Man Gets $180 Ticket, Spends 75x That Fighting It

Friends think he's crazy, but Mustafa Al Shakarji says it's about justice
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2016 6:01 AM CST
Updated Feb 26, 2016 6:57 AM CST
Man Has Spent $14K Fighting $180 Ticket
A police officer walks from his patrol car to issue a ticket for speeding to a driver on Interstate 72 near Jacksonville, Ill.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

When Mustafa Al Shakarji immigrated with his family to Australia from Iraq in 2002, he found a country far less rife with government and police corruption. So when he got a $180 (in US dollars) speeding ticket he felt was flat out wrong back in March 2012, he decided to fight it—and is still contesting it, reports "In Iraq I couldn't stand up to speak out, but here you can when you don't think it's right, so why wouldn't you?" he told back in 2011, when he was discussing another ticket he successfully fought. (That story made news because he used Google Earth images to make the case police had the wrong car.) The main difference here is that Al Shakarji says he has spent at least $14,000 fighting the ticket, even though he has represented himself over five hearings, which include police appealing the appeal he won.

Though police allege he was going 88kmh in a 60kmh speed zone (that's roughly 55mph vs. 37mph), "I was not speeding, absolutely," the pharmacist says. A radar expert tells A Current Affair that the police radar detector wasn't installed in the proper location in the patrol car, and so "the whole operation ... comes into question because you are now using a device outside the guidelines." Al Shakarji himself surreptitiously filmed being pulled over using his watch. "I am sure, 100%, finally justice will be served," Al Shakarji says of his next day in court, adding that he's willing to take the case all the way to Australia's High Court. Even his family thinks he's crazy and should just pay the fine. (Check out what this woman dared say to a police officer issuing her a $600 speeding ticket.)

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