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Salim Mehajer leaves appeal over the length of non-parole period for electoral fraud



Posted

February 6, 2019 14:49:10

Salim Mehajer has given up an appeal on his prison sentence to rig the 2012 Auburn Council election after a judge said she believed the original term was "moderate" only.

Key points:

  • Salim Mehajer was convicted of 77 counts of electoral fraud in connection with the election of Auburn Council 2012
  • He appealed to a higher court because he wanted a shorter period without parole to seek medical treatment
  • The judge said she felt that the original sentence was only "moderate"

The former deputy mayor of Auburn was sentenced to 21 months' imprisonment last year with a non-parole period of 11 months after he was found guilty of using forged documents and misleading information for the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

Mehajer, 32, and some family members bombarded the AEC with false applications to vote in his council department during one hour in July 2012.

Election office staff became suspicious of the large number of forms, and it was later confirmed that the forms contained false addresses and more than 50 were fakes.

The property developer was elected deputy mayor of Auburn in September 2012 and was accused of electoral crime in 2015.

Today he appealed his judgment to the NSW District Court, not against convictions or maximum term, but because he wanted to reduce his non-parole period.

Mehajer's barrister Avni Djemal said his client needed to get out of jail earlier to seek emergency treatment for bi-polar disorder.

"He has an appointment with a psychiatrist to deal with the problem that doesn't seem to be treated inside," Djemal said to the court.

"This appeal is about reducing the non-parole period to allow him to deal.

"That condition [bi-polar disorder] may have had any connection with the offender in 2012. "

"Neither here nor there

The prosecutor said Mehajer had been monitored by psychiatric nurses and psychologists at the Cooma Correctional Center, and there was no evidence that he had serious psychiatric problems.

Judge Helen Syme advocated telling the court that she had read more than 1,000 pages of evidence.

"The fact that Mr Mehajer does not receive what he thinks is appropriate … is neither here nor there," Judge Syme said.

"He has been properly treated in my opinion – I have no criticism of corrective services supervision or assistance to Mr Mehajer, it is simply not supported by evidence."

She also said that the original sentence was sympathetic to Mehajerer's mental complaints and a "moderate" length to what might be imposed in the District Court.

She told Mehajer's barrister if she were to continue the hearing, she would consider an application from the crown to a higher sentence.

At that time, Mr Djemal said he would like to give up the appeal and the court was interrupted.

Mehajer will be entitled to parole in May 2019.

topics:

law-crime-and-justice,

courts-and-trials

sydney-2000


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