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Alo-Bridget Namoa charged with refusing to answer Crime Commission questions

The teenage wife of Sydney terror suspect Sameh Bayda is a supporter of the extremist group Islamic State and may be willing to assist in carrying out terrorist offences, a court has heard.

But Alo-Bridget Namoa's lawyer Sophie Toomey says her 18-year-old client is just a "terrified teenager" with long-standing mental health issues and the case against her "reeks of hysteria".

Relatives of Alo-Bridget Namoa outside Central Local Court in Sydney on Thursday.
Relatives of Alo-Bridget Namoa outside Central Local Court in Sydney on Thursday. Photo: Janie Barrett

"If all the hysteria is pulled away from these facts, we have a girl who is defiant in the face of questioning by authorities," Ms Toomey said.

In Central Local Court on Thursday, Ms Namoa was granted strict conditional bail after Magistrate Les Mabbutt said she was not charged with any terrorism offence or violent crime.

Relatives of Alo-Bridget Namoa arrive at Central Local Court in Sydney.
Relatives of Alo-Bridget Namoa arrive at Central Local Court in Sydney. Photo: Janie Barrett

Under her bail conditions, Ms Namoa is banned from accessing a telephone or the internet, from leaving her mother's Auburn house without supervision or having contact with Mr Bayda or his family.

She is charged with 31 counts of failing to answer questions during a hearing at the NSW Crime Commission, an offence that carries a maximum penalty of two years' jail.

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Her husband Sameh Bayda, 18, was charged with three counts of collecting documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts in late January. He is being held on remand in Goulburn jail's supermax prison.

The pair married on December 31. Ms Namoa is of Tongan heritage and is an Islamic convert.

The lawyer for Alo-Bridget Namoa, Sophie Toomey, outside Central Local Court.
The lawyer for Alo-Bridget Namoa, Sophie Toomey, outside Central Local Court. Photo: Janie Barrett

During a secret hearing at the crime commission, Ms Namoa was asked about her husband's alleged plans to sacrifice himself, ISIS propaganda, a knife allegedly found in her handbag wrapped in a shahada flag and plans of a terrorist act.

She also refused to answer questions about a text message she sent her husband referring to themselves as a "jihadi Bonnie and Clyde".

During the bail application, Crown Prosecutor David Anderson opposed bail on the grounds that Ms Namoa is likely to commit a serious offence in the future and the community needs protecting.

"It is alleged and she agrees she is a supporter of Islamic State and the concern is that she is willing to assist in the commission of offences of a terrorist nature," Mr Anderson said.

He said she had become estranged from her family in recent times. Islamic State propaganda, such as a video of beheadings, was allegedly found on her mobile phone, and information on how to make an improvised explosive device.

While she was not charged over possession of the knife, because she was on private property at the time, he said the community would be concerned that someone with extremist views would have a weapon.

Mr Anderson said the "Bonnie and Clyde" message showed this was not a case of Ms Namoa simply being influenced by her husband, but that she is a "willing participant".

"She has indicated she is not willing to follow the law of this state," Mr Anderson said.

Ms Toomey said Ms Namoa has no criminal history and is unable to contact Mr Bayda while he is in custody.

"To suggest that an 18-year-old girl with no history of violence, no financial means, and a history of serious mental illness [is a threat] is ridiculous," she said.

Ms Toomey said the prosecution case "reeks of hysteria" and was designed to tar Ms Namoa with the same brush as her husband.

Ms Namoa has a long history of severe, debilitating anxiety and depression as well as behavioural issues.

In a report to the court her psychologist said she had been working with Ms Namoa in an attempt to temper her extreme religious views.

Ms Toomey said Ms Namoa was highly anxious the day before her meeting with the crime commission and her refusal to answer questions could be explained by fear. It may also be related to "misplaced loyalty to her husband", she said.

"While her religious views may be extreme, there is nothing illegal about that," Mr Mabbutt said. He also said he had never come across anyone who had been bail refused for failing to answer questions at the crime commission.

Ms Namoa appeared via video link from Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre in prison greens and a brown hijab. She was supported in court by five female relatives from her extended Tongan family.

Ms Namoa will appear in the Downing Centre Local Court on February 25.