They stand for no one other than Allah

Defiance agains Australian law

UPDATE: FIVE men accused of trying to flee to Syria by boat to join Islamic State have appeared in a Melbourne court for the first time.

Left to right: Antonio Granata, Musa Cerantonio, Paul Dacre. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Just hours after arriving in Melbourne after being extradited from Cairns the men appeared at the Melbourne Magistrates Court for a brief administrative hearing.

It was standing room only inside, with dozens of supporters of the accused in court.

Some supporters of the men refused to stand for Magistrate Luisa Bazzani when she entered court today a customary sign of respect practices across all legal jurisdictions in Australia.

Left to right: Kadir Kaya, Shayden Thorne. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Lawyer Rob Stary told the court the refusal to stand was in line with the men’s “Muslim faith”.

Mr Stary, who is representing the five charged men, but not their supporters, told Ms Bazzani Supreme Court judge Bernard Bongiorno had previously excused Muslim men from standing as a sign of respect.

Ms Bazzani said she didn’t accept that it was appropriate for anyone to refuse to stand as a sign of respect for the court’s authority.

The police van transporting the five men who allegedly planned to travel by boat to Indonesia so they could join Islamic State in Syria arrives at Melbourne Magistrates Court on May 19, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. PICTURE: SCOTT BARBOUR/GETTY IMAGES

But Mr Stary said: “They stand for no one other than Allah”.

The men refused to stand despite being asked twice, once by Ms Bazzani and once by her clerk.

“It is customary for people to stand when a magistrate or judicial officer enters a court,” Ms Bazzani said.

“I don’t plan to take it further but it shows a lack of respect for this court,” she said.

They were watched by a beefed-up security presence inside court.

Prosecutors have been given longer than normal to prepare a brief of evidence in the matters.

The men will next appear in court on September 22.

None of the men applied for bail.


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