Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Jack Thomas under control order after terrori -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

Jack Thomas under control order after terrorism charges overturned

AM - Tuesday, 29 August , 2006 08:20:00

Reporter: Alison Caldwell

TONY EASTLEY: The first Australian issued with a control order under new anti-terror laws has spent
his first night living under its conditions as his lawyers prepare to fight the order.

Jack Thomas, whose conviction on terrorism charges was overturned nearly two weeks ago, is
considered by authorities to still pose a threat to the Australian public.

Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: The Australian Federal Police sought the control order for Jack Thomas a week
after an appeals court quashed his convictions for receiving funds from al-Qaeda and for travelling
on a falsified passport.

The AFP had to convince the Attorney-General, along with a magistrate, to issue the interim order.

Jack Thomas wasn't represented at the weekend sitting in the Federal Magistrates Court in Canberra.
But his lawyers will get a chance to oppose the interim order later this week.

Jack Thomas' defence barrister is Lex Lasry.

LEX LASRY: Because I'm involved in the matter, at this stage I don't think it is appropriate for me
to talk about the way in which the order was obtained. That's now a matter before the court.

What I am concerned about though, is the willingness of the Attorney-General to convene a press
conference in which he effectively maligns Mr Thomas, while there are now two matters before
courts. And it seems to me that's totally inappropriate.

ALISON CALDWELL: If the media is ringing the Attorney-General and the Australian Federal Police
wanting an explanation about the control order because it's the first one that's ever been issued,
why isn't it fair enough for the Attorney-General to defend it?

LEX LASRY: Well, I think it would have been appropriate for the Attorney-General's department to
simply indicate that an order had been made.

But the Attorney-General stood in front of the media for something like 20 minutes yesterday,
explaining what the purpose of these orders was, all in the context of Mr Thomas' case.

And the overwhelming message from that and this morning's newspapers is that Mr Thomas is someone
from whom the Australian community needs to be protected.

Now, as I say, the verdict of the jury was that he was not guilty of the offences that underpinned
that conclusion.

The obvious thing to say is it's most unfair in the way he is now being vilified, in a sense, at
the hands of the Attorney-General.

ALISON CALDWELL: Under the control order Jack Thomas has to report to police three times a week,
and stay in his home from midnight until 5 am each day.

He can only use approved telephones and the Internet via an approved service provider.

The control order lists 50 individuals who he is not allowed to contact, including Osama Bin Laden.

TONY EASTLEY: AM's Alison Caldwell reporting.