Our client is a 29-year old man living near Sydney CBD who had come to Sydney on a three month visa.
While at the airport about to board onto a return flight home, police detained and arrested him, took him into custody and charged him with two counts of supplying prohibited drugs and one count of possessing fraudulent identification in the commission of an indictable offence.
Police say they had been investigating our client since his arrival into Australia, on suspicion of being part of a criminal organisation involved in the importation of prohibited drugs.
The police prosecutor strongly opposed bail, submitting to the court that authorities were in the process of laying serious charges including the importation of a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs, as part of a large scale operation.
Two further counts of supplying a prohibited drug were files on the morning of court and, according to the prosecutor, the importation charges would be filed within days.
The prosecutor submitted that our client was a strong flight risk – having access to the organisation’s resources and contacts and that the case against him was very serious and extremely strong
The 4 counts he was already facing each carried a maximum prison term of 15 years and, adding to concerns regarding flight was the allegation he was found to possess fraudulent identification – for which he was also charged.
During the bail hearing, the prosecution presented transcripts of audio recording which they alleged proved beyond doubt that our client had been involved in both the importation of commercial quantities of prohibited drugs and the supply of those drugs once in Australia.
It was further submitted that a lengthy, full-time prison sentence was inevitable.
Our defence team made submissions highlighting the existing deficiencies in the prosecution case, including questions surrounding both identification of those purportedly in the transcripts of audio recordings, their selective use which detracts from context and equivocal nature of the content itself.
We submitted it was improper to put forth potential charges when they had not been brought, and that the prosecution’s claims were vague and did not substantiate the submission that the case against our client was ‘extremely strong’.
We handed-up to the court cases which were factually to the one for which our client was actually before the court, rather than potential future charges, which showed that a full-time custodial sentence is not inevitable as submitted by the prosecution.
We prepared and handed-up carefully drafted bail conditions and submitted that those conditions, despite the absence of a monetary security, would allay any bail concerns held by the magistrate.
In the result, our client was released on bail conditionally upon reporting to a police station three times per week, residing at a particular address, not approaching an international point of departure and surrendering his passport.
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