Justice Patrick Keane livens up day with
mafia hypothetical at VLAD High Court hearing
September 03, 201412:00AM
FOR a hearing that was all about
bikies, it was odd that it was 40 minutes before anyone
mentioned the Hells Angels.
In the High Court yesterday, it was Justice
Stephen Gageler who broke through the legalese in the debate
over whether the Newman Government’s crackdown on criminal bikie
gangs is unconstitutional.
Before a packed courtroom, replete with 18
barristers representing six states and territories and the
Commonwealth, it was Justice Patrick Keane who came up with the
most memorable quote of the day.
Clearly a fan of The Sopranos, Justice
Keane used a hypothetical scenario about mafia bosses who like
to eat Italian pastries to question the longer sentences that
gang members will face.
“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”
Oft-quoted line from 1972 film “The Godfather”
starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.
“If a member of the mafia went into a cake
shop to buy some cakes and became enraged with the proprietor
and shot him and it has nothing to do with his membership of the
mafia, when it comes to sentence, would it not be relevant ….
that (he) was a member of the mafia?”
The barrister for Hells Angels member Stefan
Kuczborski, Ken Fleming, QC, told Justice Keane any conviction
that relied on a determination by government that an
organisation was criminal would be “bad”.
Queensland Solicitor-General Peter Dunning,
QC, for the State Government, rejected Mr Fleming’s arguments
and used the start of a joke you would expect to hear in a pub
to illustrate his point about one aspect of the laws.
“If three people walk into a bar,” Mr Dunning
“Don’t assign nationalities to them,” Justice
Ken Hayne quipped.
The United Motorcycle Council of
Queensland spokesman and Rebels President Mick
Kosenko outside the courts. Picture: Liam
Outside the courtroom, where there was not a
single leather jacket on show, United Motorcycle Council of
Queensland spokesman Mick Kosenko was the voice of the bikies.
“The Government is trying to be judge, jury
and police,” Mr Kosenko told a media conference.
“I’ve been told these laws ... have been so
badly written they will erode our justice system.”