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Australia court imposes first control order on released terror suspect

[JURIST] An Australian court on Monday ordered terror suspect Joseph Terrence "Jihad Jack" Thomas [advocacy website] to stay within the city of Melbourne and imposed an evening curfew in the first use of controversial "control orders" authorized under anti-terror legislation [ANS backgrounder] enacted late last year. Police requested the measures Sunday as the government still believes Thomas to be a security threat even though his terror conviction was overturned [JURIST report] earlier this month. Monday's interim control order will stay in place until a court hearing currently scheduled to take place on September 1.

Thomas was the first Australian incarcerated under the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism Act 2002 [text]. A jury convicted [BBC report] Thomas in February of receiving $3,500 from a senior Al Qaeda member and of carrying a fake passport, but the conviction was overturned because authorities were found to have interviewed Thomas against his will and without access to a lawyer when he was arrested in Pakistan in 2003. Control orders have also been controversial in the UK, where an appeals judge earlier this month upheld a lower court ruling [JURIST report] that using them to restrict uncharged terror suspects violates the European Convention on Human Rights [PDF text]. AP has more.

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