News State New South Wales NSW police drop charges against student accused of Turnbull, Bishop assassination plot

NSW police drop charges against student accused of Turnbull, Bishop assassination plot

The discovery of Mohamed Nizamdeen sparked a terror investigation. Photo: Facebook
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Police are dropping terrorism charges against a NSW University student who was accused of plotting to assassinate Australian politicians.

Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen, 25, was arrested in August and accused of writing in a notebook about plans to kill former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and his former deputy Julie Bishop.

He was released on bail last month after prosecutors conceded a handwriting expert could not prove he had written the notes in the notebook.

The ABC understands police are dropping the charge of collecting or making documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts.

Police had alleged Mr Nizamdeen also possessed a blueprint to target several “symbolic” Sydney locations, after officers from NSW’s Joint Counter-Terrorism Team (JCTT) arrested him at Kensington, in Sydney’s south-east in August.

Mr Nizamdeen spent four weeks in jail after being charged.

His arrest and time in jail sparked protests in his Sri Lankan hometown, with hundreds of people gathering.

Mr Nizamdeen’s uncle Faiszer Musthapha is the Sri Lankan Sports and Local Government Minister, and told the ABC last month he believed his nephew was innocent.

Last month during his bail hearing, prosecutor Christina Choi told the Central Local Court in Sydney evidence for the charge had been “significantly weakened” after a conclusive expert opinion suggesting the defendant was the relevant author could not be found.

Mr Nizamdeen’s lawyer said police had conducted eight hours of interviews with the student which also did not uncover anything against the suspect.

“Let’s be clear, Mr Nizamdeen today was granted bail because the case against him is extremely weak, almost non-existent,” his lawyer Moustafa Kheir said during the hearing last month.

The court also heard other material belonging to Mr Nizamdeen — such as his computer, mobile phone and other documents — did not show any extremist ideology.