The war on terror as a fishing expedition:
A senior counter-terrorism officer with the Australian Federal Police has testified that police were directed to charge “as many suspects as possible” with terrorism offences in order to test the new anti-terrorism laws introduced in 2003.
The admission was made by federal agent Kemuel Lam Paktsun, the senior case officer on the Operation Newport investigation that led to the arrest of Sydney medical student Izhar Ul-Haque, whose trial was sensationally dismissed in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday.
Mr Lam Paktsun’s startling testimony came during a pre-trial hearing on October 24 that has not previously been reported, when he was questioned about the circumstances of Mr Ul-Haque’s arrest in April 2004.
“At the time, we were directed, we were informed, to lay as many charges under the new terrorist legislation against as many suspects as possible because we wanted to use the new legislation,” he testified.
“So regardless of the assistance that Mr Ul-Haque could give, he was going to be prosecuted, charged, because we wanted to test the legislation and lay new charges, in our eagerness to use the legislation.”
Yes, we are much safer.