News National Court imposes sweeping control order on acquitted terror suspect Zainab Abdirahman-Khalif

Court imposes sweeping control order on acquitted terror suspect Zainab Abdirahman-Khalif

Zainab Abdirahman-Khalif has been free since her October 2019 acquittal.
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An Adelaide woman acquitted on terror charges has been slapped with a wide-ranging control order with the Federal Court limiting her movements and her access to the internet among a range of measures.

The court on Friday confirmed an interim control order placed on Zainab Abdirahman-Khalif who was initially found guilty of being a member of the Islamic State terror group but freed from jail after her conviction was overturned on appeal last year.

Zainab Abdirahman-Khalif, 25, spent two years and six months in jail after a South Australian Supreme Court jury found her guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation, before she was freed on appeal in October 2019.

Commonwealth prosecutors have asked the High Court to overturn her acquittal, but the hearing has been delayed because of the coronavirus health pandemic.

Under the order, Ms Abdirahman-Khalif will have to abide by a curfew, cannot drive a truck and is banned from accessing 33 messaging applications.

In response to an application from the Australian Federal Police, the court has imposed 19 individual measures, with Judge Natalie Charlesworth ruling the orders would substantially assist in preventing a terrorist act or the provision of support for a terrorist act.

Justice Charlesworth said the legislation under which the control order was sought reflected a “precautionary policy”.

“The civil liberties of a person can and should be curtailed, not as punishment for offending that has occurred in the past, but as a precaution against criminal offending that may occur in the future,” she said.

“The expectation of the legislature is that the court may lend its assistance to efforts of the executive government to control the activities of persons who present an identified risk to the community.”

Under the controls imposed, Abdirahman-Khalif will be subject a curfew from midnight to 6am each day, will be barred from leaving Australia, and will be barred from accessing or possessing any materials related to suicide or terror attacks and bombings.

She is also banned from communicating with four members of the Clavell family — including brothers Joshua and Joel Clavell who were shot by police in country Victoria in June 2019.

She will only be allowed access to one mobile phone which must be presented to the AFP for inspection and has been barred from accessing a range of websites and web applications.

They include messaging services such as WhatsApp and social media sites such as Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

The controls also require her to consider “in good faith” participating in counselling or education in relation to her psychological and physical wellbeing.
All the measures will remain in place until at least November 21 this year.