Thursday, June 9, 2011

Former Crime Commission assistant director Mark Standen begins testimony

By Lisa Davies From: The Daily Telegraph June 09, 2011 12:04PM

  • Former crime investigator denies charges
  • Accused of conspiring to import drugs
  • Begins giving evidence in his defence

FORMER crime investigator Mark Standen has begun giving evidence in his defence of drug plot charges, detailing a 35 year career in law enforcement.

The former New South Wales Crime Commission assistant director, now aged 54, began his testimony this morning after the Crown case against him closed yesterday following 11 weeks of evidence in the Supreme Court.

Standen denies three counts, including conspiring to import 300kg of pseudoephedrine with a businessman friend Bill Jalalaty and a English-born informant, James Henry Kinch.

He's also accused of intending to supply that drug, and using his position in the Commission to pervert the course of justice.

Beginning his evidence shortly after 10am, Standen appeared eager to begin his testimony and took the oath with familiarity.

He told the court he has five brothers and four children, two of them in their 20s, the youngest aged nine.

He began his working life in the Australian Customs service in June 1975, working as a customs officer in the then-Federal Bureau of Narcotics.

He was also formerly an agent at the Australian Federal Police, the then-National Crime Authority, the Australian Crime Commission then finally, the NSW Crime Commission.

Standen began working there in March 1996, and stayed there until his arrest in June 2008.

The Crown alleges it was Standen's relationship with Kinch which ultimately became corrupted, leading to the plot to import the drugs - used to make ice and speed.

Standen has told of his first meeting with Kinch, who was arrested in NSW in March 2003, and the valuable information he was able to give authorities about a Dutch-based drug syndicate.

"Over the next weeks and months he ... downloaded the information in his head," Standen said.

He agreed he had helped ensure Kinch got bail on serious drugs and money-laundering charges.

Kinch ultimately left the country a year later, all charges having been dropped.

Standen's evidence continues before the jury and Justice Bruce James.

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