News

Political blogger will 'vigorously defend' stalking claims

Petros Khalesriad and lawyer Kris Jahnke leave Rockhampton Court House after having their bail variation application dismissed.
Petros Khalesriad and lawyer Kris Jahnke leave Rockhampton Court House after having their bail variation application dismissed. Chloe Lyons

A POLITICAL blogger accused of stalking Keppel MP Brittany Lauga has been banned from using Facebook or coming within 100 metres of Ms Lauga and her family.

Petros Khalesirad, who has been charged with unlawfully stalking Ms Lauga between February 20 and August 27, failed in an attempt to vary his bail conditions in Rockhampton Magistrates Court.

The bail conditions entered into by Mr Khalesirad at the Rockhampton watchhouse on August 27 stipulated he must not directly or indirectly contact or come within 100 metres of Ms Lauga and her family, he is prohibited from using social media or any public forum to make comment or post material in reference to Ms Lauga and her family, and must not approach or enter Ms Lauga's residence or office.

But Mr Khalesirad's lawyer, Kris Jahnke argued the bail conditions imposed on his client were having an economic impact on his life as he was unable to fulfil his role as a political blogger.

 

Mr Jahnke said Mr Khalesirad was a freelance journalist and his "constitutional right to implied political freedom" was being impinged upon because he was unable to make comment about Ms Lauga.

The proposed bail variation put to the court would allow Mr Khalesirad to comment on Ms Lauga online, but not contact her via her personal number, email or go to her house.

Mr Jahnke requested the 100 metre exclusion zone around Ms Lauga's office be amended as it prevented Mr Khalesirad from seeing four clients in that area.

The potential defence Mr Jahnke said he intended to use in a future trial existed under the stalking legislation and stated any contact in relation to political opinion could be excused as unlawful stalking.

Police prosecutor Clancy Fox told the court the police opposed the bail variation.

He alleged harassment suffered by Ms Lauga caused her detriment and hindered her from doing things she would normally do and added there was possibly an inference in the text messages Mr Khalesirad was sending Ms Lauga that he was monitoring her home, leading to insecurity of privacy and safety.

Mr Fox said the rights and risks must be balanced in relation to bail conditions adding a consequence of bail was having your rights infringed on for a period of time.

Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll told the court he wasn't convinced the bail conditions were too onerous, adding the allegations against Mr Khalesirad were serious and could lead to a term of imprisonment.

Mr O'Driscoll also commented that the proposed bail variation suggested that Mr Khalesirad still wished to have some contact with Ms Lauga's office.

Mr Khalesirad and his lawyer contend they will be "vigorously defending" the allegations.

The case has been adjourned to November 9 for a summary review where a brief of evidence will be presented.

Topics:  brittany lauga, editors picks, petros khalesirad, politics


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Wake up to driver fatigue this long weekend

LONG WEEKEND: TOLL and Driver Reviver are urging people to take care this weekend.

Up to 30% of fatal accidents around Australia are due to fatigue.

Rare limb deficiency means baby needs overseas surgery to walk

HELP DYLAN: Dylan is about 1 of 6 children in Australia with her limb condition, and the only known child with it in both legs.

Baby Dylan was born with bilateral fibular hemimelia.

Car engulfed by flames in Morayfield

No one was hurt at the scene of a burnt-out car near Morayfield State School on Thursday September 29.

"I thought the school was on fire.”

Local Partners

Wyatt Roy defends trip to northern Iraq

FORMER Sunshine Coast MP Wyatt Roy has again defended his trip to northern Iraq, questioning the reliability of the government's travel advice in the area.

Broncos legend meets with fans

Conner Mitchell met retired Broncos captain Corey Parker.

Many turned up in Broncos jerseys to get a glimpse of their hero.

Wake up to driver fatigue this long weekend

LONG WEEKEND: TOLL and Driver Reviver are urging people to take care this weekend.

Up to 30% of fatal accidents around Australia are due to fatigue.

Rare limb deficiency means baby needs overseas surgery to walk

HELP DYLAN: Dylan is about 1 of 6 children in Australia with her limb condition, and the only known child with it in both legs.

Baby Dylan was born with bilateral fibular hemimelia.

Car engulfed by flames in Morayfield

No one was hurt at the scene of a burnt-out car near Morayfield State School on Thursday September 29.

"I thought the school was on fire.”

Songs, memories and glee

ANNUAL GIG: The Bribie Gleemen are set for their annual show tomorrow midday.

Songs, memories and glee

Bribie kids take in sustainability

WORKSHOP: Bribie Island State (primary) School will host a unique permaculture workshop .

Bribie kids take in sustainability

Orphans of Watoto share their stories through music

The Watoto Choir performed at RSL Care Fernhill Retirement Community on Wedensday  as part of its tour of Australia.

The Watoto Choir performed at Fernhill Retirement Community Care.

Classic car auction draws buyers from US, Dubai

"He wants everyone to enjoy the cars, the collection got too big'

Lady Gaga confirms Super Bowl show

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga to perform in coveted spot

Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E7: Manifest review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.