Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews seems to be lying low after being summonsed to appear before a criminal court court charged with ‘concealing treason and fraud’
According to the Daily Mail, the charge was successfully filed with the Myrtleford Magistrates’ Court and Andrews or his legal representative, is listed to face the court on Friday at 9.30am. It is understood that he is is currently on leave after spending a hard year imposing Covid lockdowns
While the prosecuting agency on the court record is listed as ‘unknown’, it is understood that anti-lockdown campaigners Jim Rech and photographer Dezi Freeman had the matter listed privately.
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The Mail Online reports: The revelations of the court hearing are likely to have at the very least annoyed the holidaying premier, whose spin doctors were contacted for comment by various media organisations on Tuesday.
Insiders told Daily Mail Australia Mr Andrews had simply fobbed off the pesky litigation, which comes amid several more pressing legal matters for the Andrews Government to worry about.
‘I think the more interesting cases will be Ken Phillips and WorkSafe/HQ proceedings and then the SlugGate (ICook foods) court proceedings against (Professor Brett) Sutton and the health department,’ a source said.
The matters refer to WorkSafe’s investigation into Mr Andrews’ disastrous hotel quarantine facilities, which contributed to the deaths of more than 800 Victorians, and the health department’s closure of a catering company after a slug was planted by dodgy council staff.
It remains unclear where Mr Andrews has gone for his end-of-year break.
The last time the Victorian Premier got away he ended up with a broken back, which put him off work for months.
On Friday, a legal representative acting on his behalf is expected to tune into the court hearing via videolink due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns within Victoria’s justice system.
Sources have told Daily Mail Australia the private prosecution had been rejected from several Victorian courts before finally being put into the criminal justice stream in Myrtleford – 280 km northeast of Melbourne.
The listing of the charges has been celebrated by anti-vaxxers and lockdown protesters, with many taking to social media to wallow in anticipation of the words ‘treason’ and ‘Daniel Andrews’ being used together inside an actual courtroom.
Addressing ‘freedom’ protesters last month, Mr Rech claimed to have been successful in having the matter brought before the court.
Mr Rech, who refers to himself as a ‘Commonwealth Public Official’ is known to have tried similar proceedings against other members of parliament across the country, reportedly arresting ‘those sitting on the bench without any Crown authority’.
‘He was charged with, but not limited to, misprision of treason and fraud. And as a result of those charges being filed and served, they were served at his electoral office,’ Mr Rachtold protesters.
‘The police have been given notice … The courts have been told to suppress the listing but we put it out there, we’ve been to the court registrars.’
Mr Rech told the mob the Victorian premier faced the ‘death penalty’ if convicted of treason.
‘Now that means any politician on indictable criminal offences which is a life penalty but under martial law it’s a death sentence – it has to go to a grand jury,’ he said.
Under the law in Victoria, ordinary citizens can pay $85.70 and file a criminal charge in court.
While many private prosecutions are described by legal professionals as ‘wacky’, they have a long history in Victoria.
The case against Mr Andrews faces significant challenges, with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions likely to take control of the matter before it gets off the ground.
Under the law, the CDPP has the power to overtake and discontinue private prosecutions should it find it has no reasonable prospect of a conviction being secured on the available evidence or was ‘not in the public interest’.
In July, a private prosecution against the Chief Magistrate of Victoria Lisa Hannan was dealt with in Victoria under similar laws.
Despite the obvious hurdles, the application has already caused significant inconvenience across sections of the State Government, which is expected to provide a lawyer to appear on Mr Andrews’ behalf on Friday.
A staffer for the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions will also be on hand, although the matter is out of its hands due to acts of treason falling under the Commonwealth’s umbrella.
Mr Andrews’ office and the CDPP both failed to respond to Daily Mail Australia’s questions about the upcoming hearing.