FORMER Australian Qantas cabin cleaner Belal Khazaal, who was jailed for writing a "do-it-yourself" terrorism jihad book, has been released on bail from Goulburn's Supermax prison.
Mr Khazaal, 42, from Lakemba, in Sydney's southwest, returned to his family home yesterday following a successful appeal to the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal last month.
His conviction was quashed on the grounds that judge Megan Latham, who had presided over his 2009 trial, had failed to give proper directions to the jury; a retrial was ordered.
Mr Khazaal was originally found guilty of making the "terrorism handbook" in 2003 that allegedly instructed on various means of assassination, including letter-bombs, booby-trapping cars, kidnappings, poisonings, attacking motorcades and shooting down planes.
Counsel for Mr Khazaal, high-profile lawyer Adam Houda, said his team was "extremely happy" their client was released, and optimistic on the outcome of the retrial.
"Everybody I speak to, lawyers, non-lawyers and members of the public, think it's ridiculous that this person was charged in the first place," he told The Weekend Australian.
Mr Khazaal was classed an "AA" inmate in the Goulburn jail, which Mr Houda said went a level above what most people thought was the strictest jail conditions in the supermax section.
"If you go into the nitty-gritty of his custodial conditions, they're quite horrific. They are the most onerous in Australian history," Mr Houda said.
In the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday, Mr Khazaal's lawyer, Charles Waterstreet, asked that his client be granted bail ahead of his retrial, which is likely to be held in November.
He said there was little risk he would abscond or reoffend.
Judge Michael Adams agreed and said Mr Khazaal had previously complied with "rigorous bail conditions" from June 2004 until he was jailed in September 2008.
Justice Adams ordered Mr Khazaal to live with his wife and family and not change his abode without giving 24 hours' notice. He must also report to Bankstown police daily and declare any visitors received in the previous 24 hours. He must also stay at least 1km from any overseas points of departure and not speak at gatherings that advocate violence.
In: World News
Tags: Australian terrorism, terrorist, do it yourself, terrorism, Khazaal
Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (load item map)
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