The Courier-Mail

Teenage terror accused set free

- WAYNE FLOWER JAMES DOWLING

TAXPAYERS face a hefty bill over a failed investigat­ion into a teenager accused of trying to organise an Anzac Day terrorist attack.

Prosecutor­s yesterday withdrew a charge against Harun Causevic of conspiring to prepare, or plan for, a terror attack in Melbourne, saying there was “insufficie­nt evidence” to proceed.

The result is likely to cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars after the 18-yearold was granted an opportunit­y to plead his case for legal costs.

Australian Federal Police had alleged Mr Causevic (pictured) conspired in a plan to run over and behead a police officer and steal the officer’s gun.

It was claimed Mr Causevic and an alleged co-conspirato­r, 18year-old Sevdet Besim, then planned to commit acts of violence on Anzac Day until they were killed.

AFP agent Denis Scott said undercover police saw Mr Causevic doing his own surveillan­ce on the Shrine of Remembranc­e and police officers.

After a minor collision at a carpark, Mr Causevic allegedly told the other driver: “Australia is s--and ISIS is going to kill this country.”

Mr Causevic also allegedly spat on a police van and waved an Islamic flag at officers.

A message pledging allegiance to an ISIS leader and mentioning Allah was found on Mr Causevic’s phone, the hearing was told. Police also found knives, an Islamic flag and a tactical vest during a search of his home.

He pleaded guilty yesterday to three charges of possessing illegal weapons and was released on bail, to be sentenced in November.

Mr Causevic’s lawyer Rob Stary criticised the prosecutio­n case for being based on “flimsy evidence”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia