2018 Sep 28
After close to a month of debate and calls for justice, UNSW student Kamer Nizamdeen who was accused of terror offences has finally been released on bail by Australian authorities. On the 31st of August, Nizamdeen was charged of collecting documents likely facilitate terrorist acts with claims that his plan to kill Australian politicians was found in a notebook. This notebook was allegedly discovered by a colleague and contained plans to kill former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, his former deputy Julie Bishop, former speaker Bronwyn Bishop, the Sydney Opera House, as well as major train stations and police stations across the Harbour City.
However, after an expert handwriting examiner found that the sole piece of evidence did not contain his handwriting and “found an inconclusive result on the relevant entries contained in the notebook”, Nizamdeen was released on bail.
“Without a conclusive expert opinion suggesting the defendant was the relevant author, evidence for the charge has been significantly weakened. The prosecution concedes these are exceptional circumstances.” prosecutor Ms Choy told the Central Local Court in Sydney.
During trial, more of Nizamdeen’s material belongings were brought in as evidence such as his computer, mobile, and other documents but “No extremist ideology material has been located on devices found in possession of Mr Nizamdeen,” Ms Choy said. Even after 8 hours of grueling interviews with the police, the only real piece of evidence the prosecution was able to provide was the notebook that allegedly belonged to him.
It has been a tough month for all his family and friends in Sri Lanka as well. A model PhD student at the University of New South Wales and a kindhearted and simple human being overall, Nizamdeen racked up quite a large supporter base for the injustices being done. Over the past 4 weeks, Sri Lanka has seen petitions, silent protests, social media pages and campaigns dedicated to bringing justice to Nizamdeen and strongly standing up for the fact that he was wrongly accused.
Although he has been released on bail, Nizamdeen has not yet been acquitted of the charges pressed against him. It is yet to see if Australian authorities will compensate Nizamdeen for the inconveniences and trauma caused by this accusation.