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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Salim Mehajer sentenced to 21 months' jail for electoral fraud



By David Spicer, ABC





Former Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer will spend at least 11 months in jail for rigging the 2012 local NSW Government election — the election that rocketed him into the public eye.
He applied for bail while awaiting the outcome of an appeal against his sentence, however it was refused.
Magistrate Beverley Schurr sentenced Mehajer to a maximum of 21 months in jail for 77 cases of electoral fraud stemming from the 2012 poll, describing the offence as striking "at the heart of the electoral system".
Mehajer and his family bombarded the Australian Electoral Commission with false applications to vote in Mehajer's ward in the space of one hour in July 2012.
Staff at the electoral office became "suspicious" of the large number of forms and it was later confirmed forms contained false addresses and more than 50 were forgeries.
Mehajer was subsequently elected deputy mayor.
Magistrate Schurr said the offence was at the high end of criminality for the crime due to the consequences and the planning involved.
Earlier on Friday, his sister Fatima Mehajer was given a two month suspended prison sentence for related electoral fraud crimes.
She pleaded guilty to breaching the electoral act by submitting false information to the AEC.
In sentencing Fatima Mehajer, Magistrate Schurr said her actions "affected the reliability and integrity of the electoral roll".
According to Electoral Commission rules eligible candidates needed to live in, or own, property in the ward they contest and be enrolled to vote in that area themselves.
Both Salim and Fatima Mehajer listed their addresses as being a unit in Auburn but neither of them lived at that address.