A woman has admitted to falsely representing herself as Australia’s governor-general and importing police badges in a bid to build up a rival police force to overthrow the government.
Teresa Angela van Lieshout appeared at Adelaide Magistrates Court on Thursday and when Magistrate Simon Smart read out the charges against her, including that she had falsely represented herself to be a commonwealth public official and imported false Australian Federal Police badges in 2021, she pleaded guilty but added she was doing so “under duress”.
“I plead guilty under duress, your honour,” she said from the dock.
Magistrate Smart did not accept Ms van Lieshout’s “under duress” remark and stood the matter down so she could receive advice from her lawyer.
“I don’t need the addition,” he said.
“It’s either a plea of guilty or not guilty. I simply need an answer, guilty or not guilty, OK?”
Ms van Lieshout left the dock to confer with her lawyer and returned 15 minutes later.
On the second reading of the charges against her, Ms Van Lieshout said she was “guilty”.
Her prosecution flows from an Australian Federal Police counter-terrorism operation against individuals across the country who were allegedly part of the 2021 coup plot.
Police allege conspiracy theorists tried to overthrow the federal government by forming their own police force, organising replica police badges and drawing up arrest warrants for officials.
She will next appear at court on October 6 for sentencing submissions.
Her lawyer said a psychiatric report would be tendered to the court as part of submissions.
As she left the dock, Ms van Lieshout revealed she was writing a book.
“Wait till my book comes out, which details the government’s crimes against me are a thousand times worse than anything I’ve ever done or said,” she said.
Ms van Lieshout has run for state and federal elections for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party and as an independent.