Police ‘committed no offences’ with bikies in court

A SOLICITOR has described the behaviour of police who allegedly threatened potential witnesses at Maroochydore Courthouse with arrest if they did not leave late last year as "intimidatory and abuse of process".

Adam McGill said yesterday that he believed the actions of the police in no way added to the efficient and effective administration of justice.

"It was nothing short of appalling,'' Mr McGill said.

Police allegedly threatened Tony Jardine, Michael Smith and Angelo Garozzo with arrest under VLAD laws after they attended the court at Mr McGill's request as potential witnesses in a trial relating to the sale of alcohol without a liquor licence at the Rebels' Kunda Park clubhouse.

A police internal investigation found shortly afterwards that police had done nothing wrong.

However, a formal complaint on December 19 last year by Nicklin independent MP Peter Wellington sparked a full investigation.

Earlier this month, a spokesman for acting Police Minister John McVeigh said the Ethical Standards Committee led that inquiry.

Sunshine Coast District Officer, Superintendent Maurice Carless, said last night that the matter had been investigated.

Supt Carless said it had been determined that no offences were committed by police.

He said police had not inhibited any person from providing evidence in court.

However, Mr McGill said the men had not been at the courthouse to socialise.

"The mood was terrible,'' he said.

"I was engaging with the police prosecutor and needed instruction from Tony Jardine (of the Rebels).

"He couldn't be expected to give lucid instructions when there was a high degree of anxiety."

Mr McGill said he believed the incident was an example of police going overboard with laws that were not designed to restrict people from being in court.

"I had to tell Mike Smith to leave,'' he said.

"I held grave fears he would be arrested which would have required an automatic 'show cause' under the legislation.

"In no way, shape or form did the police presence and (alleged) intimidation play a positive role in the outcome before the court.''


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