'Maccas' on mind of NSW terror accused: QC

Sarah McPhee

A Sydney man who denies being part of a plot that led to NSW Police accountant Curtis Cheng being shot dead was only a party to plans to have "Maccas" for lunch that day, a jury has been told.

Mustafa Dirani, 24, has pleaded not guilty to conspiring with others, including Raban Alou and Milad Atai, to do acts in preparation of a terrorist act or acts in 2015 between August 6 and October 2 - the day Mr Cheng was shot and killed by Farhad Jabar.

In the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday, his barrister Mark Tedeschi QC opened the defence case, saying Dirani "knew nothing" of a telephone call his friend Alou received from firearm supplier Talal Alameddine.

He said the call, received hours before Mr Cheng's murder, suggested a meeting in Parramatta's Jones Park.

Dirani and Alou were standing in plain sight outside Parramatta Mosque after prayer but Alou moved away in a "deliberate ploy" to make sure the call was not overheard, Mr Tedeschi said.

Dirani "at that stage, was not a party to anything other than going to have lunch together", he said.

"Mr Dirani and Mr Alou both remark about the fact that they're hungry and there is a reference to 'Maccas' - namely McDonald's.

"His actions are utterly consistent with a mate hanging out with another mate, waiting until his friend was available to go and have a meal and leaving before the handover of a gun to Mr Alou."

Crown prosecutor Paul McGuire SC has alleged Dirani had acted as "lookout" and "counter-surveillance man" for Alou during secret meetings with Alameddine, and one the jury may infer included the passing of a .38 calibre Smith & Wesson revolver later used by Jabar to kill Mr Cheng.

But Dirani never attempted to cover his tracks and had "well and truly left the scene" when the two men met at a Merrylands park for the "sole purpose" of exchanging the gun, Mr Tedeschi said.

He said Alou was the "mastermind" conspirator prepared to send a 15-year-old boy to commit murder, and Dirani had not been involved in any of the "particularly manipulative" man's two serious attempts to obtain a firearm in the past.

The court has heard Dirani possessed "extremist" religious material and participated in a WhatsApp chat stream with an Islamic State flag as its icon.

But Mr Tedeschi asked the jury to "put aside any feelings or prejudice" for those with views they may consider "repugnant".

"He is not charged with having unpopular political views or possessing or uploading obnoxious political or religious material," the QC said.

The trial, before Justice Peter Johnson, is expected to run until mid-July.