Militant refuses to stand during Australian court hearing

AP News
Posted: Jan 29, 2018 4:18 AM

SYDNEY (AP) — A confessed militant who provided a revolver to a school boy who fatally shot a police accountant in Sydney in 2015 refused to stand Monday as a sign of respect for a judge during a court hearing.

Raban Alou, 20, is facing a hearing in the New South Wales state Supreme Court to determine his sentence after he pleaded guilty last year to aiding, abetting, counseling or procuring a terrorist act. The offense carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Alou admitted handing a handgun to a 15-year-old boy at a Sydney mosque on Oct. 2, 2015. Moments later, the boy killed the accountant outside the nearby state police headquarters and was then shot dead by police.

Alou's lawyer, Matthew Johnston, told the sentencing judge, Justice Peter Johnson, that his client did not stand at the beginning of the hearing for religious reasons.

The judge then cited the Australian National Imams Council's opinion that there is "no religious basis to prohibit either standing up for courts or bowing to judicial officers."

Alou remained seated, despite a warning from the judge that "there may be ramifications" for him. The judge did not elaborate.

Prosecutor Paul McGuire later asked for a long sentence, saying that Alou lacked remorse, had extremist views and poor prospects of rehabilitation.

Alou was recorded telling his mother in a telephone conservation last month that he had no regrets and would never apologize for his actions, McGuire told the court.

The hearing is scheduled to continue for four days.