A Fairy Meadow man who used Facebook to post threatening comments about the Indonesian prime minister the day before he was due to arrive in Australia has been found guilty of offensive conduct.
New Zealand-born Ekiulu Marukore was initially unaware of the reason NSW counter terrorism and riot squad police pulled his car over at Bellambi on the afternoon of February 25 this year, however police quickly informed him they were concerned about a comment he had posted on the Free West Papua Campaign page on Facebook the previous day.
In the post, directed at Indonesian prime minister Joko Widodo, Marukore wrote “give me a gun and their whereabouts, see how they feel when their lives are threatened and their freedom taken away….doesn’t have to be this [way] but something has to happen for the world to notice and do something about it. Free West Papua”.
Officers arrested Marukore and charged him with using a carriage service to offend. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, with his lawyer, Matthew Ward, arguing Marukore’s comment, when taken in context with other vocal anti-Indonesia comments on the page, was not offensive.
However, Magistrate Les Mabbutt the offence proven.
“Once someone mentions a firearm, once someone mentions locating that person and threatening them, I come to the view that a reasonable person in contemporary society would find this comment offensive,” he said.
Marukore admitted to police his actions were “stupid” and said he never intended to carry out the threat.
Magistrate Mabbutt recorded no conviction in the case, noting Marukore was remorseful and had no record.