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Mohammed Issai Issaka has pleaded not guilty to rioting and resisting arrest in the September 2012 protest in Sydney’s CBD.
How the hell did this putz get to Australia and who gave him his residency permit? Â Full report below the fold.
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Sydney riot accused weeps in court
A Muslim man stood crying in court as he apologised after he was ordered to do so or face being charged with contempt for having refused to stand before a female magistrate. Mohammed Issai Issaka said to Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge that he was genuinely sorry for his contemptuous conduct during a hearing in May this year.
His repeated refusal to stand at his hearing in May over assault charges in relation to riots in Hyde Park last year caused outrage in the community.
Reading from a written apology on Monday in Downing Centre Local Court, Mr Issaka said: “I wish to make an unreserved apology to the court and to your honour. I wish to explain that I had formed a sincere religious belief that I did not have to stand for any man or woman. The reason I did not stand was because of this belief. It was not because of your honour’s gender.”
He said he did not intend to show disrespect or contempt.
“I sincerely apologise to the court and to your honour.”
He then started to cry from where he stood at the bar table.
Magistrate Milledge said she accepted his apology and said she understood it “is not an easy thing for you to do”.
She explained to him that judicial officers take an oath to deal with all people before the court equally, regardless of race or religion, and the court expects to be given the respect it deserves.
“I will forgive your contempt… The matter is now at an end. ”
The hearing had to be postponed for nearly half an hour in May while the prosecution and defence consulted Ms Milledge in chambers over his refusal to stand before her.
She ultimately asked Issaka to wait outside while the rest of the court stood.
The case returned to the Downing Centre Local Court on Monday, with Ms Milledge telling the accused she wanted an apology.
Ms Milledge told Issaka she found his conduct “well beyond rudeness” but had not been prepared to deal with it back then because she did not want to waste the court’s time and witnesses were waiting to give evidence.
“I regarded it as a very serious but separate issue to the matter that was on foot,” she said on Monday.
“I found his conduct contemptuous … and it challenged the very integrity of the court.”
“I did not negotiate, I did not acquiesce, I did not placate … I was always in control of this court,” she said, referring to the hearing in May and discussions with the parties in chambers.
Ms Milledge previously said she had been a magistrate for four years in Bankstown and had never been treated with such disrespect there.
Ms Milledge had earlier said she would refer Issaka to the Supreme Court for contempt if she did not receive an apology when the court resumed this afternoon.
“I expect him to purge his contempt and I expect him to apologise to the court,” she said.
Issaka has pleaded not guilty to charges of riot, assaulting police and resisting arrest on the grounds his actions were self-defence.
The hearing continues.