THE Crime and Corruption
Commission is at the centre of a bungled court case
involving three alleged Townsville Rebels bikie club
Court proceedings against Michael Heang,
Dominic Michael Muhling and Kiel Vaughan Collins were
permanently put on hold last week after it was ruled they
would never be able to have a fair trial.
Court documents show their right to
silence was voided when the CCC asked investigating officer
Detective Sergeant Brendan Stevenson to help counsel at a
Magistrate Ross Mack said in his published
decision that regardless of whether Sgt Stevenson heard
information that helped the investigation at the hearing or
not, the judicial process was now so flawed it couldn’t be
“If the Crime and Corruption Commission
seeks to obtain information from defendants prior to their
trial or hearing, surely they should not involve the officer
responsible for their arrest in the criminal matter,” he
“I accept the fact that Det Stevenson did
not attend at the compulsory examination with a view to
obtaining further evidence.
“But the fact that he did attend and
engaged in the process gives rise to an unavoidable
impression that the assertion of the applicant’s right to
silence has been overridden and fundamentally changes the
nature of the criminal hearing from their perspective.”
The trio were arrested on January 16,
2014, and charged with being a participant in a criminal
organisation being knowingly present in public places with
two or more people who were participants in a criminal
They refused to take part in a recorded
police interview, exercising their right to silence.
Mr Mack granted the application to stay
proceedings in Townsville Magistrates Court on September 30.
He granted the application on the basis of
unfairness to the defendants because the men would never be
able to have a fair trial.
“Det-Sgt Stevenson’s involvement in the
compulsory hearing so altered the nature of the trial,
including the pre-trial inquiries and investigation that it
would be unfair to the applicants to allow the hearing to
continue,” he said.
Mr Heang, Mr Muhling and Mr Collins were
charged under the former Newman Government’s controversial
Police alleged at the time that the trio
were meeting in secret at a gym in Deeragun to try to fly
under the radar of authorities.
The men’s lawyers argued in a trial
earlier this year that they had no case to answer.
Mr Mack, who also presided over the trial,
ruled they did have a case to answer before an appeal was
lodged and discontinued.
Subsequently the application to stay
proceedings was lodged.
The Crime and Corruption Commission
refused to comment.