Police fear Bandidos president could intimidate witnesses
THE national president of the Bandidos, Jason Murray Addison, will have to wait to see whether he is granted bail on fraud and extortion charges.
Mr Addison applied for bail yesterday, but Magistrate Rod Madsen said he would make his decision sometime next week.
Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant David Bradley said police were concerned that if released on bail, Mr Addison could intimidate key witnesses, including a former Bandidos member who brought the extortion case against the accused, or flee the country.
"There is a real risk of the applicant (Mr Addison) using his authority as national president to interfere with witnesses," Snr Sgt Bradley said.
Snr Sgt Bradley said police were ramping up the charges against Mr Addison, meaning the accused faced life imprisonment if found guilty. Barrister Tony Glynn QC appearing for Mr Addison, said his client's association with the Bandidos should hold little weight in his application for bail.
"There is nothing in his personal history which would support anything that shows risk (of re-offending, flight or failing to appear)," he said. "If Your Honour refuses him bail he will spend substantially longer in prison than he is likely to face by way of penalty."
Mag Madsen, in a lighter moment of the intense application, said he had refused bail for bikies in the past, but been overruled in Court of Appeal decisions.
The court heard the former Bandidos member had allegedly been threatened by Mr Addison and forced to sign over his stone masonry business, worth about $200,000 in 2011, to the Bandidos president, as punishment for attending a 2010 Crime Commission.
The alleged victim, who was booted from the Bandidos for attending the Crime Commission, was the godfather of one of Mr Addison's children, Snr Sgt Bradley said as he reinforced the need to protect the alleged victims.
"They are in every way whistleblowers on the conduct of this organisation (Bandidos)," Snr Sgt Bradley said.