A fallen former politician has lost his bid for freedom after he failed to prove he had a compelling reason to be released.
Salim Mehajer appeared before the Supreme Court on Thursday in his prison greens to ask to be freed from Cooma jail, where he is currently being held.
The controversial former property developer is behind bars on remand after he pleaded not guilty to seven charges of assaulting, choking and intimidating his former partner.
Dialling into court from prison, he represented himself and argued he should be freed because the trial date for the charges had been delayed until March 27, 2023.
Yet Justice Stephen Campbell SC clarified the trial had been delayed due to an application from Mr Mehajer himself, who cited difficulty in securing legal representation.
“The Crown (prosecutors) were eager, willing and ready to proceed,” he said.
The disgraced former Auburn deputy mayor also told the court he was struggling with ongoing mental health issues, but the court heard the medical reports tendered were contradictory.
“I accept that justice health said I am not suffering from any mental illness,” Mr Mehajer conceded.
In addition to being detained on remand, the ex-politician is serving a jail term of three years and six months for lying under oath to further his business interests.
The court heard he could possibly be granted parole on January 18 for his convictions after serving the minimum period required by his sentence.
Mr Mehajer told the court he is currently waiting to learn the outcome of an appeal to overturn the guilty verdicts in the Court of Criminal Appeal, which has reserved its judgment.
The Court of Criminal Appeal is also considering a renewed application for bail related to the disgraced developer’s convictions.
The Supreme Court heard Mr Mehajer wanted to be granted bail for the charges of alleged violent conduct against his ex-girlfriend so he would be able to walk free from jail if his parole or appeal was granted for his convictions.
However, Justice Campbell said the appeal was “not a relevant factor” he needed to consider in a bail application for separate charges.
He determined that neither the delayed trial date nor the ex-politician’s claims of mental illness provided new information to the court, and refused to hear the bail application.
The court heard it’s the third time Mr Mehajer has made a failed bid for bail in respect to the charges against his ex-girlfriend.
Justice Campbell said the evidence put forward by Mr Mehajer had to be considered against the background of “a history of repeated release applications” which had been denied.
Despite the setback on Thursday, the court heard the legal battles of the formerly high-flying politician are far from over.
“Mr Mehajer is facing a number of trials next year in relation to disparate matters,” Justice Campbell told the court.
In June, the contentious property developer was labelled a “vexatious litigant” by the Supreme Court and prohibited from launching any new legal proceedings in NSW without express permission from a court.