Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Court hears Standen police interview

Geesche Jacobsen April 21, 2011

HOURS after he was arrested in June 2008, former Crime Commission investigator Mark Standen told police he knew nothing about ''any drug being in anything'' and had ''never been a party to any discussion about any drug component''.
Mr Standen, who spoke to federal police for more than four hours, explained he was exploring a ''business relationship'' with the businessman Bill Jalalaty, but had warned him about the risks of charlatans contacting him.
Court hears Standen police interview (Video Thumbnail)Mr Standen said: ''Hence my comment: 'Are you sure it's just rice?' The way he went about the business was odd. A Lebanese guy [Mr Jalalaty] running around the world saying 'Send me anything from anywhere', hand[ing] out business cards.''
He called Mr Jalalaty ''unusual'', ''likeable'' and ''the world's biggest liar'', but said he was not ''harmful''.
Mr Standen has been charged with conspiring with Mr Jalalaty and the former informer James Kinch to import pseudoephedrine and to pervert the course of justice, and with taking part in the supply of 300 kilograms of the drug's precursor.
At his trial this week the court heard evidence of the Federal Police interview. Mr Standen appeared relaxed during the interview, which ended after he received legal advice not to answer any more questions.
Mr Standen earlier assured officers: ''It's a true story, and it's about not having any involvement in the offence that you're talking about. I remain quite prepared to tell you that story. Part of it relies on stupidity .. it looks worse than what it is.''
Mr Standen told officers he had ''a degree of nervousness'' about the involvement of Mr Kinch, a former drug dealer who had told him he had given up ''all the syndicates .. that he worked with''.
''We had these great plans to make money .. And then all of a sudden for whatever reason, but not of my doing, Kinch has got a hand in it.'' Mr Kinch's involvement followed a meeting in Dubai, which was not planned.
Mr Standen told officers about communicating with Mr Kinch on draft email accounts, like ''playing chess'', but said most of their emails were about ''crap''.
He also discussed his financial problems and said he was interested in Mr Jalalaty's business opportunities, including the possible import of timber, olive oil, tomatoes, sugar, water and fish fillets for Hungry Jack's.
The trial continues.

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