Backflip on accused stalker's Lauga blogging ban
A ROCKHAMPTON political blogger accused of stalking Keppel MP Brittany Lauga will be able to post about Ms Lauga after his bail conditions were altered.
The Brisbane Supreme Court heard Petros Khalesirad allegedly posted "clearly defamatory" comments about Ms Lauga online and began working for her neighbour to ask about Ms Lauga's house and her comings and goings.
Mr Khalesirad did not appear in the Brisbane court.
When Mr Khalesirad was granted bail at the Rockhampton Magistrates Court in September he was banned from contacting Ms Lauga or posting to social media in any way about her.
Mr Khalesirad's barrister Greg McGuire submitted that condition be changed to allow him to continue his work commenting on Queensland politics.
Justice James Douglas said he was not sure whether bail conditions should be used to restrict a person engaging in political debate.
"There clearly is a public interest in political free speech," he said.
But Justice Douglas said he was "concerned" about some comments Mr Khalesirad had made that were "clearly defamatory".
Prosecutor Lara Soldi said the stalking charge was made up of alleged comments Mr Khalesirad had made about Ms Lauga online.
"The primary concern from the Crown is the stalking is made up of harassing comments that are published," she said.
"There might be a fine line between what might be described as a legitimate comment and a harassing comment."
Mr McGuire said new prosecution allegations said Mr Khalesirad had started working for Ms Lauga's neighbour and asked questions about her house and when she walked her dog.
But Mr McGuire said those allegations were "not accepted" and suggested they were made in hindsight.
Justice Douglas found some bail conditions placed on Mr Khalesirad were "unnecessarily wide and indefinite" and agreed to allow him to write about Ms Lauga as a "constituent".