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Australia asks court to uphold control orders for terror suspect

[JURIST] Lawyers for the Australian government argued that control orders do not violate the country's constitution during a Tuesday court hearing in the case of an Australian man convicted [JURIST report] in February 2006 of receiving money from an al Qaeda associate. Joseph Terrence "Jihad Jack" Thomas [advocacy website] successfully appealed [JURIST report; judgment] the conviction in August 2006, but the Australian government issued a control order [JURIST report] limiting his freedom of movement. The control order was the first such order administered under a controversial new anti-terror law [ANS backgrounder]. Thomas appealed [JURIST report] the issuance of the control order and during Tuesday's hearing, lawyers for the Commonwealth argued that the government's right to defend the nation gives it the power to issue control orders.

Thomas was the first Australian incarcerated under the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism Act 2002 [text] after being found guilty of receiving $3,500 from a senior al Qaeda member and carrying a fake passport. His conviction was overturned on all counts because authorities interviewed Thomas against his will and denied him access to a lawyer when he was arrested in Pakistan in 2003. The control order against Thomas, which in part bans him from contacting people such as Osama Bin Laden, was deemed "farcical" by an Australian judge [JURIST report] in August 2006. Australia's ABC News has more.

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