DIY Jihad author Belal Saadallah Khazaal could be released on bail in days
The Daily Telegraph
June 30, 2011
A FORMER Qantas cabin cleaner who was jailed for writing a "do-it-yourself'' terrorism jihad book could be released on bail within days.
Belal Saadallah Khazaal, 42, has been behind bars since September 2008, after the NSW Supreme Court found him guilty of making a document between September 20 and October 28, 2003 connected with assistance in a terrorist act, knowing of that connection.
He had been sentenced to at least nine years behind bars.
But earlier this month the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal allowed an appeal against Khazaal's conviction, and ordered a retrial.
The retrial was likely to go ahead in the next six to nine months, Justice Michael Adams told the Supreme Court on Thursday.
Khazaal's lawyer, Charles Waterstreet, urged Justice Adams to release Khazaal on bail in the meantime, given that he had previously complied with ``the most onerous bail conditions the court had ever granted'' from June 2004 until he was jailed in September 2008.
``He was not allowed to use the internet, he was not allowed to use the phone without notice, he was not allowed to leave the house except for prayers, he was not allowed to mix with anyone other than his family,'' Mr Waterstreet said.
Despite that, he had obeyed the bail conditions and had appeared for his trial.
``Very rarely do you have a case of very serious charges and a compliance with bail for several years,'' he said.
He argued that Khazaal had been jailed in a maximum security arrangement that was ``one level down from Guantanamo Bay'', and that his two children, aged 13 and 14, needed their father to be with them.
Appearing with the aid of an interpreter, Khazaal's brother-in-law, Hissam Alyassine, agreed to put up his house, valued at $460,000, as surety that Khazaal would meet his bail conditions.
In addition, Khazaal's two brothers, who were at the court, agreed they would each undertake to deposit $200,000 as surety.
Crown prosecutor Peter Neil SC opposed bail.
Justice Adams said he would make a decision in the next few days.
The matter was adjourned to a date yet to be fixed.