A man has been charged over allegedly sending emails threatening to “seriously harm” federal parliamentarians.
The Auburn man was due to appear in Burwood Local Court on Monday after he was arrested on Friday in relation to the alleged threats.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) allege that between October 2022 and February 2023, the man sent 18 “harassing and menacing emails to a number of Commonwealth public officials, including elected representatives”.
Police say the 54-year-old was spoken to by officers on February 28 and he allegedly agreed to not make further threats.
However, they say they were notified last Friday that he had not ceased sending the threatening emails, which allegedly included threats of violence.
A NSW man has been accused of violently threatening politicians while “hiding behind a keyboard”. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift
This led to officers executing a search warrant at his home last Friday, before arresting him and seizing a mobile phone and notebook.
He was charged with threatening to cause harm to a Commonwealth public official and using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence.
The maximum penalty for the offences he was charged with is nine and five years imprisonment respectively.
He appeared before a Parramatta court on Saturday and was refused bail to appear in court on Monday.
Detective Superintendent Craig Bellis said the AFP was committed to protecting all members of the Australian public, including those serving the community.
“Hiding behind a keyboard to issue threats against politicians does not ensure anonymity,” Det-Supt Bellis said.
“The AFP supports political expression and freedom of speech, but when it leads to criminal behaviour – including threats and harassment – it will not be tolerated.
“The AFP has world-leading technology and skills to identify individuals who break the law by harassing, menacing or threatening to kill Commonwealth officials.”