Sydney Man Arrested Under Terrorism Charges, Blamed Aussie Authorities
Terror suspect John Zakhariev says he was ‘sold out’ by Australian authorities
A SYDNEY man facing a terrorism trial in Bulgaria claimed it was Australian authorities that “sold him out”.
John Zakhariev is facing allegations he trained in the Balkan nation with the intention of fighting in Syria for Islamic State.
The 21-year-old’s lawyer has previously claimed it was Australian authorities which notified Bulgarian counterparts that Zakhariev had been in Syria in 2013 and was “interested in terrorism”.
In his first Australian TV interview since the arrest, Zakhariev said he was “absolutely outraged” by the Australian Federal Police and spy agencies. “It seems to me that the AFP and ASIO only specialise in selling Australians citizens off to foreign nations,” he told the Seven Network.
Zakhariev flatly rejected he was a terrorist, saying prosecutors have failed to provide “a shred of evidence” in their case against him.
Bulgarian authorities claim Zakhariev attempted to train at local shooting ranges.
Zakhariev says he only went to a couple of ranges in Sofia and had help from an instructor to load the magazine.
“I didn’t train,” he said.
“This is a very poorly attempted entrapment operation on the part of Bulgarian authorities.” The former Waverley College student said he’d like to return to Australia and was struggling in jail.
The AFP in a previous statement said it would not confirm or deny who it may be investigating and does not comment on matters of intelligence.