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Qld MP stalking case back in court

AAP logoAAP 31/10/2016 Melissa Grant

A political blogger accused of stalking a Queensland MP has had his bail conditions changed after his lawyer argued he'd been denied his right to free speech.

Petros Khalesirad is charged with unlawfully stalking his state member, Brittany Lauga, and had been subject to bail conditions banning him from posting anything about her on social media or public forums.

Those conditions were loosened in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday, although Khalesirad is still prohibited from posting personally defamatory comments about Ms Lauga or her contact details.

It's alleged the Rockhampton freelance journalist and business identity behaved inappropriately towards Ms Lauga, particularly on social media and in personal communications with her.

However, his lawyer Greg McGuire said there were factual issues with the case and it was clear from the material the pair had been good friends.

Mr McGuire also said his client had been silenced by bail conditions prohibiting him from making comments about or referencing Ms Lauga on social media and public forums.

"The current conditions basically preclude him from saying or posting anything about a state member of parliament, which is a serious breach, in my submission, of nothing else but free speech."

In making the new order, Justice James Douglas said he had to consider political free speech.

"I have to balance the various elements of the public interest in this. There is certainly a public interest in political free speech," he said.

Khalesirad is also subject to conditions regarding contact with Ms Lauga, including a mobile phone call ban.

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