A high school student accused of making bomb threats in a YouTube video, including against the Prime Minister, has had his case thrown out.
Ifraaz Joseph, 18, was charged with making a bomb threat against Government properties but this was dismissed at the Manukau District Court today.
It was alleged the South Aucklander had made bomb threats in a video to protest about proposed copyright laws and had disseminated it from a fake Facebook account in the name of John Key.
The video played at an earlier court appearance purported to be from the internet-activist group Anonymous.
Over spooky music, an electronic voice threatened that if the new Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act was implemented the group would "blow up all the Government buildings including the Prime Minister's home".
Key's Parnell house appeared on the screen when the threat was made.
The video said large amounts of explosives had been planted in buildings in preparation for attacks that would begin on September 11, 2011, the 10-year anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York.
"We will hurt anyone that gets in the way. People will die, people will be injured," the video said.
The court was previously told the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) alerted police to the video who tracked it to a South Auckland internet cafe.
It had been uploaded to YouTube from a flash drive and a Facebook page in the name of John Key had been created with a link to the video. The link was also posted on the Stuff.co.nz Facebook page.
In a police interview played to the court earlier this year, Joseph said he made the video at home.
"It's kind of like a threat but also it is a joke for others," he said.
He told police he shouldn't have made the video, saying: "I feel sorry that I shouldn't have put the threats on to the Prime Minister and the bombs."
Senior Sergeant John van den Heuval, of the police cyber crime unit, read an email to the court from a member of the GCSB's Centre for Critical Infrastructure Threat which said the video could be a hoax.
"It could just be a crack-pot random threat. It's completely outside of Anonymous's m.o. and capabilities, hence I'm sceptical," the email said.
Defence lawyer Giles Harvey argued that the video was just a joke that was never intended to be taken seriously, as demonstrated by the assessment in the email.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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