ONE of the nation's most powerful investigators has been found guilty of plotting to import drugs worth more than $120 million.
- From: The Daily Telegraph
- August 11, 2011
Mark William Standen remained unmoved as the jury of 11 handed down their guilty verdicts to three charges today, after a Supreme Court trial lasting almost five months.
The former assistant director of the New South Wales Crime Commission had pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to import and supply more than 300kg of the drug pseudoephedrine, used to make speed and ice.
Standen, 54, also denied using his role as a senior detective to pervert the course of justice.
The father-of-four spent 25 days in the witness box during his trial in a bid to explain the hundreds of hours of covert evidence gathered in a lengthy investigation.
He admitted discussing an "unlawful scenario" with his business partner and friend Bakhos "Bill" Jalalaty, that would involve the importation of drugs in a shipment of rice - but he never believed his buddy was serious.
However he also admitted telling plenty of lies - especially to AFP investigators during a four-hour interview done shortly after his arrest on June 2, 2008.
The Crown alleged Standen's relationship with British-born informant James Henry Kinch, became corrupt, leading to the pair joining with legitimate businessman Bakhos "Bill" Jalalaty to stage the daring operation.
The Crown claimed Standen, motivated by a "dire" financial state thanks to gambling and other debts, had agreed to help Kinch import the drugs for a significant slice of the profits.
Jalalaty's legitimate business, Crown Prosecutor Tim Game SC argued, provided an authentic "front" for the illegal drug operation.
The jury's verdict ended a trial that was originally estimated to last about two months - but instead went for close to five. The case was beset with delay, frustration and controversy, with jurors at one stage threatening mutiny.