An Auckland man has pleaded guilty to possessing, making and distributing extremist Islamic videos which featured footage of people being beheaded and burned alive.
Imran Patel, 26, admitted the charges at Auckland District Court this afternoon, just hours after 27-year-old Niroshan Nawarajan became the first person in the country to admit such offending.
Patel’s situation is more serious because he distributed the videos, whereas Nawarajan was only charged with possession.
The cases are unrelated.
The offences under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act are routinely seen in courts in relation to child pornography but it is understood these cases are the first of their kind in the country.
Patel originally faced a dozen charges but the Crown condensed them into representative charges today.
The Mt Roskill man was found with a DVD compilation of 31 video clips: “13 of which showed acts of extreme violence, cruelty and death including people being beheaded, shot, blown up, immolated and having limbs amputated as well as scenes of graphic war footage”.
In court documents, various websites are named on which Patel distributed the material.
It can now be revealed that just over a year ago Patel was jailed for 10 months for holding a large knife to a driver’s throat and threatening to kill him while yelling an Islamic exclamation.
Patel gestured to the driver then ran across the road and held a knife – measuring 20cm – to the driver’s throat yelling, “Allahu Akbar” [Allah is the greatest], and, “I’m going to kill you motherf***er”.
And only six weeks before that incident, he was convicted for intimidating a former New Zealand Muslim Association president at his Sandringham home, where one man allegedly yelled “jihad will start from here”.
Earlier, Nawarajan pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting police, resisting police and breaching bail, as well as the objectionable material charge.
The 27-year-old was found with six video files, featuring titles such as: “Flames of war” and “Massacre of the Shias”.
According to reports from 2014, Flames of War is a 55-minute video released by Isis highlighting the Islamic State’s seizure of the Syrian Army’s 17th Division base near Raqqah.
Captured Syrian soldiers are shown digging their own graves and are then shot point blank before falling in the ditches.
The narrator reportedly explains the Islamic state is trying to establish Allah’s law on earth but are being attacked by Assad, the Americans, the West and various other foes.
The summary of facts in both cases could not be provided to the Herald because prosecution and defence lawyers were yet to thrash out the details of what was admitted.
Judge Russell Collins ordered Probation to interview both defendants and asked staff to consider the possibility of a community-based sentence.
Both men were remanded in custody and will be sentenced next month.