Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Drug plot 'to cut out Mr Bean' Bakhos Jalalaty

James Madden From: The Australian July 01, 2008 12:00AM

A MAN charged with conspiring with former Crime Commission investigator Mark Standen to import $120 million worth of drugs was allegedly going to be "cut out" of the deal because his co-accused viewed him as the "Mr Bean of the business world".

During an unsuccessful bail application in Sydney's Central Local Court yesterday, lawyers for Bakhos "Bill" Jalalaty revealed that his two co-accused - Mr Standen, the former assistant director of the NSW Crime Commission, and Briton James Kinch - had discussed in an email the possibility of leaving him out of their alleged drug plan.

Mr Jalalaty, 45, Mr Standen, 51, and Mr Kinch, 49, have been in custody since being charged last month with conspiring to import 600kg of pseudoephedrine into Australia. The precursor drug would have been sufficient for manufacturing about 500kg of the drug ice, with a potential street value of $120 million.

In the email tendered to the court, dated November 4 last year and allegedly sent by Mr Kinch to Mr Standen, the former allegedly assumes the name Linda and addresses the crime investigator as Maurice, while referring to Mr Jalalaty as Myrtle.

"Hello Maurice, I have not been avoiding you!!! I have been waiting for positive news about Myrtle, honestly I do not know where you found her?? ... She is a complete Walter Mitty. Mr Bean of the business world. We are so lucky to of (sic) discovered our faults now and no (sic) let her loose with our pension fund," Mr Kinch allegedly wrote.

"Honestly when I tell you the stories you will not know whether to laugh or cry, do not say anything to her as it only inspires her to try to explain everything away as other people's mistakes and misunderstandings ... anyway don't worry, she seems to be getting her act together (at long last), the one thing that still concerns me is her constant need to talk to anyone who comes into contact with her, but in her defence we have to realise that men are from Mars and women are from Venus.

"Apart from that I think that all is looking rosy and I'm hopeful that we can get that long awaited change of profession and well-deserved holiday! Love LINDA XX."

Mr Jalalaty's barrister, Greg Jones, said this attempt to cut his client out of the deal cast the conspiracy charges against him into doubt. But Hament Dhanji, for the commonwealth, argued that the email actually incriminated Mr Jalalaty.

Mr Jones told magistrate Allan Moore that Mr Jalalaty, a food importer who holds a Lebanese passport, would not abscond if granted bail as his entire extended family lived in Australia.

"His whole life is here," he said.

Mr Jones also said the facts relied on by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions were heavily based on listening device material, but that up to 50 per cent of the taped conversations were unintelligible.

However, Mr Moore refused the bail application, noting the seriousness of the charges against the accused.

Mr Jalalaty, who appeared in court via video link, showed no emotion during the hearing. His wife, Dianne, was present in court but refused to speak to the media.

Mr Jalalaty will reappear in court on August 6.

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