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Three men accused of performing Nazi salutes at a Jewish museum have pleaded not guilty, with one of their lawyers telling a Sydney court his client had never worn a Nazi uniform, unlike former NSW premier Dominic Perrottet and Prince Harry.
Anthony Raymond Mitchell, 31, Daniel Muston, 40, and Ryan Marshall, 30, were arrested on October 13 after they allegedly made the offensive gesture at the Sydney Jewish Museum in Darlinghurst.
Ryan Marshall leaving Downing Centre court after pleading not guilty to performing a Nazi salute outside the Jewish MuseumCredit: Rhett Wyman
They were taken to Kings Cross police station, where they were charged with behaving in an offensive manner in a public place, and knowingly displaying a Nazi symbol in public without an excuse.
All three pleaded not guilty on Tuesday when their matter was mentioned for the first time at Downing Centre Local Court.
Muston’s lawyer Bryan Wrench said his client had been accused of using Nazi symbols, but “he’s not a Nazi”.
“There is no history of Nazi sympathising, there was no Nazi paraphernalia on them, there were no swastikas, and no Nazi uniforms – unlike the former premier Dominic Perrottet or Prince Harry,” he told the court.
Anthony Mitchell leaving the Downing Centre court.Credit: Rhett Wyman
Earlier this year, Perrottet revealed he wore a Nazi costume to his 21st birthday party and apologised, telling journalists he was “deeply ashamed” for his actions. Prince Harry also wore a Nazi costume to a dress-up party in 2005.
Wrench said there had been an authoritative use of state powers in the prosecution of his client, with Premier Chris Minns asking for “the full use of the law” despite having accepted Perrottet’s apology for his Nazi outfit.
When the men were arrested, Minns said there would be “no tolerance for racial vilification in NSW” and that he expected “the full extent of the law will be applied to these people”.
Daniel Muston with lawyer Brain Wrench.Credit: Rhett Wyman
Wrench said all three accused men are “in no way affiliated with any Nazi group”, there was no protest, and the situation was not linked to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Upol Amin – who appeared for Marshall – said that the entire case was “a big misunderstanding”.
“We’re in very sensitive times at the moment and one thing that needs to be made clear is that this matter has nothing to do with what’s happening with Israel and Palestine,” Amin said as he left court.
“We hope that the misunderstanding will be cleared up by the courts in due course.”
Marshall wore sunglasses, ducked his head and shielded his face as his lawyer spoke.
The case will next be mentioned in court in January.
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