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Salim remains behind bars after bail refused again

Former Auburn Deputy Mayor Salim Mehajer remains behind bars after his bail was refused again.
Former Auburn Deputy Mayor Salim Mehajer remains behind bars after his bail was refused again.

Property developer Salim Mehajer will remain behind bars despite concerns for his safety after a Sydney magistrate again refused him bail over allegations he staged a car crash to avoid a court date in 2017.

Burwood Local Court on Wednesday heard Mehajer's second bid for release "smacks of a man unhappy with the (original) decision and struggling with a significant fall".

Mehajer's lawyer, Anthony Bellanto, told the court the controversial businessman and wedding planner would offer a $100,000 surety.

The lawyer also argued News Corp Australia articles published on Tuesday could compromise his client's safety in prison. The articles suggested he was depressed, lonely and too polite.

Mehajer, 31, clutched wooden beads as he appeared in court via video link from Silverwater prison.

Mr Bellantino said the articles would spread among other inmates and have "far- reaching repercussions" for Mehajer.

Mehajer is arrested over the crash in Lidcombe.
Mehajer is arrested over the crash in Lidcombe.

"He should not have to endure any more hardship," the lawyer said. But magistrate Mark Richardson said a Corrective Services NSW officer had assured him steps were being taken to ensure Mehajer was appropriately protected from threats while in prison.

Mr Bellanto told the court Mehajer's sister had offered the $100,00 surety. It wasn't offered when the former Auburn deputy mayor was arrested in January and another magistrate refused bail.

But prosecutor Lisa Robinson on Wednesday said Mehajer was not considered a flight risk and surety would not have made any difference to the original magistrate's decision.

Mr Richardson agreed the surety was irrelevant and said it would "not have made any difference" when again ruling Mehajer remain behind bars. Mehajer's application "smacks of a man unhappy with the decision and struggling with a significant fall from what he is used to," Ms Robinson had said. "He is looking for a second bite of the cherry."

The matter is due back in Burwood Local Court on March 28.

Topics:  bail court prison salim mehajer sydney



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