June 10, 2011
FOR nearly three months Mark Standen had sat in the dock and listened to the prosecution case against him.
When it came time to start telling his side of the story yesterday morning he appeared eager and confident, striding quickly to the witness box. For the rest of the day he talked enthusiastically about his old job, even telling the occasional joke.
A former assistant director of the NSW Crime Commission, Mr Standen is accused of conspiring with a former informer, James Kinch, and a businessman to import a large quantity of pseudoephedrine, of perverting the course of justice and of taking part in the supply of the precursor chemical.
After Mr Standen outlined his 33-year career in law enforcement, his barrister Mark Ierace, SC, asked him about his dealings with Mr Kinch.
Mr Kinch had become a friend, but was the most valuable informer, a 10 out of 10, Mr Standen said. Both the Australian Federal Police and Dutch officers wanted to deal with him, but Mr Kinch preferred to deal with Mr Standen.
''In the case of someone as valuable as I assessed Mr Kinch to be, he was worth the time and effort,'' Mr Standen explained.
The Supreme Court has heard about Mr Standen's extensive contact, by phone and on draft emails, with the former drug dealer, after Mr Kinch was arrested in Australia in 2003 and before Mr Standen's arrest in June 2008.
Mr Standen said Dutch police visited Australia two or three times to get information through him from Mr Kinch.
''It would be an understatement to say they were excited by the information flowing from Mr Kinch,'' he said.
Mr Kinch mistrusted ''elements'' of the Dutch police and refused to deal with them, although he eventually agreed to speak to the AFP, Mr Standen said.
He believed Mr Kinch wanted to make an honest living, but had to do so without arousing suspicion from previous associates.
''There's no reason to think [informers] cannot disengage from crime'', Mr Standen said.
He said Mr Kinch insisted on using draft emails in which Mr Standen called him Jill or Jojo, and signed off as Maurice, because he was worried about associates finding out about their contact.
The trial continues.