Trial Advocate – Manny Conditsis
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) charged 5 co-accused with conspiring to import 40kg of the powder into Australia by ship from Europe. Manny Conditsis represented one of the accused, who worked on the wharves at Port Botany. Each of the other co-accused were represented by separate trial lawyers.
The AFP poured endless resources into trying to establish the guilt of all those charged. The trial was conducted over 3 long months in a special court of the District Court in Sydney. The atmosphere in the courtroom was most intense and the charges and the case presented by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions made the trial particularly complicated.
The trial involved Serbian translators countless expert witnesses, in the fields of DNA, mobile phone technology, forensic police and so on. During the trial one of the co-accused pleaded guilty. That had a significant impact on the course of the trial and made the trial even more tense.
Part of our client’s case was that he was a simple man with an intellectual disability and that he didn’t have any knowledge of the import, notwithstanding that he was caught carrying one of the bags (20kg) out of Port Botany. Our client’s defence was that he was asked by his boss of many years to carry a bag out to the car park and that is what he did, and that he didn’t know that the bag contained drugs.
Of the remaining 4 co-accused, 3 the jury found guilty. In relation to our client, the jury was undecided and accordingly, the jury was ‘hung’. After persistently submitting to the Commonwealth DPP that the charge against our client should be withdrawn, it agreed. All the other co-accused have been served to lengthy terms of imprisonment. Our client is a free man!