2 terror suspects charged over Sydney police shooting

AP News
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Posted: Oct 16, 2015 12:35 AM

SYDNEY (AP) — Two men accused of supplying the revolver used to kill a police accountant outside a Sydney police building two weeks ago were formally charged on Friday with terrorism-related offenses.

High school student Farhad Jabar, 15, was shot dead by police soon after he opened fired on Curtis Cheng as the 58-year-old civilian employee walked from the state police headquarters in Parramatta in western Sydney on Oct. 2.

Talal Alameddine, 22, did not appear in the Parramatta Local Court on Friday when he was charged with providing the .38 Smith & Wesson used to slay Cheng.

Police allege Alameddine passed the gun less than three hours before the shooting to accomplice Raban Alou, 18, who then gave it to Jabar during a meeting at the Parramatta mosque, in the women's section where there is no CCTV camera.

Alou did not appear in Sydney's downtown Downing Center Local Court when he was charged with aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring the commission of a terrorist act. The charge carries a potential life prison sentence.

Alameddine was charged with supplying a firearm and breaching an order that bans him from acquiring, possessing or using a firearm, a firearm part or ammunition. He was also charged with hindering police by attempting to hide evidence against Jabar and Alou by damaging a cell phone and its SIM card. He faces a potential maximum prison sentence of 35 years if convicted.

Neither man applied for bail or entered pleas. They will next appear in court in December.

Alameddine's lawyer Stephen Zahr told reporters outside court that he did not know if his client intended to fight the charges. But Alou's lawyer Moustafa Kheir said his client would plead not guilty.

"Raban Alou is an 18-year-old who has been charged after being held in custody for over 200 hours for the purposes of interrogation," Kheir told reporters.

"The evidence that the charges rely on are circumstantial evidence. This means there's no direct evidence to support the charges," he said.