28 July 2021

Sydney man accused of making death threats at APH pleads not guilty due to mental impairment

| Albert McKnight
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Parliament House

The man was arrested over alleged death threats made at Parliament House will apply for bail again in August. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A Sydney man arrested after allegedly making threats at Parliament House last month has pleaded not guilty due to mental impairment.

The 22-year-old was arrested on 21 June and spent time in hospital after his first court appearance for a mental health assessment.

According to documents previously tendered to the court, at about 6:00 pm on 21 June, the Riverwood resident allegedly accessed the car of a Parliament House staff member parked near the building at the Queens Terrace car park.

The man allegedly said he would “make himself comfortable”, and asked the staff member questions such as “how much do you value your life?” and “what’s your life worth?”, and “where do you want to die? In a hospital, or somewhere more comfortable?”

“I’m here to stab someone. If it isn’t you, it will be someone else,” the man is reported to have said.

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The staff member drove around Parliament House to where he knew members of the police force would be.

The staff member flashed his lights at police officers to get their attention before pulling up next to them and telling them the man had a knife.

The Sydney man allegedly told police he wanted to talk to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“He would not elaborate on what he wanted to speak to the Prime Minister about, only stated that the matter was classified and above the AFP PSO [Australian Federal Police Protective Service Officers] pay grade,” according to police.

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On Wednesday (28 July), the man, who is being held in custody, appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court.

His lawyer, Mohamed Bejjaoui, entered pleas of not guilty due to mental impairment on his behalf to charges of making a reckless threat to kill another person as well as possessing an offensive weapon with intent.

Mr Bejjaoui also asked for a short adjournment for his client to make another bail application.

Magistrate Glenn Theakston adjourned to 6 August for the bail application and 8 September for a pre-hearing mention of the case.

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