The NSW police have asked a court to order YouTube comedian FriendlyJordies to remove videos about a case against their producer.
- A police prosecutor said FriendlyJordies, whose real name is Jordan Shanks, was a “gift that keeps on giving.”
- He said Shanks’ videos were “interfering with the administration of justice.”
- The magistrate said that worse things were said about the judiciary every day
The producer, Kristo Langker, is accused of harassing former New South Wales Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro and has denied wrongdoing.
Langker was arrested at his Dulwich Hill home in June following an investigation by the state’s obsessed unit.
Jordan Shanks, also known as FriendlyJordies, has posted videos on his YouTube channel about the case, including one less than 24 hours before the matter was to be brought to court on Wednesday.
In a request to the court, the NSW Police asked for orders compelling Mr Shanks to remove all material associated with the case and preventing him from publishing further material until it is finalized, which is expected to be after May 2022. .
Police prosecutor Amin Assaad described Shanks as “a gift that keeps on giving” after his most recent video, which included details about the police request.
“At 9 am I had 248,000 visits,” Sergeant Assaad told the Downing Center Local Court.
“He is interfering in the administration of justice … he is in a position to influence witnesses.”
Sergeant Assaad suggested that Shanks should be held in contempt of court and claimed that the issues raised in the video were “not 100% correct.”
But Barrister Philip Strickland SC, for Mr. Shanks, said the request was too broad and appeared to be “fundamentally flawed.”
He said Shanks’ video included criticism of the obsessed unit’s involvement, similar to legitimate questions asked by “a wide range of people,” including politicians.
“This is an attempt, disguised as the Act, to end criticism expressed in terms, no doubt, that are considered unfavorable, but it is to end criticism,” Strickland said.
He asked that the application be dismissed, describing it as “amounting to an abuse of process.”
Justice Jacqueline Milledge said worse things were being said about the judiciary every day.
“I have never seen an application like this in this court before,” he said.
Sergeant Assaad said Shanks had 570,000 followers and was commenting on the strength of the indictment.
“Isn’t this giving all that oxygen?” replied the magistrate.
Sergeant Assaad insisted that Shanks was “leading the charge” and said the videos had the potential to influence witnesses.
“Is that a charge? God, it’s not even a walk in the park. It’s silly,” replied the magistrate.
Magistrate Milledge deferred the request until next week.
He said police needed to be specific about what it is based on for both the contempt issues and the crackdown, rather than providing “a lot of everything that has been said on video.”