A member of the Alameddine family has asked a court to let him use encrypted messaging apps again as he fights domestic violence charges.
A member of the Alameddine family has failed in his bid to have a court change bail conditions so he can use encrypted messaging apps as he awaits a hearing into allegations he intimidated three women in domestic violence related incidents.
Mohamad Alameddine has pleaded not guilty to various offences including three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, four counts of intimidation, four counts of using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend and one count of assaulting police.
As part of conditions attached to bail he was granted, the 38-year-old must not possess more than one mobile phone and not use a device that has encrypted messaging apps on it like What’s App, Wickr, Telegram, Signal and Viber.
Citing a change in circumstances surrounding his case, Mr Alameddine sought to have the bail conditions changed so he could use the apps.
Since September last year, the NSW Supreme Court heard Mr Alameddine had been allowed to talk to the three women he was accused of committing crimes against despite apprehended violence orders being in place to protect the women.
Mr Alameddine’s lawyer said the change in AVO conditions allowing communication with his client’s alleged victims meant the potential risk posed had been assessed to be less than previously was the case and the bail conditions should reflect those in the AVOs.
The court heard Mr Alameddine did not want to use the apps for any criminal reasons and he could already contact the alleged victim in-person so there should be no problem contacting them online.
The Crown prosecutor said a hearing to finalise Mr Alameddine’s case was due to be heard in June and the existing bail conditions should remain in place until then.
If Mr Alameddine was able to contact the alleged victims through encrypted apps the communications would be “unsurveilled and undetected” in ways that would increase the risk of interference with police witnesses, the prosecutor told the court.
Justice Robertson Wright said as Mr Alameddine had a criminal history that was cause for concern and a warrant had to be previously put out for his arrest.
Mr Alameddine’s bail conditions were not unreasonable and would only apply for the next two months, Justice Wright said as he rejected the request to allow use of encrypted apps.
Originally published as Mohamad Alameddine’s bid to change bail conditions rejected