Sydney protester to plead not guilty to punching police horse

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One of the men accused of punching a police horse during Sydney’s anti-lockdown protest on Saturday has denied the allegation before being granted bail.

NSW police have charged 57 people and issued 90 fines after setting up a strike force to track down more than 3500 protesters who marched through the CBD and clashed with officers in defiance of public health orders.

Two men were on Sunday charged with punching a police horse during the rally before being denied bail to appear in court on Sunday.

One of the men charged was captured in a picture wearing a yellow singlet with “free speech” printed on the front and his closed fist making contact with a police horse’s mouth.

The 33-year-old was arrested after police tracked him down at a home on Marlborough Street in Surry Hills at 11.20pm.

He was taken to Kings Cross police station and charged with affray, joining or continuing in an unlawful assembly, committing an act of cruelty upon an animal, and breaching a Covid-19 restriction.

He is due to appear in Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday.

A second man, Remon Korkise, 36, was granted bail after he denied allegations that he had punched a police horse during the protests.

Parramatta Bail Court heard that he would plead not guilty after being charged with assaulting an officer, animal cruelty and breaching health orders.

The court was told that he had lost work as a photographer due to the pandemic and attended the protests out of “frustration”.

His lawyer Elias Tabschouri played footage to the court which he said did not show him punching any animal.

He was granted bail by Magistrate Joanne Keogh on strict conditions including that he not leave his house without his parents.

“The vision showed how dynamic the situation was. There’s no criticism of police but it’s just the way the situation was, Mr Tabschouri said.

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