The notorious former deputy mayor of Auburn has been tried in court to find a lawyer as he faces jail time.
A lawyer-less Mehajer was called on Friday to find a lawyer and stop postponing his sentence for falsifying legal proceedings, leading him to stare down the course of prison time.
He was sitting at the high table in front of the district court to condemn a hearing, but managed to get himself a monthly adjournment to ensure legal representation.
Camera iconSalim Mehajer represented himself in court on Friday after he was taken from Silverwater’s remand prison. Photo credit: News Corp Australia, NCA NewsWire / Bianca De Marchi
The 34-year-old has been locked up since mid-November after he was convicted in court for falsifying the legal process and making a false affidavit in front of the district court.
When trial judge Peter Zahra revoked Mehajer’s bail, he told the court that a full-time sentence was likely.
The process related to affidavits filed in previous bail requests stating that Mehajer was a facility manager in Sydney’s west. He claimed this was the truth, but the Crown said it was a lie.
The notorious former Auburn deputy mayor has announced his intention to appeal the convictions, alleging that Judge Zahra was “biased” in pronouncing the guilty verdict against him in September.
After Mehajer was driven out of Silverwater Detention Center on Friday afternoon, correctional officers at Downing Center first led him into the dock before he was allowed to sit at the bar table next to the prosecutor.
Camera iconThe 34-year-old has been reminded that he will likely be sentenced to prison. Photo credit: News Corp Australia, NCA NewsWire / Bianca De Marchi
He was wearing a rumpled blue suit and his hair was precisely gelled. He asked Judge Zahra for a two-month adjournment to continue his search for a new lawyer.
The court heard that he has not been able to pay for legal representation since his legal aid was waived. A review of the decision in December failed due to the apparent lack of financial difficulties.
Judge Zahra read an excerpt from the judgment in which he stated that the appellant’s “lifestyle activities” indicated that he had access to “sufficient funds” to pay a lawyer.
Known for his love of fast cars and extravagant parties, Mehajer told the court that he was “in the process of hiring a new lawyer.”
Camera iconSalim Mehajer, when he was last a free man in November. Photo credit: News Corp Australia, NCA NewsWire / Bianca De Marchi
Judge Zahra was not pleased with the request for such a long adjournment, as nearly five months had passed since the trial was closed, but said Mehajer needed legal assistance.
He told Mehajer that his desired two-month break was “too long” and instead adjourned the matter for four weeks.
Judge Zahra reminded Mehajer that he had made it clear at an earlier hearing that his insult “justifies a prison sentence”.
He said it was in the entrepreneur’s “best interests” to close the matter if he wanted to appeal.
“This appeal will be frustrating because you have not been dealt with in this court,” said Judge Zahra.
The matter will return for trial on March 26th.