Australian terror-suspect has movements restricted

August 28, 2006 06:49


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A man accused of receiving funds from al-Qaida in Pakistan has become the first Australian to have his movements restricted under tough new anti-terrorism laws, a government official said Monday. Joseph Thomas, a 32-year-old Muslim convert, was convicted in the Victorian state Supreme Court in February of accepting $3,500 and a plane ticket to Australia from an al-Qaida agent in Pakistan and having a false passport. He was sentenced to five years in prison. But he was freed this month when an appeal court ruled that a jury shouldn't have heard evidence that helped convict him. Thomas on Monday became the first person subjected to a control order under new terror laws, restricting his movements because he is deemed a terrorist threat, the federal attorney-general's spokesman Michael Pelly said. "It is an interim order until there is a court hearing on Sept. 1," Pelly said. The order subjects Thomas to a curfew and requires that he stay in the state capital Melbourne, Pelly said.

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