Eight men arrested in Sydney last month and charged with plotting a catastrophic terror attack are being held in inhumane conditions, their lawyer said Monday. "They are in solitary confinement 23 hours a day, they don't see the sun," lawyer Adam Houda told reporters outside Sydney's Central Local Court. "Some of them have been mistreated and denied their rights. This treatment is very cruel and inhumane."
Houda was speaking after the court ordered the men's detention extended at least until their next hearing on Jan. 17. The suspects were not in court Monday. Houda said the suspects' treatment "totally undermined and ... makes a mockery out of the presumption of innocence."
He did not immediately elaborate on his complaints but said he would detail them in complaints to state authorities later Monday. The eight Sydney men are alleged to have been part of an extremist Islamic group stockpiling bomb-making chemicals and carrying out surveillance at a nuclear reactor on the edge of Sydney as a possible target.
They were among 17 suspects arrested Nov. 8 in a string of pre-dawn raids in Sydney and the southern city of Melbourne, including a prominent radical Muslim cleric.
Houda has said his clients are innocent. In court Monday, he complained that the police had not yet sent him any evidence against his clients despite arresting them almost a month ago.
"This is a matter that was subject to an 18-month investigation (which has) come before the court, and there's not a single document other than a fact sheet produced," Houda said. "We say that's totally unsatisfactory." Prosecutor Wendy Abraham told the court that a "continuous stream" of documents would be available to the defense within a few days, reports the AP. I.L.