FOUR radical Muslims convicted of terrorism offences have been spared an imminent second trial for more serious offences, after a Supreme Court judge ruled that the proceedings would be an abuse of process and ''oppressive''.
The Victorian court's decision means the links between two terrorist cells in Sydney and Melbourne can now be revealed, with members attending training camps together and sharing friendships. The groups were also linked by the same spiritual leader, Abdul Nacer Benbrika.
Melbourne-based Benbrika, 51, Aimen Joud, 26, Fadl Sayadi, 32, and Ahmed Raad, 28, were convicted in 2008 of several terrorism offences after a trial that lasted seven months.
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That trial heard that Benbrika was a jihadi leader of a terrorism cell and intentionally directed the activities of his organisation, that Joud, Raad and Sayadi were members of his cell and intentionally provided it with resources.
In the second trial due to begin this year, the prosecution was to allege that the four men had engaged in a conspiracy, which was an aborted attempt to procure glassware for a Sydney terrorist cell, which they required to make an explosive.
Possible targets of the cells included the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney's south, the MCG during the 2005 grand final and Melbourne's Crown Casino.