A man accused of an anti-Israeli incident where he allegedly threatened to kill four teenagers attempted to evade media by not coming into court as his lawyer entered pleas to the charges.
Abdullah Al-Taay is accused of verbally threatening four teenagers on Bellevue Rd at Bellevue Hill in Sydney’s east on October 9 after the teens tried to display an Israeli flag on their car.
A video of the incident emerged online, appearing to show Mr Al-Taay telling the group to “put that thing back” before allegedly threatening them.
“I swear if I f**king see youse with that flag I’ll f**king kill youse all,” he allegedly says in the video.
“I’m telling youse right now – all of youse,” he allegedly added before retreating from the car.
Mr Al-Taay was then charged with four counts of stalk/intimidate intending to cause fear or physical harm, “one for each of the (alleged) victims”, according to Detective Superintendent Jodie Radmore.
He was charged on October 11 and spent one night in custody before he was released on bail following an application to a magistrate at Downing Centre Local Court the following day.
He was due to face the same court on Friday to enter pleas to the charges, but his lawyer Aqib Javed told a deputy registrar that Mr Al-Taay was “present in the vicinity” of the Downing Centre Court but was “not inside due to media coverage and controversial issues”.
“For that reason he is not making an appearance … he is downstairs, if I could just indicate,” Mr Javed told the court.
He told the court that his client was “reluctant” to make an appearance due to the media presence outside court and “kindly” requested the court proceed without Mr Al-Taay present due to the “controversy”.
The registrar asked Mr Javed to bring his client to court as he didn’t have “any order to be excused”.
Minutes later, Mr Al-Taay walked into the courtroom as Mr Javed formally entered pleas of not guilty to all four charges.
Mr Al-Taay did not answer questions outside court from a large media scrum but pulled out his phone and filmed as he walked away.
In the days following the incident, Superintendent Radmore told the media the group of teenagers were fixing the Israeli flag to their car before heading to a vigil to commemorate the lives lost in the first attack by Hamas on Israel earlier this month.
A man has been charged with stalking and intimidating a group of teenagers in Sydney after taking an Israeli flag from their car. A video reveals Abdullah Al-Taay allegedly confronting and threatening to kill the group in Bellevue Hill on Monday. The charges were announced by NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley and she claimed the altercation was an act of anti-Semitism. It comes after hundreds of pro-Palestinian supporters gathered by the Opera House, waving Palestinian flags and stomping on an Israeli flag. The 23-year-old was denied bail and will appear in court today via video link.
“The young people were going about their business … when the driver of the vehicle stopped and started to threaten them,” she said at the time.
Mr Al-Taay is on strict bail due to police having concerns for the community’s safety given his prior assault conviction.
Part of his bail conditions include being banned from suburbs where Jewish people might congregate in Sydney’s east, including Bellevue Hill, Double Bay, Woollahra, Queens Park, Bondi Beach, Bondi Junction, Tamarama, Dover Heights, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Watsons Bay and Randwick.
He is also banned from attending any protest or rally and must abide by an 8pm to 6am curfew.
The matter will return to court on December 15.