Friday, June 10, 2011

Top cop Mark Standen received $47,500 for Christmas, court hears

Katherine Danks From: The Daily Telegraph June 11, 2011 12:00AM

CASH-STRAPPED crime fighter Mark Standen accepted a Christmas gift of $47,500 from an informant, but says he doesn't believe it compromised their relationship.

Mark Standen
The money was to pay for laser eye surgery for Standen, the former assistant commissioner of the NSW Crime Commission, the Supreme Court was told yesterday.

Standen said informant James Kinch knew that he wanted the surgery and he had previously mentioned a cost of $5000.

He said he was surprised when Kinch, who was overseas, sent him the equivalent of $47,500.

Standen yesterday told the court he arranged for the money to be transferred into the account of friend Bakhos Jalalaty, rather than his own.

"A transfer from the name James Kinch into my account would ring alarm bells at the Crime Commission if, for whatever reason, they saw the transaction," he said.

But the 54-year-old said he did not believe the money compromised their handler-informant relationship. He said he was doing his job as long as he continued to pass on Kinch's information to Crime Commission investigators.

Standen denies conspiring with Kinch and Jalalaty between early 2006 and June 2008 to import $120 million of pseudoephedrine, used to make the drugs speed and ice.

Continuing with his evidence yesterday, Standen also revealed Kinch gave Jalalaty $1 million in a sports bag in early 2006 so that the food importer could fund a business venture.

Standen said the three men often talked about business opportunities and it was implied they would one day go into business together.

One of the many ideas the trio discussed was Standen's invention of a water saving device, which he had patented in 2005.

Standen said his job was good, but exhausting, and he wasn't sure it was something he could do for another 10-15 years at the pace that was required.

In response to questioning from his barrister Mark Ierace SC, Standen said he knew that accepting the $47,500 would have broken the Commission's rules, adding "they would be concerned presumably about perception".

At the time, in 2005, he was making repayments on multiple credit cards and loans but this was "manageable" and "not too bad, compared with the end of 2007".

Standen said he went ahead with it because Kinch had been an informant for the two preceding years and he had been kept up to date with Kinch's business dealings.

"Did you turn your mind to the possibility that the money had not been lawfully obtained?" Mr Ierace asked.

"No," Standen replied.

The trial is continuing before Justice Bruce James.

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