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Stolen evidence, a mystery disc: Bike murder case at mechanic’s takes further twist

or why you cant trust the police lesson #1834

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Rebels motorcycle gang members show support for Edin Smajovic, killed by a single bullet in 2009, as they leave his Muslim funeral service at Auburn in Sydney.


IT sounds like the plot from a Mission Impossible movie — a vital piece of evidence stolen from an unmarked police car that allowed two men to be sensationally acquitted over the shooting murder of a bikie.


So who “liberated” this evidence, just in time to free the men?

Was it someone on the police investigation, worried about a miscarriage of justice? One of the accused — a theory raised in court but dismissed by the judge? Or a bizarre coincidence caused by a random thief?

Bikie Edin Smajovic was shot dead.

Anthony Tan was shot in the neck by Smajovic.

Then there is a mystery disc also holding the evidence given to one of the defence lawyers but not included in the brief of evidence.

And why did the prosecution only learn about the evidence when it was handed to them by the defence?

Perhaps the answers may come to light in the District Court, as one of the wrongfully accused men sues the state for false imprisonment.

If so, it will be the final twist in a violent mystery that began when Rebels bikie gang member Edin “Boz” Smajovic was shot dead at Nathan Keith Reddy’s Campbelltown mechanic’s office on January 9, 2009. Anthony Tan, Reddy’s business partner in the auto repair business, was charged with murder.

Police accused Tan of fatally shooting Smajovic in a gun battle. Tan was shot in the neck by Smajovic. Reddy was charged on October 21, 2011 with being an accessory to murder. Not the world’s most straight-laced character, he had ­numerous criminal convictions staining his record and was looking at up to 25 years in jail.


Police investigate at the auto centre in Campbelltown, the scene of Edin Smajovic’s death.

But both men were sensationally acquitted on February 26, 2013 — as their trial in the NSW Supreme Court was set to begin — when it emerged that police had inexplicably sat on evidence that showed Smajovic had likely been shot by another bikie who had accompanied him to the standoff with Tan and Reddy.

This evidence was a detailed file note written by the lead police officer on the case.

It revealed the investigator had known since April 22, 2009, that Smajovic’s offsider, an Islander and fellow Rebels bikie, confessed to accidentally shooting his mate on that day in Reddy’s office.

The Supreme Court was told that note was not included in the brief of evidence given to defence lawyers or the Director of Public Prosecution.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that Reddy has now launched legal action in the NSW District Court against the State of NSW. He is suing for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. Tan has not launched a similar action.

Reddy also claims that police coached the Islander’s girlfriend to give evidence against him. This was on the threat that the Islander could be convicted if the evidence didn’t point to Tan and Reddy being guilty.

Reddy filed a statement of claim on April 22 and a defence statement is yet to be filed. The District Court hears claims worth up to $750,000 but the matter could be transferred to the Supreme Court if the figure goes beyond $1 million.

A gun found at the scene of Edin Smajovic’s death.

When contacted and asked how much Reddy would sue for, his lawyer Brett Galloway said: “How much is your freedom worth?

“It doesn’t matter how much the case is worth. The point is having the police explain how this happened and how others appeared to cover up the process of prosecuting a person for a crime they knew he didn’t commit prior to charging him.”

The Islander bikie gave police a statement and was set to be a witness in the trial against Reddy and Tan. He has never been charged with any offence relating to Smajovic’s death.

On the day of the murder, the Islander was seen running from Reddy’s office before he drove off in Smajovic’s car. Two witnesses told police they saw him carrying a black gun.

According to Reddy’s statement of claim, the Islander’s ex-flatmate told the lead police investigator on April 22, 2009, that he spoke to the Islander on the phone minutes after Smajovic had been killed. The ­­ex-flatmate also revealed the Islander was known to carry a black .45mm pistol.

The Islander told the ex-flatmate: “I can’t talk. I just shot someone. What do I do?” the statement of claim said.

Rebels members attend the funeral of Edin Smajovic.

Police checked phone records and confirmed the 67-second call had been made and the investigator made a detailed note of the development, court documents said.

On April 28, 2009, police were granted a surveillance warrant using this note as evidence.


Tan and Reddy’s trial was set down to begin on February 11, 2013, but was delayed after the jury had been empanelled.

In the following days, defence lawyers for Reddy discovered the note buried among other documents on a disc they had received from the police.

The development was unusual because Tan’s lawyers had not ­received the note on their discs, nor had the Crown Prosecutor.

Under law, police must disclose all information relevant to a criminal case to the DPP. Also, if the note was to be ­included as evidence in the case the ex-flatmate should have been listed as a Crown witness, which he wasn’t.

Adding to the intrigue, the note was also stolen by a person, who has never been identified, from an ­unmarked police car, which had been parked by the police officer in charge of the case at Fox Studios in Moore Park in 2010.

The case took another twist in the hearing to decide costs, when Mr Barrett accused Reddy of ­orchestrating the theft of the note.

In an attempt to establish if the note was authentic, the defence lawyers issued subpoenas ordering the police to hand over the note.

Police resisted the subpoena on the grounds of public interest ­immunity and the parties went to court to fight over whether the document should be handed over.

After several skirmishes, the ­defence lawyers were given the ­material but it was heavily redacted. The first time Crown Prosecutor Pat Barrett saw the note was on February 20, 2013, when it was handed to him by Reddy’s lawyers, court documents said.

Reddy and Tan’s charges were no-billed by the DPP six days later, and the two men walked free.

The case took another twist in the hearing to decide costs, when Mr Barrett accused Reddy of ­orchestrating the theft of the note.

Police tendered evidence revealing that an unmarked gold Holden Commodore parked on level three of the carpark in Moore Park had been broken into on January 6, 2010, while the officer in charge of the case and another investigator got a meal.

A laptop and USB stick, which contained the note, were stolen.

In court, Mr Barrett said the break-in was targeted and argued that Reddy and Tan knew of the theft of the note but failed to bring it to the attention of prosecutors.

Justice Megan Latham ruled that much of evidence was not credible and awarded costs to Tan and Reddy.

Reddy’s civil claim is listed for a pre-trial conference for 21 June.