Loner Sentenced to Two Years in Jail for ASIO Threats

A man who threatened to kill ASIO officers was a loner with few prospects, who only intended to get himself in the headlines, a NSW Supreme Court judge has found.

Zeky Mallah, who was acquitted earlier this month of terrorist acts, told an undercover officer pretending to be a journalist that he planned to stage a siege of an ASIO or Foreign Affairs office. He then hoped to sell the "journalist" a tape of himself declaring jihad, in front of an Australian flag, for $3000.

But Mr Mallah told the court he did not seriously mean to act on the threats, only wanted fame and fortune and blamed Foreign Affairs and ASIO for refusing him a passport.

In sentencing Mr Mallah for the lesser charge of threatening to kill Commonwealth government officers, Justice James Wood said that Mr Mallah's evidence had been "self-contradictory, illogical, bizarre and downright foolish." Justice Wood sentenced Mr Mallah to two years' imprisonment, ordering that he be counselled after his release from jail late this year.

"The prisoner was an idiosyncratic and embittered young man, who was to all intents something of a loner, without significant prospects of advancing himself," he found.

A former supermarket shelf stacker and pizza deliverer, Mr Mallah's mad plans and media interest had given his "otherwise unfulfilling and empty life" some purpose, Justice Wood found.

It was "regrettable" that the media had given the attention-seeker the coverage he craved, the judge said.

22 April, 2005

Findlaw

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