Ashleigh Wilson - From: The Australian - June 13, 2008
SENIOR criminal investigator Mark Standen was refused bail yesterday amid concerns his links with criminal identities and elite knowledge of law enforcement techniques could help him skip the country.
Standen, a 51-year-old assistant director of the NSW Crime Commission, faces three charges over his alleged role in trafficking a commercial amount of illegal drugs.
He was arrested last week _ along with his alleged co-conspirator, Bakhos Jalalaty _ over claims he was involved in a conspiracy to import 600kg of pseudoephedrine.
Standen appeared in Sydney's Central Local Court yesterday via videolink as his family sat in the back of the room.
His lawyer, Paul King, applied for bail, saying Standen wanted to be able to care for his ill wife and prepare for the upcoming case against him.
Standen currently spends 24 hours a day in his cell.
"While it can be said that the circumstances leading up to the charging of the accused are suspicious, in fact gravely suspicious, they are yet to amount to proof beyond reasonable doubt,'' Standen's bail application said.
Mr King also said a police search earlier this year of a container imported into Australia had found no drugs as expected. However the court later heard that Standen had also expected to find drugs in the container.
Magistrate Allan Moore said there was a substantial Crown case against Standen and refused bail.
"I can't ignore his position within the Crime Commission,'' Mr Moore said. "He has information about methodology which could assist his departure from the country.''
Mr Moore's decision came after police claimed in a statement of facts tendered to the court that Standen had maintained contact with "known Sydney criminal figures''.
"Police are concerned about the extent of contacts Standen has within organised criminal syndicates and the potential to use thse contacts to abscond,'' the police facts sheet said.
Police also said Standen had been heard discussing a pension fund that could be used to evade bail conditions.
The court heard that Standen had two brothers living overseas, in Canada and Hong Kong. The latter worked as a pilot.
Outside court, Mr King said he was disappointed with the magistrate's decision to refuse bail.
"He's entitled to a presumption of innocence and even though there's a presumption against bail for this type of offence, the court still is entitled to grant it as satisfied,'' Mr King said. "Obviously, the court wasn't satisfied that we had jumped the hurdle.''