Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mark Standen mate's drug talk not serious, court hears

HE admits talking about an "unlawful scenario" in which illegal drugs could be imported into Australia hidden in a shipment of rice - but former Crime Commission officer Mark Standen said he did not believe his mate was serious. 

In the Supreme Court yesterday, Standen, who denies any knowledge of the alleged importation, rejected suggestions his evidence was "an entirely fresh set of lies" invented to exonerate himself, his informant Bill Jalalaty and third alleged co-conspirator, James Henry Kinch.

The trio are accused of plotting to import up to 600kg of ephedrine in a shipment of rice in 2008.
A former NSW Crime Commission assistant director, Mr Standen denies he was a party to the conspiracy because of crippling debts. It is alleged he hoped the drug sale would "wipe the slate clean".

The court heard yesterday that Mr Standen was in debt more than $200,000 at one stage, spending on average more than five times his weekly income.

Mr Standen has been giving evidence in his own defence for more than three weeks but yesterday Crown Prosecutor Tim Game SC began his cross-examination of the 54-year-old father of four.

Mr Game asked the accused about a $47,500 payment from Mr Kinch in late 2005-early 2006, which he did not disclose to the commission despite the receipt of such "gifts" being against its rules.

"Compromised is a state of mind," Mr Standen replied, adding that he did not feel at all conflicted by the informant's generosity.

"You didn't think to tell someone in the Crime Commission that there seemed to be an attempt to corrupt (you)?" Mr Game asked.

"You're right, I didn't think that," Mr Standen replied.

Mr Game also questioned why, following Mr Standen's four-hour recorded interview given to federal police shortly after his arrest, he had not mentioned anything about the "unlawful scenario" he now told the jury of.

He suggested that since then, Mr Standen had "realised the listening devices bear a meaning not consistent ... with what appears in the record of interview".

"I would disagree with that," Mr Standen replied.

Mr Game put it to Standen that he "had to come up with another story which implicates Mr Jalalaty and exculpates Mr Kinch". Mr Standen rejected the suggestion.

"The unlawful scenario is just shorthand for the fact that you can't (address) clearly incriminating conversations that take place over a nine month period," Mr Game said.

"The unlawful scenario is what happened," Mr Standen replied.

The trial continues.

Just lucky at the TAB, says drug defendant

Geesche Jacobsen
July 6, 2011

A FORMER senior Crime Commission investigator, Mark Standen, regularly won ''multiple thousands'' of dollars on the horses, his trial jury has been told.

Mr Standen was asked to explain $203,000 in cash deposits to his accounts in the 29 months before his arrest on conspiracy and drug charges in June 2008.

''I used to go to the TAB to escape from the house for a while [on weekends],'' he said yesterday.

He said he usually selected three races in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney and placed trifecta bets totalling up to $450, ''frequently'' collecting winnings. Mr Standen also said he regularly ''drained'' some accounts to deposit money in others and ''made the money go round and round''.

But the Crown Prosecutor, Tim Game, SC, said figures showed that while Mr Standen had had $400-$700 a week available to spend, he had outgoings that averaged $3700 a week.

Mr Standen said: ''It does not sound right … it seems like a lot of money. I don't know the ins and outs of it all. I agree it's massive.''

He is accused of conspiring with businessman Bill Jalalaty and former informer James Kinch to pervert the course of justice, import pseudoephedrine and of taking part in the supply of 300 kilograms of the substance.

Mr Standen also rejected suggestions money he received from Mr Kinch had compromised him.

''You didn't think, 'I had better tell the Crime Commission about this because there's an attempt to corrupt me'?'' Mr Game asked.

''You're right, I didn't think that,'' Mr Standen said, explaining he had ''compartmentalised'' his life.

He also said Mr Kinch's request for a reward from the Crime Commission was ''unconnected'' to his payments to Mr Standen and Mr Jalalaty.

The trial continues.

Mark Standen cash 'good surprise'

By Jodie Minus "The Australian" 
July 06, 2011

WHEN former NSW crime fighter Mark Standen received a $47,500 gift from a drug-trafficking informant it was a "good surprise", but he didn't think it was an attempt to "corrupt" him.
Mr Standen, 54, yesterday faced his first day of cross-examination by Crown Prosecutor Tim Game SC as his trial for drug conspiracy charges moved into its 23rd week.

Mr Game questioned the former NSW Crime Commission boss about the Christmas cash "gift" he had received to undergo laser eye surgery from one of his informants, drug trafficker James Henry Kinch.

Mr Standen had expected about $5000 to $10,000, but Mr Kinch had deposited $47,500 into the bank account of their mutual friend, food importer Bill Jalalaty, in December 2005. Mr Standen did not declare the gift to the commission.

As soon as that happened, Mr Game told Mr Standen, you were "irrevocably compromised".

"You were at (Mr Kinch's) behest from that moment on."

Mr Standen replied: "No."

The NSW Supreme Court heard that Mr Standen received an email from Mr Kinch in December 2005 with information about the movements of an alleged drug trafficker. In the email, Mr Kinch asks for a reward from the commission for this information, but Mr Standen removed these references when he forwarded the email to investigators.

"Mr Kinch is asking for a financial reward at the same time as he is giving you a financial reward," Mr Game said. "You don't see the connection?"

Mr Standen replied: "There isn't a connection, so I can't see."

Mr Game asked why Mr Standen deleted the lines before forwarding the email on to investigators.

"They wouldn't normally know, it's none of their business," Mr Standen said.

Mr Game suggested that if the investigators had known they would have "very serious questions to ask about this entire relationship".

Mr Standen is accused of conspiring with Mr Jalalaty and Mr Kinch to bring $120 million worth of pseudoephedrine into Australia in 2008. His cross-examination will continue today.

Mark Standen tells court his financial situation was not 'desperate

Katherine Danks From: The Daily Telegraph July 06, 2011 1:45PM

FORMER assistant crime commissioner Mark Standen says his financial situation was not desperate, despite being unable to keep up with his loan repayments.

Standen, 54, is being questioned about his finances during his second day of cross-examination by Crown Prosecutor Tim Game SC at his Supreme Court drugs trial.

The court was told Standen defaulted on a number of loan repayments in 2007 and 2008 and that police seized numerous final notices and threats to cut off services.

Standen said his personal finances may not have made sense to other people, and that there were always bills and they always piled up.

"I don't equate a non-payment as being desperate. It's not consistent with the approach that I took to paying bills generally," he told the court.

Standen is accused of conspiring with friend Bill Jalalaty and criminal informant Henry James Kinch of conspiring to bring 120 million worth of the drug ice into Australia in 2008.

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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