The lawyer for a man accused of planning a terrorist attack on an Adelaide Hills electrical substation says evidence presented to a Supreme Court jury is too “weak” to prove he was plotting an attack.

Former Department of Defence employee and electronics engineer Artem Vasilyev, 27, is standing trial in the Supreme Court charged with planning a terror attack on the Cherry Gardens electrical substation.

Prosecutor Justin Hannebery KC previously told the court that Mr Vasilyev intended to carry out a terrorist attack to advance the ideological cause of white nationalism.

In his closing address to the jury, defence lawyer Scott Henchliffe KC said his client should be found not guilty because the prosecution had not been able to prove all the elements of the offence, including Mr Vasilyev’s intent.

“I submit to you that the evidence cannot prove that Mr Vasilyev had an intentional purpose to attack anyone or anything.”

“Because there is no direct evidence and because, I would suggest, that the circumstantial evidence in this case is quite weak, you can’t be satisfied what was in his mind at the time he did certain acts.”

Mr Henchliffe told the jury it would be difficult to reach conclusions beyond a reasonable doubt, based on the evidence.

Lawyer says Google Map searches do not prove intent

Mr Henchliffe said the evidence was “simply incapable” of proving that Mr Vasilyev specifically looked up the Cherry Gardens substation or that he tried to research the area for the purpose of carrying out an attack.

“The fact that Mr Vasilyev never looked for the Cherry Gardens Substation in Google Maps or even — was not found to have looked at it in any search browser either — is something of the elephant in the room.”

Justice Sandi McDonald will sum up the case before jurors start their deliberation.(ABC News: Che Chorley)

The court heard police found chemicals and 3D-printed firearm parts during searches of Mr Vasilyev’s home, and also seized his computers and electronic devices.

Mr Henchliffe said there was no evidence that his client looked up any maps that included the Cherry Gardens substation before July 2021, when he looked up an address near the substation.

“His internet history reveals a complete lack of interest in the Cherry Gardens substation … the only ones with that fascination are the prosecution and police, not Mr Vasilyev.”

Mr Henchliffe told the jury it would be “absurd” and “perverse” to conclude that events that happened a year or two earlier, such as purchasing a 3D printer and buying chemicals, could be linked to his subsequent Google map searches in 2021.

Mr Henchliffe said his client enjoyed hiking, and the Google maps he had viewed that included areas in and around the Cherry Gardens substation contained a hiking route.

“It shows an interest in historical sites which perhaps are at Cherry Gardens … and it shows an interest motivated by the fact that Mr Vasilyev liked hiking, not motivated by white nationalism.”

Accused had an interest in explosives, but was not planning attack, defence says

The prosecutor previously told the court Mr Vasilyev had looked up numerous videos on YouTube including detonators, how to build a gun, ways to avoid detection and homemade bombs.

Mr Hencliffe said his client had a “curious mind” and was interested in “all sorts of unusual and esoteric matters”.

“Some people find it exciting to see things blow up, or explode or have a fiery end. There are TV shows on YouTube that specialise in these sorts of things,” Mr Henchliffe told the jury.

He said his client legally owned firearms, was a member of a gun club and sometimes did target shooting.

Mr Henchliffe told the jury that Mr Vasilyev’s involvement with white nationalist groups did not mean he was motivated by the ideology or had any intention to carry out an attack.

“Was he toying with the other people in those channels? Was he bored? Was he being sarcastic? Did he mean what he said?” Mr Henchliffe rhetorically asked the jury.

The prosecutor previously told the jury that police found large volumes of material on Mr Vasilyev’s computers that were “unerringly aligned with white nationalist racist extremism and the violent pursuit of that political viewpoint”.

“I don’t in any way defend the ideology of that or the extremist material, violent material Mr Vasilyev had,” Mr Henchliffe said.

“But having that material doesn’t make him guilty of this charge.”

Mr Henchliffe told the jury that if somebody supported a football team it did not mean they were part of that team.

“It means they’re going to stand on the side and cheer them on. But they’re not going to take action because they’re not a player.”

Mr Henchliffe said his client was an “intelligent person” with a good job and had bought a block of land to build a house.

“It was not in Mr Vasilyev’s interest to accelerate the destruction of society, he had a job, he had a future,” Mr Henchliffe said.

The trial continues on Monday.