Controversial former politician Salim Mehajer has been dealt a heavy blow after NSW‘s highest court took just minutes to deny his desperate bid for freedom as he gets set to face trial over choking and domestic violence allegations later this month.
Mehajer, 36, has argued he should be allowed out of prison so that he can prepare for trial, having indicated he will fight a string of serious domestic violence charges.
Sporting a five o’clock shadow and slicked back hair as he beamed in via videolink from Mid North Coast Correctional Facility in Kempsey, Mehajer represented himself in the Court of Criminal Appeal on Thursday.
However, it took Justices Robert Beech-Jones, Peter Garling and Dina Yehia just minutes to dismiss his bid for freedom.
He attempted to argue he should be released because he has no chair in his cell and that he doesn’t consider himself a flight risk – because he had previously travelled overseas while on bail.
Controversial ex-deputy mayor Salim Mehajer (pictured) had his bid for freedom thrown out in court within minutes
Mehajer is eligible to be paroled after he was in April 2021 jailed on unrelated charges.
He was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and making a false statement under oath and was first eligible to be released in January.
However, he has not been released because he is bail refused on remand as he gets set to face trial over allegations that he committed domestic violence offences against his ex-partner Melissa Tysoe.
He was earlier this year granted bail by the NSW District Court.
But, in a further twist, the Director of Public Prosecutions made a successful detention application in the NSW Supreme Court.
Mehajer argued he should be allowed out of prison so that he can prepare for trial as he faces domestic violence charges
He is set to face trial over allegations that he committed domestic violence offences against his ex-partner Melissa Tysoe
On Thursday, Mr Mehajer appeared before the Court of Appeal in an attempt to have that decision overturned.
In a hearing which lasted just 16 minutes, he submitted to the court that he did not have a stool in his cell.
Mr Mehajer said he had earlier this month requested a Corrective Services officer come to his cell to inspect for a chair.
‘Nothing happened,’ Mr Mehajer told the court.
He also denied that he was a risk of going on the run should he be granted bail and proposed a list of release conditions.
‘But I just wanted to advise the court that I’ve previously travelled to 10 countries overseas whilst on bail,’ Mr Mehajer told the court.
‘And all times I’ve returned, so I don’t consider myself a flight risk.’
Mehajer is accused of assaulting his former partner Melissa Tysoe (pictured) and choked her until she passed out
Without hearing oral submissions from the Crown Prosecution, the three-judge panel went off the bench to consider its decision for approximately four minutes before returning to deny his application.
‘I order that the application be dismissed, reasons will be published at a future date,’ Justice Beech-Jones said.
Mehajer is also scheduled to make a fresh bail application in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Monday.
He is also set to appear before the State Parole Authority board on March 24.
Mehajer is scheduled to face trial on March 27 over allegations he assaulted his former partner Melissa Tysoe and choked her until she passed out.
However, Mehajer is set to defend the charges on the basis he claims she sent text messages to herself from his phone.
Defence barrister Tom Hughes told the Supreme Court last month that she had made the allegations after seeing photos of Mehajer with another woman.