In a press conference on the university campus on Monday, Pavlou told reporters that he had received documents from UQ’s lawyers Clayton Utz alleging that he had misused emails subpoenaed and provided to him by the university.
The emails contain communication between the Brisbane-based Chinese consul general Xu Jie and the university and were obtained as part of Pavlou’s appeal to the Magistrates’ Court for a Peace and Good Behaviour order—similar to a restraining order—against the Chinese official.
Clayton Utz will allegedly commence proceedings against Pavlou for contempt of court, which carries a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment. The Epoch Times reached out to Clayton Utz on Monday but did not receive a response.
In a video posted on Twitter on Monday, Pavlou said: “This is really a truly extraordinary step for a public university to take.
“I don’t know if we’ve ever seen a case like this before in Australia or the world,” he said. “A public university now trying to prosecute a student, now threatening them with jail time, simply for criticising their relationships with the Chinese [regime].
“UQ is seeking to imprison me for three years, expulsion is not enough. It’s absolutely sick.”
Accompanying the video, he wrote:
“UQ is now going further than expulsion, threatening to prosecute me for contempt of court, something that carries a penalty of three years imprisonment. This campaign against me due to my criticism of their links to the Chinese government is insane.”
May 18th UQ Press Conference
UQ is now going further than expulsion, threatening to prosecute me for contempt of court, something that carries a penalty of three years imprisonment. This campaign against me due to my criticism of their links to the Chinese government is insane pic.twitter.com/ZCHXqCjxgn
— Drew Pavlou (@DrewPavlou) May 19, 2020
The incident is the latest in a long-running saga beginning last year, where Pavlou helped organise a rally on the grounds of UQ to support the Hong Kong pro-democracy marches.
The rally turned violent however when pro-CCP students arrived on the scene causing a physical altercation between student groups.
Pavlou subsequently received hundreds of death threats for his activities, including against his mother.
Pavlou filed a complaint on Oct. 14, 2019 alleging the Chinese consul general played a role in inciting threats and violence against him.
The consul general had published a statement on the embassy website saying the protest organisers behind the UQ rally were involved in “anti-China separatist activities.”