Conspiracy theorist in court over protest

·1-min read

A conspiracy theorist who believes coronavirus is a scam and vaccines are murdering people will defend charges over two protests he led against mandatory masks.

Merrylands jiu-jitsu trainer Joseph Mekhael on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to two counts of failing to comply with the COVID-19 public health order.

He has already admitted online he organised the two rallies against Sydney's mask mandate through Westfield Parramatta in January.

But his lawyer Shams Ahmad said that wasn't the issue at hand.

"I think there's definitely a strong case. The charges will be vigorously defended," Mr Ahmad told reporters outside court.

Mr Ahmad stressed his client respected the court process.

Mekhael then called on people globally to rise up against "diabolical dipsticks in the government" and "media muppets" deceiving them.

"Coronavirus is a scam," the 36-year-old told reporters.

"It's used as a pretext to implement military dictatorship worldwide and murder the people with mandatory vaccinations."

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday said the vaccine was not mandatory at this stage.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week said federal and state health officers were monitoring whether to make vaccinations compulsory for some workers "should that be necessary".

Mekhael said the government was running a "sick, satanic, slavery system".

Asked if he was happy to go to jail for his cause, he said: "I may be vegan but you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelette."

His case before Parramatta Local Court was adjourned for five weeks to allow police time to serve their brief of evidence.

It is listed to be mentioned on March 30.