Case delayed for man accused of driving into a Jewish group at Caulfield protest

Keilor resident, Erkan Kemal, has had his court case postponed after allegedly driving his car into a crowd during a heated protest in Caulfield.

Case delayed for man accused of driving into a Jewish group at Caulfield protest
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Erkan Kemal appeared at Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court on April 4, facing charges of reckless conduct and endangering serious injury.

The incident, which occurred on Hawthorn Rd in Caulfield South on November 10 last year, saw Kemal purportedly driving into a group of Jewish protesters, sparking serious safety concerns.

The protest stemmed from the burning of Burgertory, a popular burger bar in Caulfield South, which led to clashes between pro-Hamas and pro-Israel demonstrators near a local synagogue.

The situation escalated to the point where the synagogue had to be evacuated due to the influx of protesters.

At the time, Palestinian-Australian owner Hash Tayeh falsely labelled the fire at Burgertory in Caulfield, which resulted in extensive damages amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, as a 'hate crime' linked to his high-profile activism against Israel.

Following the initial confrontation, tensions spilled over to Princes Park, resulting in a chaotic scene where police had to resort to pepper spray to restore order.

During the recent court session, contentious issues between Kemal and the police, including matters of identification, were brought up. Consequently, Magistrate Ross Maxted adjourned the proceedings until May 17 to allow for further clarification.

Kemal was granted bail with the condition that he refrains from attending any protests or public gatherings.

His next court appearance is scheduled for May 17 at Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court for a contest mention.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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