For the record: Fem menn ble mandag dømt til fengselstraffer opp til 28 år for å ha planlagt alvorlige terroraksjoner i Australia, blant annet bombing av en fotballfinale med 92.000 tilskuere.
Minimumsstraffen som må sones før permisjon er 17 år.
Five Australian men, convicted of plotting to commit violent jihad on Australian soil, have been sentenced to serve up to 28 years in prison.
The men were found guilty last October, after the country’s longest terrorism trial, of conspiring to commit a terror attack in Australia. They stockpiled weapons and chemicals to make bombs between July 2004 and November 2005. The planned attack was in retaliation for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At a purpose-built courthouse in Sydney earlier today Justice Anthony Whealy said the men – who cannot be named for legal reasons – had been motivated by «an intolerant and inflexible fundamentalist religious conviction».
He described their plot as «very deliberate and very determined» and said that plans had been so well-advanced there was «no reason to doubt» that a terrorist attack would have occurred in early 2006 if the men had not been arrested by police.
The five men – aged 25 to 44 years old – were handed maximum terms of 23 to 28 years, with the shortest non-parole period being 17 years and three months. They are the longest sentences for terrorism-related crimes in Australian legal history.
The men are all Australian-born or naturalized citizens with Muslim immigrant backgrounds. They have been in custody since they and four others were arrested in south-west Sydney in 2005. The other four men arrested in 2005 pleaded guilty and have already been sentenced for their role in the conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack.
During the trial, a former associate of the suspects testified that the group had considered bombing an Australian Rules football final in Melbourne in 2005 that was attended by almost 92,000 people. Prosecutors said that they had also discussed killing the former Prime Minister John Howard.
One of the men participated in a terrorist-run paramilitary training camp in Pakistan, and three others attended similar camps in New South Wales to prepare for an attack. The judge said that the men had material that glorified Osama bin Laden and graphic images of violence involving hostages.