SAEED POWDER CASE ENDED
Saeed Dezfouli was accused of sending 17 envelopes containing a letter and white powder to politicians, authorities and media organisations including the Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Channel 7 and SBS on January 26, 2019. This was a protest for being held indefinitely, and treated unfairly by Justice Health.
Saeed supported by his brother Masoud and Brett
The case came before the District Court on the issue of his fitness to plead in the trial last week 27th and 28th February and March 2nd. Saeed was allowed to represent himself in court and had called a number of witnesses in his defence, including psychiatrists from the Forensic Hospital and his primary carer Brett Collins, to show that he was fit to plead and the alleged action was a reasonable protest against the unfairness of his situation.
Saeed then withdrew from presenting his case and refused to attend as he had been excluded from an earlier hearing and because the nurses’ statements against him had had the names removed, thereby making it impossible for him to challenge their information. The District Court then ordered that a lawyer should be forced upon him as the Act required him to be represented.
The Commonwealth prosecutor quoted as the precedent for that being correct practice, amazingly, Saeed’s actual case in 2007 when Saeed had the same thing happen. In Saeed’s original case the lawyer refused to accept Saeed’s instructions that he was guilty of lighting a fire, but instead lodged a not guilty due to mental illness plea, over Saeed’s protests. The result was that Saeed is now held indefinitely, so far 18 years, rather than being penalised with a 3.5 year sentence for lighting the fire. Now the lawyers wanted to do it again! He would be insane to want a lawyer! The NSW Law Reform Commission said that this approach was unfair and should be changed. See Report 138. p. 179-180.
The matter resumed on Monday 2nd of March, with three short hearings. A warrant was waiting for Saeed’s arrest to have him dragged before the court as he had refused to leave the hospital to attend. At the afternoon hearing the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions barrister announced that it had withdrawn its prosecution, and would not proceed further. They referred to increased security at the hospital to prevent any reoccurrence.
Saeed thanked his supporters for their assistance. He said that he will use his remaining time at the Forensic Hospital positively, furthering his education as a translator to keep busy and prepare for release. He has been given access to a computer and limited use of the internet to whitelisted websites for research. Justice Action discussed with management how that could be extended.