Australia to keep convicted terrorists in prison longer

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) " Australia has enacted a law that will allow officials to keep convicted terrorists in prison after they have served their sentences, the prime minister said on Friday.

Malcolm Turnbull said in a statement that the law passed by Parliament on Thursday would keep Australians safe from prisoners convicted of terrorism offenses who continue to pose an unacceptable threat to the community at the end of their sentences.

The law was needed because 55 people have been charged in Australia with terrorism offenses since the nation's terror risk was increased to its second-highest level in September 2014, he said.

Sentences can now be extended by court order.

The Law Council of Australia, which represents lawyers, welcomed amendments to the draft law which gave prisoners up to 12 months' notice of an application to extend their sentences so that prisoners could get legal help. The law also has to be reviewed by a parliamentary committee after six years.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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