Terror accused wanted meal, not gun: QC

Sarah McPhee

A Sydney man "had no role in the conspiracy" that led to NSW Police accountant Curtis Cheng being shot dead and had instead agreed that day to get "Maccas" with his co-accused, his trial has heard.

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.

Dirani, wearing a suit and with a shaved head and dark, bushy beard, appeared in the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday for day three of his trial.

Opening the defence, Mark Tedeschi QC said Dirani "knew nothing" of a telephone call Alou received about three hours before Mr Cheng's murder from firearm supplier Talal Alameddine, which suggested they meet at Jones Park in Parramatta.

"The reason why he (Alou) moved away from Mr Dirani was that Mr Dirani ... at that stage, was not a party to anything other than going to have lunch together," Mr Tedeschi said.

"This was a deliberate ploy from Mr Alou to make sure that his call was not overheard by Mr Dirani."

Mr Tedeschi said this went against the Crown's "contrived" allegation Dirani regularly acted as "lookout" and "counter-surveillance man" for Alou.

The barrister told the 12-person jury on Tuesday it would hear evidence that Alou and Dirani, who were standing on the street outside Parramatta Mosque after a prayer session, had planned to eat together.

"There will be no evidence of attempts by him to hide his movements, conversations or internet activity from anybody," Mr Tedeschi 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."

Dirani had "well and truly left the scene" when Alou met Alameddine at a park in Merrylands for the "sole purpose" of the fatal firearm being exchanged, Mr Tedeschi said.

He said Alou was the "mastermind" conspirator prepared to send a 15-year-old boy to commit murder, who had made other serious attempts to obtain a firearm. But there was no evidence to suggest Dirani was ever involved.

The trial continues.