A Fourth Reicher accused of assaulting a
police officer during a raid on the club's Albion Park headquarters acted in
the context of "completely improper" behaviour by police, defence lawyers
Peter Busuttil was arrested at the October
2015 event and charged over allegations he forcefully pushed Detective
Inspector Darren Beeche in the chest as he tried to enter the club grounds.
Busuttil denies the allegations, with his
barrister, Winston Terracini SC, claiming it was police attached to
the Force’s crack gangs squad, Strike Force Raptor, who acted
In evidence previously presented in court, Det Insp Beeche said police attended the event solely for to check that liquor licensing laws were being complied with.
He repeatedly denied any other purpose for the police presence.
This stance was supported in court on Tuesday by Illawarra liquor licensing officer, Sergeant Gary Keevers, and Senior Constable Benjamin Mittmann, the Strike Force Raptor officer in charge on the day.
However, an audio recording played in
court appeared to offer a different reason for the police presence – and
made no mention of liquor licensing laws.
In the exchange, purporting to be between up to three police officers and a couple seeking entry to the show, the driver is told he will be placed on the police system for “being associated with the Fourth Reich” if he enters the grounds.
He denies being associated with the club, saying he’s simply come to the show to buy a t-shirt and see custom bikes, however he’s told he has a “bad attitude” and will be added to the list.
The exchange continues, with another
officer allegedly becoming aggressive towards the couple, saying the club
was being targeted because of “child sexual assaults, assaults, [club
members] standing over people”.
“Think about it, you’re supporting them, get it through your thick head … so you want to buy shirts off people who abuse children?” one of the men says.
In court on Tuesday, Mr Terracinni asked both Sgt Keevers and Snr Cst Mittmann whether they considered the audio acceptable.
Sgt Keevers agreed it was “completely
inappropriate”, while Snr Cst Mittmann conceded the conduct of
any officers involved in the exchange would not be part of a “proper,
organised, legitimate police operation.”