Muslim man refuses to stand in court due to religion
A MUSLIM man who threatened to “slit the throat” of an intelligence officer has refused to stand for a judge in court.
wife tilt wears a full burqa.)
His lawyer Nick Hanna yesterday told the District Court his client’s refusal to stand was due to his religion.
Judge Ian McClintock queried what religious view prevented al-Ahmadzai from standing, which Mr Hanna was unable to answer.
“It is a perceived view that it is not appropriate for him to stand in court. It is not advancing any discourtesy to the court,” Mr Hanna said.
Commonwealth prosecutor Karen Leavy said “on the face of it it’s disrespectful”.
Mr McClintock did not instruct al-Ahmadzai’s to stand but said he had noted it.
Al-Ahmadzai pleaded guilty in December last year to threatening the intelligence officer in a phone call in May 2013, telling him “I’m gonna crack your neck” and “come near my family again, I’m gonna slit your throat pig”.
He was refused bail. His wife Fatima Elzamtar was in court yesterday with their child. Al-Ahmadzai had been under surveillance by the Joint Counter Terrorism Team since December 2009 because he was “allegedly committing terrorism-related offences”.
The court heard al-Ahmadzai was sentenced to five years and six months jail last year for an ATM ram-raid in 2011.
He is also charged over the attempted murder of a man at Rydalmere on May 1 last year.
The sentencing hearing was adjourned until July.