Salim Mehajer, sporting a bandaged wrist, has pleaded not guilty to staging a car crash but only after a Sydney judge threatened to have him arrested if he didn't show up to court.
Mehajer initially failed to appear in Parramatta District Court on Thursday morning because he was apparently at hospital.
The 33-year-old was expected to plead over allegations he staged a 2017 crash in which his Mercedes AMG collided with another vehicle just before he was meant to appear in court over a taxi driver assault. But Mehajer was a no show in the morning.
"The situation is, Mr Mehajer is currently in Fairfield Hospital at the hand clinic," lawyer Zali Burrows said, offering Judge James Bennett a photo her client had sent her with a bandage on his wrist as proof.
A fed-up Judge Bennett had no interest in seeing the photo, telling Ms Burrows he'd made it clear to Mehajer that he was to be in court.
"I'll stand the matter down until 2pm," he said, adding Mehajer had better turn up "otherwise I'll issue a warrant for his arrest".
Outside court, Ms Burrows requested the media stop calling her client "disgraced", suggesting "misunderstood" would be a better term.
Mehajer attended court at 2pm with a fresh white bandage on his right wrist.
He pleaded not guilty to staging the car crash and a raft of other charges. His trial was set down for June 2020.
After the plea, the court resumed Mehajer's bail review hearing.
The former Auburn deputy mayor is seeking variations to his bail conditions. He's hoping to have phone restrictions eased so he can access social media, in particular Instagram.
The debate over the conditions has dragged over three weeks.
Witness Hassan Kanj was cross-examined on Thursday by Mehajer's barrister Dymphna Hawkins.
Mr Kanj is a witness in a separate case where it's alleged Mehajer supplied the details of another driver in relation to four speeding offences between 2012 and 2013.
Mehajer last week ended up back behind bars when his local court bail for those offences was revoked after he contacted Mr Kanj.
Mr Kanj was questioned about a Rolls Royce belonging to Mehajer that he said was dropped off at his house where it remained for a couple of days before it was taken away by "people".
He refused to name them stating: "Some people you can say no to, some people you can't."
Ms Hawkins suggested Mr Kanj was lying and he'd told Mehajer's father someone had put a gun to his head and stolen the car.
"Nah I didn't say that," Mr Kanj said with a laugh.
Ms Hawkins asked Mr Kanj if he had once grabbed Mehajer's father "by the vest" and said words to the effect that he'd only take his hands off the father's neck if he'd killed him or his son.
"Yes, that's right," he replied.
Mehajer furiously scribbled notes with his bandaged hand throughout Mr Kanj's testimony.
The matter was adjourned to June 18.