Monica Smit has been granted bail by the Supreme Court of Victoria after spending 22 days in custody.
She was originally granted bail by the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on September 1 on two counts of incitement for her alleged breaches of public health orders.
Smit did not agree to the onerous conditions of her bail and filed an application with the Supreme Court which she has now won.
Smit has been a vocal opponent of lockdowns, mask mandates, vaccine passports, and industry-wide mandatory vaccination.
Many view her arrest with scepticism, seeing it as an act of political censorship at a time when unprecedented health orders remain a matter of fierce civil debate both among citizens and political parties.
The original conditions of her bail included a curfew and demands for Smit to remove some of her social media content considered to be political censorship by political observers.
She was arrested in dramatic scenes livestreamed to her social media account. Smit was pulled over by police and then dragged from her car under charges of incitement relating to two Melbourne anti-lockdown protests held during Victoria’s strict lockdown period. She was also charged with three counts of failing to follow a Chief Health Officer’s directions.
Smit is the founder of Reignite Democracy Australia.
“In the current climate, there is undoubtedly a real risk of her re-offending,” said Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth.
The court was unable to make a connection between Smit’s advocacy for ‘freedom’ and isolated acts of violence within the protest.
Under the current conditions of her bail, Smit is not allowed to commit an offence under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act or incite another person to do so. Smit must remove all offending social media content within 24 hours of her release and she is not able to publicly name the police officers involved in her case.