A convicted terrorist who plotted to bomb the MCG and other sites is back in court in a bold attempt to secure his freedom.
A terrorist leader who plotted to bomb the MCG and other Australian landmarks argues he shouldn’t have been given extra time behind bars.
Abdul Nacer Benbrika has spent 15 years behind bars after he was found guilty and jailed for being the leader of Australia’s largest terrorist network. His sentence expired last year.
But Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton successfully argued to keep him in jail until 2023 under a continuing detention order.
The terror plotter’s lawyer Dan Star QC appeared in the Court of Appeal on Tuesday and told the court the judge who ordered Benbrika to stay behind bars should have specified the offences he was at risk of committing if released.
He also argued another ground was that the original judge made an error in law on admissibility of evidence in the case and risk assessments.
The Algerian-born Benbrika headed cells that targeted the AFL grand final in Melbourne, Crown Casino and a nuclear reactor in Sydney.
He was first arrested in 2005 as one of more than a dozen people caught up with Operation Pendennis, one of the country’s largest counter-terrorism investigations.
In 2017 Benbrika’s bid for parole was refused.
He was ordered to spend an extra three years behind bars in December 2020 and his citizenship was also revoked.
The hearing continues.