Woman who refused to check in at Canberra store says she is exempt from COVID-19 rules because she is a ‘sovereign state’

A woman accused of refusing to check in at a store in southern Canberra told the ACT Magistrates’ Court that she was exempt from public health orders because she is a “sovereign state”.

Elvira Shagabuddinova, who told the court that her last name was in fact Useinova, faces three counts, including trespassing and failing to follow a health instruction without a reasonable excuse.

Last week, Ms. Shagabuddinova was arrested after allegedly failing to register at a store in Tuggeranong, despite multiple requests from staff and police.

She was referred for a mental health assessment and was found to have no mental health issues.

At the ACT Magistrate’s Court, Ms. Shagabuddinova, who speaks Russian, stood at the back of the room and refused to approach the bench.

He was asked to come closer to a microphone, which had a translator on the other end, but also refused.

The woman was standing at the back of the court today and did not want to approach the bench.(

ABC News: Ian Cutmore

)

Ms Shagabuddinova then asked a series of questions, including asking Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker to provide her credentials.

“Is the judge representing someone who is alive or the state?” Ms. Shagabuddinova asked.

“I represent the land,” replied Chief Magistrate Walker.

Ms. Shagabuddinova asked whether the tribunal was sovereign and whether the tribunal had “unlimited financial liability“.

Ms. Shagabuddinova was asked to accept help from an intermediary but refused.

Magistrate Walker said her refusal to engage with the court left her with two options: either plead not guilty or consent to a new mental health investigation.

The accused refused a new mental health inquiry and Chief Justice Walker set the case up for a hearing.

Ms Shagabuddinova has been released and is expected to return to court in January 2022.

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