Prosecutors will comb the phone records of a so-called “ISIS bride” who was repatriated to Australia as they try to prove she willingly entered a part of Syria under the control of the terror outfit.
Mariam Raad on Wednesday fronted court in person for the first time since being charged with knowingly entering Islamic State territory in 2014 to join the father of her four children, senior IS fighter Muhammad Zahab.
The 31-year-old appeared at Young Local Court where her case was adjourned to give prosecutors more time to compile “outstanding” evidence including financial records and messages sent by mobile devices while she was in Syria.
Ms Raad has been living in the regional NSW town since she was brought back to Australia in October last year from a displaced persons camp in northeastern Syria where she had been living for about three years.
She was rescued from squalid conditions in the Al Roj camp, near the Iraqi border, along with three other women and 13 children whose relatives are IS members who are missing or dead.
Mariam Raad appeared in Young court. Picture: NCA NewsWireMariam Raad, 31, wouldn’t speak to journalists as she left the court. Picture: NCA NewsWire
Ms Raad faces up to 10 years behind bars after she was arrested in Young in January and charged with entering a part of Syria under IS control, in breach of federal law.
She was made to surrender her passport as she was granted conditional bail in Griffith Local Court following her arrest, appearing from custody in Wagga Wagga.
Police will try to prove in court that Ms Raad travelled to the conflict region to join her husband, a former maths teacher turned star IS recruiter who left Australia in 2013 and is believed to have died in 2018.
Police, who began their investigation into Ms Raad while she was still in Syria, allege she was aware of her husband’s involvement with IS.
Ms Raad arrived at court on Wednesday morning wearing a brown hijab, large sunglasses and a disposable mask that concealed most of her face.
Ms Raad appeared in court with one of her brothers. Picture: NCA NewsWireMs Raad is pictured leaving Picture: NCA NewsWireMs Raad’s phone records will be trawled as prosecutors try to prove she willingly entered a part of Syria under the control of ISIS. Picture: NCA NewsWire
She sat in silence during the short hearing accompanied by one of her brothers as the pair watched their barrister and the lawyer for the prosecution appear via video link.
The court heard Ms Raad’s lawyers want the case moved to Goulburn Local Court to make it easier for them to attend in person and for Ms Raad to be excused from appearing at the next hearing herself.
The magistrate granted Ms Raad’s request not to appear at her next court hearing, as well as an eight week adjournment requested by the lawyers for the prosecution.
But he said the Attorney-General would need to approve moving the case to another court for the ease of the legal practitioners.
Ms Raad said nothing to the journalists who ran towards her as she left the court and got into a 4WD parked out the front of the building before being driven away by her brother.
The case is due to return to court on May 10.