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Prisoners could be banned from possessing images and terrorism videos after USB found in cell

The discovery of a USB containing Islamic State material in the cell of a terrorist gang leader has led to a NSW state-wide ban on prisoner possession of images and videos of terrorism.

Previous laws allowed inmates to view terror-related material and propaganda if it formed part of the evidence to be used against them in court. 

However, the risk to prisoner rehabilitation and ‘the risk of radicalisation of other inmates’ has led to a push to close the legal loop hole.

The discovery of a USB containing Islamic State material in the cell of a terrorist gang leader has led to a NSW state-wide ban on prisoner possession of images and videos of terrorism

The discovery of a USB containing Islamic State material in the cell of a terrorist gang leader has led to a NSW state-wide ban on prisoner possession of images and videos of terrorism

Previous laws allowed inmates to view terror-related material and propaganda if it formed part of the evidence to be used against them in court (Goulburn Correctional pictured)

Previous laws allowed inmates to view terror-related material and propaganda if it formed part of the evidence to be used against them in court (Goulburn Correctional pictured)

The changes follow the discovery of extremist material in the cell of Bassam Hamzy who is the founder of Brothers 4 Life and is serving a murder sentence at Goulburn SuperMax.

Although the USB drive was registered as relating to Hamzy’s legal case, Labor’s corrections spokesman Guy Zangari said he was ‘very surprised’ the legal loophole still existed, The Daily Telegraph reported.

‘It doesn’t matter whether or not the person got it smuggled in or just through a matter of circumstance through a legal case,’ he explained.

‘The fact is this material went into the wrong hands of someone who is a known offender with terrorist thoughts, ideas and links. This is just totally unacceptable.’

The changes follow the discovery of extremist material in the cell of Bassam Hamzy (pictured) who is serving a murder sentence at Goulburn SuperMax

The changes follow the discovery of extremist material in the cell of Bassam Hamzy (pictured) who is serving a murder sentence at Goulburn SuperMax

Pictured: The mobile phone belonging to notorious inmate and Brothers 4 Life boss Bassam Hamzy was found in the spine of a thriller novel in the library of Goulburn SuperMax prison

Pictured: The mobile phone belonging to notorious inmate and Brothers 4 Life boss Bassam Hamzy was found in the spine of a thriller novel in the library of Goulburn SuperMax prison

Under amendments introduced into state parliament this week, prisoners will only be allowed to view such material when in the presence of their lawyer in order to protect their right to a fair trial.

Counter Terrorism and Corrections Minister David Elliott said the new laws would be similar to how accused sex offenders could not possess sensitive evidence.

‘NSW has the toughest counter-terrorism laws in the country, including increasing police powers, strengthened bail laws, stronger parole provisions and the creation of a post-sentence detention scheme for high-risk terrorist offenders,’ Mr Elliott said.

‘It will now be an offence for an accused person to possess extremist material, similar to the way accused sex offenders cannot possess sensitive evidence, such as photographs of sexual assault victims. 

‘Having extremist material in a correctional centre inhibits efforts to deradicalise the person, and increases the risk of radicalisation of other inmates.’

'Having extremist material in a correctional centre inhibits efforts to deradicalise the person, and increases the risk of radicalisation of other inmates,' Counter Terrorism and Corrections Minister David Elliott said

‘Having extremist material in a correctional centre inhibits efforts to deradicalise the person, and increases the risk of radicalisation of other inmates,’ Counter Terrorism and Corrections Minister David Elliott said

He said the breaches could attract a two-year jail sentence.

A Corrective Services NSW spokeswoman said the department makes every effort to eliminate access to extremist material ‘or strictly control it where it is part of legal proceedings’. 

Mr Zangari called for tougher contraband measures including extra staff at front gates, increased use of detection dogs and full body scanners.

Under the new amendments, terrorism evidence is defined as anything that advocates support for terrorist and violent extremism.  

 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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