Home Rides Events Tech Links
Two witnesses have told committal hearings in Brisbane into alleged bikie gang extortion that they were harassed and threatened by police into giving false statements.
Alexander Hyland and Tony King, both aged 25, testified in Brisbane's Magistrates Court that they only gave complaints against former bikies Brett Pechey and Joshua Vosuqa because police harassed them to do so.
Defence barrister Damien Gates asked Mr King in court: "So the truth is you were never threatened or extorted at any time by Mr Vosuqa or Mr Pechey? So you're really withdrawing that statement as well aren't you?"
Mr King replied: "Yes."
Under questioning, Mr Hyland also said he was threatened with jail.
Mr Gates asked Mr Hyland in court: "[Police] said that you would be charged under VLAD legislation and potentially seek a mandatory six months' imprisonment?"
Mr Hyland replied: "Yes."
Both men later tried unsuccessfully to withdraw their statements.
Ten former Bandidos bikie gang members are facing a series of committal hearings in the Brisbane Magistrates Court.
They were arrested last year by detectives as part of operation Lima Corona.
The men face multiple charges that include extortion, assault and drug possession.
Police allege members of the Bandidos West End and Centro chapters, including high-ranking office bearers, were extorting money and property from people at gyms, a hair salon and other locations.
It has also been alleged a number of people were seriously assaulted.
Hair stylist Fadi Haddad from West End told the court he was visited by gang members in 2013 after he missed a few weekly lawful loan repayments to GT Building Developments.
"They asked me to catch up on my payments," Mr Haddad testified.
But Mr Haddad told the court he had not wanted the matter to proceed, as everything had been resolved.
"I really don't want to be a part of it any more - it's causing me a lot of headaches with my business," he told the court.
"The police visited me seven times at my business, fully like guns and everything."
Defence barrister Saul Holt QC asked Mr Haddad: "The police visits to you have actually been worse than the original visits you complained about?"
Mr Haddad replied: "Yes."
The hearing continues.