Another AFP stuff-up
They need a root-and-branch cleanout. This comes after the notorious Mohammed Haneef case, the Julian Moti case and the Fred Martens case, to name just some others
They are totally up themselves
Palm Beach playboy and cigarette importer Mark Coulton has had drug conspiracy charges dropped after the case against him collapsed. This is good news for his brother in law barrister Don Grieve, QC, and Grieve's wife, Dixie Coulton, who each put up $500,000 as caveats against their paddington home. Ms Coulton is a former deputy lord mayor of Sydney.
It comes as a the Sydney magistrate overseeing the case criticised the Australian Federal Police for "jumping the gun" against five men.
They had been accused with conspiring to import drugs from Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Magistrate Graeme Curran yesterday agreed to a request from the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to withdraw the charges against the men. Magistrate Curran said that police had charged the men before their investigations revealed the type of drug the men had allegedly conspired to import. "It could have been talcum powder for all anyone knows," Mr Curran said.
Mr Curran said the police "may have had quite reasonable suspicions.. but before laying charges you have to know the essential elements". When the police inspected the shipping container in Tanzania, all they found was a batch of sodden cigarettes.
Mr Coultan, 51, was the alleged leader of the group. He was arrested at Sydney International Airport last year after he stepped off a flight from Dubai.
The other co-accused include 34 year old Elias Helou from Lakemba, 50 year old George Samrani from Chipping Norton, 34 year old Robert Ibrahim from Guildford, and 34 year old Walid Chami from South Perth. Three of the men have applied for the AFP to pay their legal costs which could be worth $90,000.
Magistrate Curran said the police statement of facts showed there was "something fishy going on" between the five men between June and October last year.
He said the police evidence was not strong enough to show exactly what the men were up to.
Magistrate Curran said the conversations on the phone intercepts appeared to be coded and their activities were clearly suspect. "This smells to high heaven," he said.
Telephone intercepts recorded Mr Coulton telling another suspect, "we gotta bring this drug". They also recorded Mr Helou telling Mr Coulton "you are the one doing all the drugs, you are the one that's selling all the drugs and cocaine .. you're the one that's doing that .. there's no fucking cigarettes".