The wild story of Salim Mehajer, the former Deputy Mayor of the Auburn City Council in Sydney, is officially set to end behind bars, with a local court in Sydney today handing him a minimum 11-month jail sentence for rigging the election that brought him into the public spotlight.
Mehajer was sentenced to a maximum of 21-months jail, with a non-parole period of 11 months, for electoral fraud by local court magistrate Beverley Schurr.
The court previously ruled that Mehajer, in conjunction with his younger sister Fatima, engaged in a “joint criminal enterprise” to rig the Auburn local election in September 2012. The court found “numerous” incriminating text messages that Salim exchanged with Fatima, pointing to dedicated, overt electoral fraud.
That election propelled Mehajer to a seat on the Auburn City Council, from which he inserted himself into the public eye via a series of opulent and outrageous stunts, including a wedding that shut down an entire suburban block.
The dissolution of that wedding, and associated accusations of domestic violence and abuse, formed part of a stunning fall from grace that has seen Mehajer in and out of custody over the past six months on a variety of other charges.
Today’s verdict stands as the first major jail sentence handed down to the one-time councillor.
The court today also handed Fatima Mehajer a two month suspended jail sentence for her role in rigging the election, after she previously pleaded guilty to 77 counts of giving false or misleading information to the AEC.
The judge overseeing Fatima’s sentencing accepted that the family dynamic was structured in such a way that Fatima became unwillingly embroiled in her brother’s wrongdoings at his direction.
32-year-old Salim still has charges pending for conspiracy to commit fraud and perverting the course of justice over a staged car crash which he allegedly concocted in order to avoid attending court to hear another charge of assault.
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