Sovereign citizen's violent Facebook calls to kill ‘traitors' revealed in court

A leader of an underground movement which refuses to recognise the legitimacy of the government called for “traitors” to be killed and for police to be hanged, a court has heard.

Juha Kiskonen was last year imprisoned after police from the Fixated Persons Unit raided his southwestern Sydney home during which they seized weapons.

Police described him as the leader of the United Kingdom of Australia group, an offshoot of the sovereign citizens movement which believes the government is illegitimate and refuses to acknowledge its laws.

Kiskonen was jailed for 12 months after being found guilty of two counts of using a carriage service to menace or harass and two counts of possessing an unregistered firearm.

He is due to be released from jail next week.

The State of NSW has applied for an extended supervision order to keep tabs on him once he is released from prison, fearing he is a danger of committing or inciting politically motivated violence.

Sovereign citizen’s violent Facebook calls to kill ‘traitors’ revealed in court

Camera IconJuha Kiskonen was jailed for several offences including firearm charges. YouTube Credit: Supplied

The NSW Supreme Court heard on Wednesday that in one Facebook post he was asked by another user whether he wanted to “kill a man because he disagrees with your claims”.

Barrister James Emmett, appearing for the State of NSW, said that he responded: “You’ve got a soft spot for traitors.”

Before his arrest in July last year, the Gregory Hills man was leading plans for a rally at Sydney’s Hyde Park where his group was hoping to raise the “true” Australian flag.

Mr Emmett said the United Kingdom of Australia recognised an Australian-based “king” as the true head of state.

The court heard that in his videos uploaded to YouTube, he described police, politicians and others who held public office as “traitors”.

And Mr Emmett described one video from July last year in which he called for police officers to be hanged.

“The risk is of the defendant making threats, the likes of which he has already made,” Mr Emmett said.

“The threat is that if police now continue to perform their duty, they will be hanged at some point in the future, either by military tribunal or under the direction or under the authority of the king.

“Those threats in the plaintiff’s submission meet the definition of a terrorist act because they are a threat of an action which will cause death.”

Sovereign citizen’s violent Facebook calls to kill ‘traitors’ revealed in court

Camera IconJuha Kiskonen is arguing he should not be subject to electronic monitoring when he is released from jail later this month. Credit: Supplied

However, Kiskonen’s barrister, Matthew Johnston, called for the application to be dismissed, arguing his client was not a risk of committing a terrorist act.

He argued against some of the proposed restrictions, including electronic monitoring and providing a schedule of movements, claiming they were not appropriate given Kiskonen’s mental health issues.

The court heard that Kiskonen had been diagnosed with schizophrenia 25 years ago.

And Mr Johnston said he had shown significant improvement since undergoing psychological treatment, including disavowing some of his previously held beliefs.

Mr Johnston also argued that Kiskonen’s online rants could not be considered dangerous because they are still online and if they had breached guidelines they would have been deleted.

“What they are raising is concern that the rhetoric or statements of the defendant which may incite others, or encourage others, which could amount to some form of terrorist act,” Mr Johnson said.

“That material is still available to like-minded people. We say that significantly diminishes what’s raised as a risk issue.”

He added that the only weapons found in his possession when police raided his property were plastic guns which fire plastic pellets.

However, Mr Emmett pointed out that the weapons were classed as prohibited, and it was possible to commit a terrorist act with a plastic gun.

Justice Julia Lonergan reserved her decision, which she said she hoped to hand down next week.

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