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Terror plot accused says he was just ‘taking the piss’

“The content is horrific but the way you present the content it’s a comedy,” he said. “I was trying to make a comedy.”

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Mr Galea said when read in context, the document would obviously have been satire to readers.

He had hoped people would have found it “hilarious” and passed it onto others.

“I’d intended to include disclaimers every couple of pages, which would be taking the piss out of the content … taking the piss out of everyone and everything,” he said.

Police allege Trades Hall in Carlton was among Mr Galea’s targets, along with the Resistance Centre in Swanston Street and the Melbourne Anarchist Club.

Mr Galea said he took photographs of the Melbourne Anarchist Club in Northcote because he suspected the organisation was involved in burning Australian flags, and he wanted to catch any flag-burners and enact a citizen’s arrest.

He passed the photographs and a map to an associate but denied it was for the purpose of violence.

Instead, he said, his fictional plan included gaining access to the club via underground stormwater drains, in expectation the plan would be passed onto police from an informer.

He had hoped the fictional plan would weed out the informer within the ranks of right-wing organisations.

“I was trying to unearth a dog,” he said.

Mr Galea said a network of drains didn’t exist and he came up with the idea based on his knowledge of systems in Paris and New York.

“It was a combination of reading about the Catacombs and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a child,” he said.

Mr Galea said he had recreated scientific experiments, including building batteries and using mercury, based on his admiration for the late electrical engineer Nikola Tesla and the television program MythBusters.

But under questioning from his lawyer, Felicity Gerry, QC, he repeatedly denied he planned to use his knowledge in creating bombs, causing violence, inflicting a terror attack and hurting anyone.

He admitted to once damaging a building, but said he “accidentally” damaged a fuse box at his house.

Mr Galea said he became involved with Reclaim Australia out of concerns the formation of Islamic “enclaves” would lead to a rise in extremism and terror attacks that had happened overseas.

At times during his evidence he looked directly at the jury of 12 women and one man when discussing his opposition to a range of topics, including Nazism, socialism, the preparation of Halal food, Islam’s treatment of women and fires at churches.

He told the court he wanted to inform people about what was really happening in Australia, and said he would never draw on his passionate beliefs to commit violence.

“Of course not,” he said.

“You don’t defeat terrorism and genocide by going out and committing terrorism and genocide.”

Early in his evidence Ms Gerry asked Mr Galea about the state of his mental health.

“Couldn’t be better,” he replied.

The trial continues.

with AAP

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