailed for legal reasons. On Tuesday, the man only spoke to confirm he could hear the proceedings via video link but held his head in his hands during the hearing and raised his eyebrows several times. He has yet to plead to four counts of advocating terrorism after being charged by the Australian Federal Police in December — the first time the charge has been laid in Australia. Federal law prohibits advocating the “doing” or “commissioning” of a terrorist act.
The man, who faces a maximum 20 years in jail if found guilty, was arrested by the South Australian Joint Counter Terrorism Team, acting on information from the National Security Hotline. Commonwealth prosecutors allege the four separate videos posted to social media “depicted (him) advocating with other persons to engage in acts of terrorism”. They are said to provide “explicit verbal instructions as well as physical demonstrations with weapons as to how to kill Jewish people”.
Ms Carter successfully asked for secrecy orders banning publication of the man’s identity and image because it would “prejudice the administration of justice”. Ms Carter also revealed that some of the videos could still be viewed online — revelations that left Magistrate Ian White surprised given the serious terrorism charges. “As soon as his name is released people will go to the internet and look it up,” she said. While he was initially “silent” on the suppression orders, John Clover, for the AFP, said the material was difficult to remove from the internet and agreed the man’s name should remain a secret. Magistrate White agreed to suppress the man’s identity and remanded him in custody to face court again next month.
Source: Adelaide Now