Druggie Muslims must not be arrested
A FORMER role-model for young Muslims who was arrested for cocaine supply yesterday won another court case, with the state failing in its bid to have her $18,000 payout for unlawful arrest overturned.
The State of NSW had appealed the payout awarded to Iktimal Hage-Ali in October 2009, arguing that the judge wrongly rejected the evidence of her arresting officers.
Judge Michael Elkaim originally found the arrest unlawful and officers wrong to have resorted to an arrest for such a small scale of supply when they knew Ms Hage-Ali was a person of good character with strong ties to the community.
Background from 2008
Eight days before she accepted her award at the art gallery, police had knocked on the door of the Hage-Ali family home at Punchbowl. They had been tapping her phone calls for the past three months and had taped her coded conversations with her childhood friend and cocaine supplier, Mohammed "Bruce" Fahda.
For their part, the police will argue they had a reasonable apprehension from their phone taps that Hage-Ali was involved in drug trafficking, even if there turned out to be no such evidence. She had told Fahda that she needed more drugs to supply to others, but Hage-Ali argues this was a lie and they were all for herself.
It seems to me that the police had ample reasons to arrest her and that the arrest was entirely proper -- JR