Two Auckland men have now pleaded guilty to what is believed to be New Zealand’s first charges for watching radical Islamic videos of beheading and violence.
Niroshan Nawarajan, 27, and Imran Patel, 26, have been in custody since they were arrested – Patel in November last year and Nawarajan in January.
Nawarajan pleaded guilty in the Auckland District Court yesterday for possessing objectionable material that was said to have involved graphic violent images. Prosecorors described the images as showing “extreme cruelty and violence”.
Police found Nawarajan in possession of a laptop containing offensive video files entitled “Flames of War” and “Massacre of the Shias,” according to court documents. Nawarajan also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and resisting arrest.
Patel pleaded guilty to charges of breaching the Films, Videos and Publications Classifications Act [see Appendix below. Note 1] by making objectionable publications, two charges of distributing that material, and one charge of possession of objectionable material. All involve radicalised Islamic material.
According to court documents, Patel is alleged to have created a DVD with 31 clips.
The compilation allegedly included 13 featuring people being beheaded, shot, blown up, set on fire and having limbs amputated as well as graphic war footage.
Both will be sentenced in June.
Patel was previously arrested in 2014 for allegedly threatening members of the Avondale mosque in a dispute between two Islamic factions battling for control of the mosque.
Patel and the imam he supported, Abu Abdulla, were barred from entering the mosque by the New Zealand Muslim Association which ran the mosque.
One of those involved in the disputes was named in a United States Embassy warning in 2005 as a person being monitored by the police for potential terrorist allegiances.
Source: Story by Shane Cowlishaw and Kelly Dennett. The Dominion Post, Saturday, May 7, 2016, p. A12.
The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993
Section 3. Meaning of objectionable
(2) A publication shall be deemed to be objectionable for the purposes of this Act if the publication promotes or supports, or tends to promote or support,
(a) the exploitation of children, or young persons, or both, for sexual purposes; or
(b) the use of violence or coercion to compel any person to participate in, or submit to, sexual conduct, or
(c) sexual conduct with or upon the body of a dead person, or
(d) the use of urine or excrement in association with degrading or dehumanising conduct or sexual conduct; or
(e) bestiality; or
(f) acts of torture or the infliction of extreme violence or extreme cruelty.