Wife of convicted Islamic State recruiter pleads not guilty

The wife of an Islamic State recruiter who refused to stand for a judge has pleaded not guilty to disrespectful behaviour in court.

Moutia Elzahed refused to stand for District Court Judge Audrey Balla or remove her veil during a hearing in Sydney in late 2016.

She wasn’t in court on Thursday, but her lawyer entered a not guilty plea.

In May, the justice department said Elzahed was issued with court attendance notices for nine counts of "disrespectful behaviour in court".

Moutia Elzahed after an earlier court appearance. Source: AAP
Moutia Elzahed after an earlier court appearance. Source: AAP

The NSW law came into effect in September 2016 and makes it an offence for someone to intentionally behave disrespectfully to a court or judge during a case.

She is the first person to be charged under the new law, which carries a penalty of 14 days imprisonment.

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Elzahed's husband Hamdi Alqudsi was jailed in the Supreme Court in September for arranging seven men to travel to Syria to fight with terrorist groups.

She was in Judge Balla's court late last year trying to sue over alleged police violence during a 2014 raid on her family's Revesby house.

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