Police did not oppose bail for the Auckland terrorist when charged with assaulting two prison officers last year, Stuff can reveal.
Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen was shot dead by police on Friday after he stabbed shoppers in LynnMall Countdown.
At the time, he was serving a sentence of supervision in the community for possessing Islamic State propaganda videos, depicting extreme violence.
He was also on bail for an attack on Corrections officers in June 2020, which left one officer requiring surgery on a broken nose.
On Thursday, the Crown filed a stay of proceedings in the matter, allowing Stuff to reveal how Samsudeen got bail.
Court documents released to Stuff show that on July 9 last year, a joint memorandum from the prosecutor for police and his defence lawyer agreed bail should be granted.
The document, filed with the Auckland District Court, was signed off by Judge Peter Winter four days later without the need for a hearing or legal argument.
The bail conditions were largely similar to the conditions of his sentence for supervision. He had to stay at a West Auckland mosque, was not to be violent, and he was not to contact the Corrections officers who he was accused of assaulting.
A further condition that he not have devices capable of accessing the internet was removed in a bail variation hearing on July 16 by Judge Winter.
The judge said he had been told of Samsudeen’s anti-authoritarian stance when it came to the police and a culturally appropriate probation officer had been tasked with monitoring Samsudeen’s internet activity. He said leaving that power with the police could be setting Samsudeen up to fail.
Samsudeen had pleaded not guilty to the charges of injuring with intent to injure and assault with intent.
On Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said officials had done everythingthey could to keep people safe from the terrorist.
“We have utilised every legal and surveillance power to use to try and keep people safe from this individual,” she said.
“If he had reached the threshold to be in prison, he would’ve been in prison. Instead, he was being monitored constantly, constantly, and followed.”
The Crown solicitor for Auckland, Brian Dickey, told Stuff that Samsudeen had already spent 10 months in prison on the assault charges and any trial date was likely to be sometime in the second half of 2022.
Had Samsudeen been found guilty of the assault charges, Dickey said, he would have been released, given the time he had already served.
“As such, and in the knowledge Mr Samsudeen was to be subject to the sentence of supervision imposed by the High Court, Police, represented by and taking advice from the Office of the Crown Solicitor at Auckland, determined that continued opposition to Mr Samsudeen’s bail would inevitably fail,” Dickey said.
“That is, despite their ongoing concerns, given the time Mr Samsudeen had spent in custody already his continued detention could no longer be reasonably justified.”
He said police had previously opposed Samsudeen’s bid for bail, but the police had exhausted all options available to keep Samsudeen in custody.
“Consequently the police focus was upon preparations for Mr Samsudeen’s inevitable release.”
The court also released the police summary of facts to Stuff. The summary is the police’s version of events and was never tested in court.
It says Samsudeen was being held on remand in Mt Eden Prison in June 2020, awaiting trial for possessing objectionable material.
He was in “Golf unit” which has two exercise yards. Yard one gets more sunlight than yard two, but the summary says officers make sure prisoners rotate between the two yards so the system is fair.
However, the summary says when Samsudeen was told he was heading to yard two he became “agitated” and “voiced his frustrations”.
Samsudeen was told by an officer that if he didn’t want to go to the yard, he would be put back in his cell.
When one of the officers put their hand on Samsudeen’s arm to lead him back to his cell, Samsudeen pulled his arm away.
When one of the officers reportedly tried to pull Samsudeen’s head downwards “to enable him to gain control”, Samsudeen pulled away and began throwing punches at two of the officers.
Other officers came to help their colleagues but Samsudeen managed to hit one of them several times in the face, the summary says.
He was restrained and put in handcuffs.
The summary says Samsudeen complained about the cuffs and said he believed his wrist was broken. He was taken to the prison’s medical facility, examined and cleared before being taken back to his cell.
“The defendant remained very agitated in the cell while being spoken to by [a Corrections officer] who was sitting on the bed and [another] who was leaning against the wall.”
Samsudeen is said to have threatened the officers, telling them that he would remember their faces. The summary reports him saying: “Do you know what I’m in for? I’m in for terrorism.”
The summary says one of the officers tried to calm him down and asked what he wanted to do. Samsudeen is said to have responded “I want to f… this mother f…er up.”
The summary says Samsudeen “suddenly threw himself towards [one of the officers], punching him to the face.”
Several officers came into the cell and restrained Samsudeen, tackling him to the ground.
“During this process the defendant suffered a displaced angulated elbow”.
Samsudeen was again taken to the medical facility before being transported to hospital where he required surgery.
One of the officers also required surgery for a broken nose.
His case was due back in the District Court in October to set a trial date, but the matter has now been discontinued following his death.
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