Ryan Peter Marshall, Daniel Muston and Anthony Raymond Mitchell pleaded not guilty to behaving in an offensive manner near a public place/school and knowingly displaying by public act a Nazi symbol without excuse.
All three men entered pleas of not guilty to both charges on Tuesday, while high-profile solicitor Bryan Wrench said there is “no history of Nazi sympathising”.
Mr Wrench said his client has never worn Nazi paraphernalia and used Prince Harry and former Premier Dominic Perrottet as examples in his defence.
Representing Mr Muston, Mr Wrench told the court: “I want to talk about Mr Muston’s case for a moment … there’s an allegation of use of Nazi symbols”.
“There was no Nazi paraphernalia on them … there was no swastikas and no Nazi uniforms – unlike the former Premier Dominic Perrottet or Prince Harry”.
The trio are accused of performing Nazi salutes outside the Sydney Jewish Museum at Darlinghurst shortly before midday on October 13.
Earlier this year, Mr Perrottet revealed he wore a Nazi uniform at his 21st birthday party and apologised, saying it was “deeply hurtful” and he was “ashamed”.
Following the alleged incident by the three men, NSW Premier Chris Minns said he was “extremely concerned” about the allegations.
The premier said there was “no place for that in NSW” and expected the “full extent of the law” to be applied to the three co-accused.
“I want to make it clear there will be no tolerance for racial vilification in NSW or incitement to violence. It’s not going to happen. Police are vigilant, there is no tolerance for it,” Mr Minns said.
But in court on Tuesday, Mr Wrench said he was concerned about the “use of powers” by the premier.
Outside court, Mr Wrench reiterated his messaging and insisted his client was “not a Nazi”.
“He’s never had a swastika, and more importantly he’s never worn a uniform or owned a uniform … he’s not guilty,” Mr Wrench said.
Upol Amin, representing Mr Marshall, told media outside court the world is living through “sensitive times” and made clear the matter “had nothing to do with Israel and Palestine” but was just a “big misunderstanding”.
“We hope the misunderstanding will be cleared up by the courts in due course,” Mr Amin said as his client tried to hide from cameras.
Mr Mitchell declined to comment to media as he left the court alongside his partner.
The alleged incident occurred just days after an escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine, when militant group Hamas fired more than 3500 rockets in a surprise attack.
More than 1000 Israeli civilians were killed at a music festival while armed militants also stormed Jewish communities, killing and capturing hostages.
Israel has since responded with force in the escalating conflict, firing thousands of rockets into Gaza in a “complete siege” of the region, flattening dozens of buildings.
As the conflict continues, NSW Police say they are committed to keeping the community safe.
“NSW Police are working strongly with all communities to keep them safe and Eastern Suburbs police area command particularly are working with our partners in government, as well as our local community leaders, schools, and synagogues to keep everyone safe,” Detective Superintendent Jodie Radmore said on Thursday.