NSW Police have been ordered to pay $20,000 to Jordan Shanks (aka Friendlyjordies) after they tried (and failed) to suppress YouTube videos which referred to the arrest of his producer, Kristo Langker.
ICYMI: Langker (21) was arrested by Newtown Police on June 4. He was charged with two counts of “stalk or intimidate intending to cause fear of physical or mental harm” toward ex-NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro.
In an application to the court, NSW Police requested that Shanks remove videos on his YouTube page about the case which they argue was a contempt of court. However, Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge called the application “inane” and said she’d “never seen an application like this before in this court”.
When Police Prosecutor Amin Assaad argued Shanks was “leading the charge” and could influence witnesses, the magistrate replied: “That’s a charge? God, it’s not even a walk through the park. It’s inane.”
Milledge has now ordered police to pay Shanks’ legal costs of $19,250, as well as Langker’s legal costs of $2772.
Since Langker’s arrest, the case has caught the attention of high-profile figures like former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
Rudd, condemned the actions of John Barilaro and even donated money to Friendlyjordies’ legal fun, as well as encouraging others to donate.
“Law enforcement agencies operate at arm’s length from government, but they know it’s the politicians who allocate budgets, appoint commissioners and writes legislation. For that reason, they should not just operate but be seen to operate in that way,” Rudd said on his website.
“It’s not difficult to find an Australian whose complaint to police has taken forever to investigate for lack of resources, especially among Australian women.
“Against that backdrop, the visuals of police swooping on a comedy writer within hours of receiving a complaint involving the Deputy Premier is jarring. It could severely erode public trust.”
What a mess.