Phillip Galea’s plans for a terrorist attack in Melbourne weren’t real, they were a scheme designed to expose police infiltration of right-wing organisations, a jury has heard.
The 34-year-old former Reclaim Australia member is on trial in Victoria’s Supreme Court accused of doing acts in preparation for a terrorist act, but his barrister Felicity Gerry QC on Thursday said they were fake and he never intended violence.
“He put together a fake plan which would expose the police informer he believed to be acting against right-wing groups,” she said of allegations he wanted to cut throats, inject people with acid and target police with snake venom.
Prosecutor Richard Maidment QC has alleged Galea plotted against Melbourne anarchist and socialist groups between August 2015 and 2016 and that he worked on a terror how-to guide he called the Patriot’s Cookbook.
His phone calls and internet activity were being monitored by the police who recorded remarks including “if you’re the f***ing premier of Victoria and you’ve got a f***ing problem with me I’ll take you out”.
He also told an associate in a recorded conversation that he wanted to “go around cutting throats” in central Melbourne and that he wanted “to leave a … f***ing line of dead lefties around me”, the jury was told.
Ms Gerry said there was no dispute that Galea was anti-Islam and anti-those who tolerated Islam because he believed there had been a rise in Islamic extremism.
His actions were in advocacy, protest and dissent, she said.
The jury heard Galea knew he was being monitored by police, and had made a corruption complaint in 2016.
He believed police had planted an informer in right-wing groups as “part of a left-wing political objective against the right”, she said.
The alleged terror plot was not real, but was intended by Galea to flush out the person he suspected was a police mole within the right-wing Soldiers of Odin group.
Ms Gerry said Galea passed on information to a “self-confessed Nazi sympathiser” who was a member of that group, believing if the information got back to police it would have confirmed his suspicions about a police plant.
The plot was impossible, Ms Gerry said, and Galea never intended violence, damage to property or risk to public safety.
She described his book as “less significant” than the Anarchists Cookbook which had been around for decades.
The Patriots Cookbook was initially supposed to be a “humorous, satirical and fictional” work but later became more technical with advice on how society could survive a future civil breakdown, she said.