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Vic govt to reclaim homes from squatters

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016 Caitlin Guilfoyle

A homeless man squatting in a Melbourne house originally purchased for the dumped East West Link has been physically removed from court after a judge made orders allowing the government to reclaim some of the properties.

Simone Bon Giovanni, who represented himself, told Associate Justice Mark Derham, "You're under arrest for committing a crime", and accused the judge of discrimination when things didn't go his way.

"It is a crime against humanity," he said in the Victorian Supreme Court on Friday.

"It is not your right to take away my rights as a person."

Protective Services Officers were called to remove Mr Bon Giovanni from the room after he refused to sit down.

He was later allowed to return and stayed quiet for awhile before standing up and announcing: "I declare this court unlawful."

Justice Derham granted government applications to reclaim possession of five properties at Clifton Hill and Parkville.

The houses - compulsorily acquired by the former coalition government for the East West Link project later scrapped by Labor - had been occupied by squatters.

Rachel Ellyard, acting for the government, said there had been no consent given for anyone to occupy the properties.

Locks on one house had been changed to prevent government access, while attempts to perform works at another were prevented by protesters, the court heard.

Mr Bon Giovanni, who read from a statement before he was booted out, claimed the government had violated the Charter of Human Rights, and caused physical and mental damage to people in need.

Some defendants to the applications on Friday were also ordered to pay the government's costs.

The squatters have previously demanded the state government make the ex-East West Link homes available to some of the 30,000 Victorians on public housing waiting lists.

Meanwhile, the body of a man was found at another of the homes acquired for the road project before it was scrapped by the incoming Daniel Andrews government.

A detective at the scene in Collingwood on Friday said "the exact circumstances surrounding the death are yet to be determined".

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