Man allegedly caught with weapon and making threats to kill outside Parliament House

Climate and anti-corruption measures will be front and centre when parliament resumes.

Climate and anti-corruption measures will be front and centre when parliament resumes.

A man has been charged with possessing a weapon and making threats to kill after a confrontation with police at the ministerial entrance of Parliament House in Canberra on Monday night.

Yohanes Mekonnen, 22, faced the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning after being detained by federal police outside Parliament House at 7pm on Monday.

The details surrounding his arrest have not been revealed, but federal protective services officers at Parliament House held Mr Mekonnen until ACT police arrived and took him into custody.

He was taken to a nearby police station and was on Tuesday morning charged with possessing an offensive weapon with intent and making a reckless threat to kill.

If found guilty of both offences, Mr Mekonnen could face a maximum of 11 years in jail.

Accused faces court, security guards added at Parliament House

Mr Mekonnen made a brief appearance in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning via video link.

He laughed when the magistrate told him he would not be freed today and must undergo a mental health assessment before he could apply for bail.

“Treatment aside, may I ask why is this necessary?” he asked the court.

“This is a bail hearing, right? … Is this standard for everyone?”

The ministerial entrance is used by government ministers and their staffers to enter and exit Parliament House.

It is guarded by the Australian Federal Police.

The Department of Parliamentary Services said on Tuesday afternoon it would hire private security guards to patrol the car parks near Parliament House during sitting weeks.

“While there is no apparent ongoing threat, for the peace of mind of all building occupants we have immediately engaged private security contractors to conduct patrols on sitting nights between 6pm and 10pm,” the statement read.

“Please be assured the safety of everyone who works in Australian Parliament House is paramount and we will be working with the National Capital Authority to review public safety requirements and any additional long-term measures.”


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