Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Brain snap made me forget: Standen

05 Jul, 2011 11:51 AM
When former senior NSW Crime Commission investigator Mark Standen was told he was accused of being involved in a conspiracy to import "600 [kilograms] of ephedrine", the realisation of his predicament brought him close to "having a brain snap internally".

The "brain snap", he said during his 15th day of evidence at his trial yesterday, made him forget some events that had happened when he was interviewed by police in June 2008.

After what he was told by an Australian Federal Police agent minutes after his arrest, Mr Standen said he believed an "unlawful scenario" he had thought existed only in the mind of his business partner Bill Jalalaty was "no longer a fiction, it was a reality".

Mr Standen is now charged with conspiring with Mr Jalalaty and former informer and drug dealer James Kinch to import pseudoephedrine and to pervert the course of justice, and of taking part in the supply of 300 kilograms of the substance.

Mr Standen said the "unlawful scenario" involved Mr Jalalaty believing Mr Kinch was doing something illegal during the importation of a shipment of rice. Mr Standen said he believed Mr Jalalaty had "lost the plot" and his imagination was "wild and fanciful".

"I had no expectation of anything unlawful being in that or any other container," he repeatedly told the jury and explained he did not confront Mr Jalalaty because he wanted him to keep helping him financially.

He had told Mr Jalalaty how law enforcement dealt with unlawful consignments so he would sound "useful" and "to justify him having some financial commitment to me in due course".

"At the point when he finally realised that he had nothing but rice, I would be able to say 'Oh, well you know, I did my bit, but I've still got those money problems, what are you going to do about it?' "
He also told the Supreme Court yesterday he had lied in the police interview about the amount of money - about $150,000 over three years - he had received from Mr Jalalaty.

"In my mind, I was satisfied that that was legitimately sourced money and I thought that, if I gave the correct answer to that, that the interviewing officers would be likely to jump to false conclusions and that it may prejudice their assessment or their fair assessment of the rest of what I had to say."

The trial has previously heard Mr Jalalaty had received about $1.4 million from Mr Kinch, but that Mr Standen believed Mr Kinch now earned his income legitimately.
Mr Standen is expected to face cross-examination from today.
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