COURTROOM CAPERS CONTINUE
Moutia Elzahed says she “won’t stand for anyone except Allah”. District Judge Audrey Balla won’t stand for Elzahed’s grandstanding.
The story so far: Moutia Elzahed is suing NSW police over a 2014 raid of her home, but won’t give evidence on her own behalf unless she’s allowed to wear a bag on her head.
Now she faces a potential $1100 fine every time she refuses to stand for the judge hearing her case:
District Judge Audrey Balla told her yesterday that it was an offence under new “disrespectful behaviour” laws introduced in response to other radical Muslims thumbing their noses at NSW courts …
Judge Balla challenged Ms Elzahed for not standing each time she entered and left the bench.
“I noticed on Wednesday and today the first plaintiff doesn’t stand as I come to and leave the bench. Is there a reason?” she asked.
“It is to do with a religious belief your Honour,” Ms Elzahed’s barrister Clive Evatt said.
Mr Evatt asked to be excused so he could take instructions before telling Judge Balla: “According to my instructions she won’t stand for anyone except Allah, which I am not particularly happy with.”
Judge Balla asked Mr Evatt if he had told his client about the law which made it an offence not to stand in court and warned that the decision to charge Ms Elzahed would not be made by her but by others: “Each occasion she doesn’t do it may be a separate offence.”
Odd that someone should bring a case to court if they don’t accept the authority of that court.