Our client is a 26 year old Columbian national who, before his arrest, was in Australia on a student visa.
He is charged with importing 63 kilograms of methamphetamine from Mexico and Columbia into Australia, in contravention of section 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act.
The offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The shipment was detected through telephone intercepts and physical surveillance, and the drugs were intercepted by the AFP in Sydney and replaced with an innocuous substance that was found in the boot of a car in Burwood.
It is alleged that our client was involved in the importation and that the case against him is strong.
The Bail Act 2013 requires the court to consider a range of factors when deciding to release a person from custody.
Those factors include: the seriousness of the charge, the strength of the prosecution case, the person’s links to the community, the risk of not turning up to court, the risk of reoffending, the time they would spend in prison if not granted bail and the need to be free to prepare for their case.
Our client was in a difficult position due to the seriousness and alleged strength of the case, his minimal links to the community and the consequent risk of failing to attend court.
However, our defence team prepared detailed written submissions to the court focusing upon (1) prosecution delays in serving evidence, (2) the fact that he would be spending a significant amount of time behind bars awaiting trial, and (3) our need to have him free to assist in the preparation of his defence.
The prosecution strongly opposed bail, and prepared it’s own written submissions.
However, the Magistrate in Central Local Court ultimately acceded to our request and granted conditional bail to our client.
The next step will be for our experienced team to use our vast specialised experience in commercial drug cases to secure him the optimal outcome.