Woman jailed for refusing to stand in court

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Illustration: Woman in veil
Illustration: Woman in veil

Moutia Elzahed, the wife of an Islamic State group recruiter has become the first person convicted in Australia, under a new state law criminalising the refusal to stand for a judge.

Elzahed defiantly remained seated on Friday in the Downing Centre Local Court after magistrate Carolyn Huntsman delivered the landmark decision.

The 50-year-old was found guilty of nine charges of disrespectful behavior during previous court hearings she was involved in.

She will be sentenced in June.

Elzahed showed no sign of remorse after the judgment as she was seen giving the militants’ single-finger salute outside the Sydney court.

New South Wales introduced the law in 2016 after several Muslim defendants refused to stand for judges on religious grounds.

Elzahed is married to Hamdi Alqudsi, who was sentenced in 2016 to eight years in prison for helping young Australians travel to Syria to fight for extremists.


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