Dad says bikie trial futile with VLAD laws under review
FORMER Rebels bikie member Mike Smith says the upcoming trial of the Yandina Seven should be aborted now that the bikie laws under which the men were charged are under review.
Mr Smith is the father of two of the men, father-in-law of another and "lifelong friend" of the others.
Five of the men were charged under the former government's Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment laws after CCTV footage captured them in the Yandina Hotel on November 1, 2013.
Under the laws, it is illegal for three or more people associated with criminal gangs to meet in public places.
Another two men were charged in early 2014 after they were linked to being in the pub at the same time as the other men.
Mr Smith said 16 days had been set aside for the men's trials with 160 professional witnesses to be called.
"Every time people have to go to court... it costs a lot of money and a lot of time it's the people's (public) money.'
He said the high-profile case had cost his son's freedom. "One son spent nearly four months in jail for being in a pub for a couple of hours with his brothers and a couple of mates and he is still suffering to this day," Mr Smith said.
"The laws are under review - why are we going to trial?
"It's a shame that the government now aren't stepping in and saying 'enough of the waste'."
A spokesman for Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said she would "very soon" be announcing a taskforce that would review the VLAD laws.
The spokesman said the taskforce would include representatives from The Bar Association of Queensland, the Queensland Police Service and civil observers.
He said the government did not want the laws to be weakened, but said they could be better targeted and better thought out.
"We think they were rushed through," the spokesman said.
He said the Attorney-General would not comment on cases before the courts.
Former Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said the Sunshine Coast community would not be fooled by the crocodile tears of the so-called Yandina Seven.
He said criminal gang laws introduced by the LNP were working.
"We have seen recently the first conviction under the LNP's tough criminal gang laws," Mr Blejie said.
"This has resulted in a criminal drug trafficker being removed from our streets and in jail for a long time."
He said it was important to protect the community from illegal drugs.
The men's trial will begin in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on July 29.