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Jury of 15 to sit on trial of nine men caught in Australia’s biggest anti-terrorism sweep: conspiring “to do acts in preparation of a terrorist act”

Posted by gasweek on 4 October, 2007

NSW was expected to pass legislation allowing an expanded jury of 15 to sit on the trial of nine men caught in Australia’s biggest anti-terrorism sweep, wrote Michael Pelly in The Australian (24/9/2007, p.3).

Special court: The trial, due to start on 25 February and expected to take up to two years, would be conducted in a specially fitted-out court in Sydney’s Parramatta after the lawyers involved failed to convince the State Government it should be located closer to the city’s CBD. However, pleas by the defence and the prosecution for an expanded jury were set to be approved when the government discussed the issue this week. The Jury Act would have to be amended to allow for three extra jurors on trials expected to take longer than three months – a provision that existed in most states.

Terror charges: The men were charged with conspiring “to do acts in preparation of a terrorist act”. The accused were arrested as part of a two-year investigation, dubbed Operation Pendennis, which culminated in raids in Sydney in November 2005. The court has set aside a year for the trial, but the lawyers involved expected it to take up to two years.

The Australian, 24/9/2007, p. 3

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