A MUSLIM man standing trial over his role in last year’s violent protests in central Sydney has been scolded for his “disrespect” after refusing to stand before a magistrate.
Mohammed Issai Issaka, 44, has pleaded not guilty to rioting, resisting arrest and assaulting police during the protests last September, organised in response to an internet video defaming the Islamic prophet Mohammed.
As the hearing commenced in Sydney’s Downing Centre yesterday, Mr Issaka refused to rise from his chair as a show of respect to magistrate Jacqueline Milledge as she entered the room.
Ms Milledge then repeatedly demanded the defendant stand, refusing to accept his excuse.
“You can tell me where it is in his religion that it says he cannot stand,” Ms Milledge told Mr Issaka’s lawyer. “I was a magistrate at Bankstown court (in southwest Sydney) for four years and I have never had to deal with such disrespect.”
After a delay of almost half an hour, the case resumed with Mr Issaka waiting outside the courtroom until the magistrate was seated.
Round one to Issaka …