Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

MEDIA STATEMENT: Mr Sevdet Besim – CDPP appeals

Date of Publication: 
23 June 2017

On 30 June 2016 Mr Besim appeared before the Victorian Supreme Court in Melbourne where he pleaded guilty to doing acts in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act.  It was alleged that Mr Besim planned to kill a police officer during Anzac Day commemorations in Melbourne 2015 and then use the officer’s weapon to commit further acts of violence.

On 5 September 2016 Mr Besim was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.  A non-parole period of 7 years and 6 months was fixed.

Prosecution Appeal – Victorian Court of Appeal

The Commonwealth DPP appealed against the adequacy of the sentence imposed on Mr Besim.  That appeal was heard on 9 June 2017.

On 23 June 2017, the Victorian Court of Appeal delivered judgment in the appeal.  The Court upheld the appeal and resentenced Mr Besim to 14 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 10 years and 6 months.

In allowing the appeal, the Court said the starting point when considering the appeal ground of manifest inadequacy was the maximum penalty for the offence, which in this case was life imprisonment.
Further, the Court said that, in sentencing those convicted of terrorism offences, Courts will accord primacy to considerations of general deterrence and denunciation above the personal circumstances of the offender.

CCA Judgment - DPP (Cth) v Besim [2017] VSCA 158 (23 June 2017)