Man denied bail over alleged terror plot

A Sydney man who was allegedly told to pick a “random unbeliever” and kill them has been denied bail, with a court hearing the case against him was “reasonably strong”.

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Omarjan Azari argued he should be released from custody as he was being held under oppressive conditions at Goulburn Supermax, where he is classified as an extreme high risk restricted individual.

In refusing him bail at the Supreme Court on Thursday, Justice Peter Garling said he could not judge whether that categorisation was right or wrong but added that the crown case against him was not “weak”.

The 23-year-old was arrested at his home at Guildford in Sydney’s west last September and later charged with a number of offences, including conspiring to commit murder and doing an act in preparation for a terrorist attack.

Azari was allegedly urged to “pick a random unbeliever”, kill them, and then film the body next to an ISIS flag.

In another conversation, police claim he was instructed by Islamic State member Mohammad Baryalei to choose backpackers or tourists from America, France or Britain as “that would be better”.

Azari challenges the translation of the calls.

But Justice Garling said, “even accepting the applicant’s submission as to the proper words spoken, I have nevertheless concluded that the conversations relied upon could support the charges.

“I would regard the case against this applicant as being reasonably strong.”

The court heard Azari has been classified as an extreme high risk restricted individual, as he allegedly poses an extreme threat to the correctional centre and could incite others.

During his bail application last month, Azari’s barrister Winston Terracini SC said it was unfair Azari, who has never been in custody before, was being held at Supermax.

He was the first person to be held in the jail while on remand and could have served almost three years in custody under these harsh conditions by the time his matter comes to trial, Mr Terracini said in court in August.

But Justice Garling said it was a matter for correctional staff.

Azari, who made no reaction when the decision was handed down, will return to court at a later date.