An alleged Melbourne neo-Nazi has faced court charged over making a video that threatened violence towards senator Lidia Thorpe.
Stefan Eracleous 30, appeared before the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday after he was charged with using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence.
His lawyer, Ben Watson, requested the case be adjourned to link up with another unrelated case in March next year, saying the Australian Federal Police (AFP) had provided “substantial material” for his office to review.
This was shot down by magistrate Meagan Keogh, who said it was “way too far away”, instead allowing Mr Eracleous’ legal team to have one month to prepare.
“That will be the third mention of this matter, I expect there will be an indication on that date of what will happen,” she said.
According to the AFP, an investigation began in January last year after a complaint from an Australian senator.
Senator Thorpe later confirmed she was the parliamentarian referred to by the AFP.
It will be alleged Mr Eracleous shared a video online the same month that named Senator Thorpe as three people burned an Aboriginal flag in a suburban backyard before performing a Nazi salute.
Reading a statement, one of the masked men said the country belongs to “white Australia”.
“Now witness as your rag burns, perhaps symbolic of whatever deed of ownership you seem to think you deserve,” he said.
Electronic devices police allege contained evidence of Mr Eracleous’ involvement in “producing and distributing” the video were seized during a raid on home in June this year.
If convicted, the maximum penalty for the offence is five years’ imprisonment.
Australian Federal Police Commander Stephen Nutt said the force took all reports regarding the safety and security of office holders seriously.
“The AFP supports political expression and freedom of speech, but when it leads to criminal behaviour – including threats and harassment – it will not be tolerated,” he said.
Last month, amid the Voice to Parliament referendum, Senator Thorpe said she had become the target of far-right extremists and accused Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the AFP of failing to protect her.
“I’ve been in exile for four months … because people want to kill me out there,” she said.
“I am ready to fight for exactly what I went into parliament for and that is my country, my people and I won’t stop.
“And I’m not scared, so come at me.”
Originally published as Stefan Eracleous: Alleged neo-Nazi accused of producing video threatening independent senator Lidia Thorpe