Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews aka dictator Dan has been summoned to appear before a criminal court in Myrtleford on a charge of concealing treason that was successfully filed with the court.
The charge was successfully filed with the Myrtleford Magistrates’ Court in Victoria and the Premier – or at least his legal representative – is listed to face the court on Friday at 9.30 am.
While the prosecuting agency on the court record is listed as ‘unknown’, it is known that the listing was privately filed by Jim Rech and photographer Dezi Freeman.
The private filing had originally been rejected from several Victorian courts before being put into the criminal justice stream in Myrtleford, Victoria – just 280 km northeast of Melbourne.
Addressing ‘freedom’ protesters last month, Mr. Rech said he has been successful in having the matter brought before the court, but it had since been suppressed to the general public.
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’.
The matter is confirmed to be listed on the court’s Electronic Filing Appearance System, which is accessible publicly.
‘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 addressed thousands of protestors saying that 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 such as this one have a long history in Victoria but are described by legal professionals a ‘wacky.’
Sydney Law School associate professor Tyrone Kirchengast told The Age in July private prosecutions were ‘the cornerstone of the early justice system in the 12th-century king’s courts’.
The practice goes back to a time before police and prosecutors where private citizens would apprehend and charge crooks themselves.
In those days, hanging the criminal was seen as a favourable option, but more often offenders were branded with hot irons or thrown into the stocks.
Today, private prosecutions are mostly used by municipal councils, building authorities and animal welfare groups.
But they are also brought into play by members of the public who believe the authorities have dismissed their claims for justice.
The case against Premier Dan 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 Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (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 Premier Dan Andrews’ behalf on Friday.
The Victorian CDPP will also be on hand, although the matter is out of its hands due to acts of treason falling under the Commonwealth’s umbrella.
Dan Andrews’ office has not to responded to any questions about the upcoming hearing.