Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Loss for cleric who sent offensive letters

From the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian  

The High Court has ruled against a self-styled Muslim cleric who argued he had a right to send offensive letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

Man Haron Monis, also known as Sheik Haron, was charged in 2011 with 12 counts of using a postal service in a way that a reasonable person would consider menacing, harassing or offensive.

He allegedly sent letters - and in one case a recorded message - to the relatives of several diggers killed in action in Afghanistan and the mother of an Austrade official killed in the bombing of a hotel in Indonesia. His co-accused, Amirah Droudis faces eight counts of aiding an abetting Mr Monis.

The letters allegedly began by offering condolences to the families, before launching into an "intemperate and extravagant" criticism if Australia's involvement in Afghanistan. They also allegedly insulted the dead soldiers

Lawyers for Monis and Droudis argued the section was invalid because it infringed the implied constitutional freedom of political communication.

Justice Dyson Heydon said many people would regard the letters as "sadistic, wantonly cruel and deeply wounding".

Posted on 02/27/2013 2:52 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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