SA terror group member may give evidenceOn 07/08/2019 by admin
Prosecutor Chris Winneke says Zainab Abdirahman-Khalif aligned herself with the ideology of IS.An Adelaide woman is yet to decide if she will give evidence during the sentencing process after being found guilty of membership of the Islamic State terror group.
In South Australia’s first terrorism trial, Zainab Abdirahman-Khalif was found guilty by a Supreme Court jury in September of being a member of IS.
During the 23-year-old’s trial, prosecutor Chris Winneke QC said Abdirahman-Khalif had “wholly embraced the concepts and aligned herself with the ideology of the terror group.
The court was told on Monday that a psychologist had completed interviews with the woman and that report would be available within a week or so.
Defence counsel Bill Boucaut said it was important for the court had an understanding of the “family dynamics” ahead of sentencing his client.
Justice David Peek said the question of whether Abdirahman-Khalif gave evidence during sentencing submissions was a question entirely for her and her legal team.
He described the matter before him as a “difficult case” and said it was important for the court to “tread carefully” in terms of how it proceeded.
Justice Peek ordered the court and the DPP be provided with the psychological report by November 2 and listed a directions hearing on November 12.
He also set a tentative date for sentencing submissions of December 4.
During Abdirahman-Khalif’s trial, the court heard she was stopped by police at Adelaide Airport after she tried to board a plane to Istanbul in July 2016.
Carrying only hand luggage and less than $200 in cash, she told officers she intended to work for an aid organisation and expected her living expenses and the cost of a flight home would be covered.
She was later released, but arrested at the Port Adelaide TAFE SA campus in May 2017, following a year-long investigation.
In evidence, a counter-terrorism police officer said 127 video files of “investigative relevance” were found on her phone, and the jury was played a compilation of violent scenes.
The court also heard she had been in communication with three young women and knew about their deadly terror attack on a police station in Kenya before it occurred.
In his closing statements, Mr Winneke said as well as embracing the concepts and ideology of IS, Abdirahman-Khalif had gone a step further.
“She set off to go to Turkey, to engage with terrorists in the view of lending her support to Islamic State,” he said
“In doing so, she became a member of Islamic State.”