Charges Dropped Against Friendlyjordies Producer

Image: Kristo Langker’s arrest at his Sydney home in June 2021.

The legal saga between YouTube channel Friendlyjordies and former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro has seen a new development. Last Thursday police dropped charges against Kristo Langker, a producer for Friendlyjordies – the channel of political commentator and comedian Jordan Shanks.

Langker was arrested in early June last year, charged with two counts of stalking or intimidating with intent to cause fear or physical or mental harm. He pleaded not guilty, stating he was ready to strongly defend the charges.

Speaking about his success at court, Langker said police had displayed “an almost unbelievable amount of stupidity and malice” towards him. “Whoever stood there and let it happen and didn’t stand up and say ‘hang on, this is insane’ has wasted taxpayer money, has degraded the courts and insulted the judiciary.” Police have now been ordered to pay Langker $12,000 in costs.

The charges related to allegations by Barliaro that Langker had stalked and harassed him in April and June of 2021. In April, Langker joined Shanks in gatecrashing an event Barilaro was speaking at. In the second instance, Barilaro alleged in a complaint to police that Langker pursued him for 200 metres, asked “Deputy premier, why are you suing my boss?”, and called him “corrupt”.

However, video footage of the incident recorded by Langker proves these claims to be false – Langker never asked such a question and did not say ‘corrupt’ once. Jordan Shanks claims Langker was trying to hand Barilaro some paperwork regarding a defamation lawsuit the former deputy had launched against Friendlyjordies.

Police arrested Langker the following day, using the Fixated Persons Unit – a police unit established after the Lindt café siege to intercept lone actor extremists. During the arrest, police got into a brief scuffle with Langker’s family over a mobile phone, injuring his mother and his dog.

The fact that a counterterrorism unit was deployed to arrest a YouTube journalist producer for an “utterly trivial” ‘stalking’ offence was denounced as “shocking” by Langker’s legal counsel Xenophon Davis.

“On one level we’re very happy and grateful to the courts and Kristo’s certainly very relieved, but it’s a very sobering issue on reflection,” said lawyer Mark Davis, “if Kristo hadn’t filmed this interaction with Barilaro, he would be proceeding to a conviction I suspect.”

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