Bikies vow to take Merrylands consorting case to High Court
03 Jul, 2012 11:58 AM
MEMBERS of the Nomads outlaw motorcycle gang charged over consorting in Merrylands and Pemulwuy have said they will take their fight against the state government's new consorting laws to the High Court if necessary.
They claim the legislation breaches the constitutional right of all Australians to associate with people of their choosing.
Four members of the Nomads, including Sydney boss Jamie Zammit and his deputy Sleiman Tajjour, are the first to be charged under the laws, which have a three-year jail term for anyone caught communicating with convicted criminals.
They faced court yesterday, where pleas of not guilty were entered on their behalf.
nnounced by the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, earlier this year, the laws were passed in April and were swiftly used by NSW Police, particularly by the anti-bikie Strike Force Raptor and Strike Force Kinnarra, set up in response to a rise in gang-related drive-by shootings in Sydney.
The legislation is separate from the anti-bikie laws thrown out by the High Court last year, but in effect prohibits anyone associating with criminals in person, via phone, email or Facebook.
The laws require police to caution those they believe are consorting at least once, before a charge can be laid.
Strike Force Raptor police claim they warned several high-ranking Nomad members for consorting in Merrylands on April 20, during a vehicle stop at Bella Vista on May 1, and again at a CBD cafe on May 2 this year.
On May 10, police attended a Pemulwuy address where they arrested Mr Zammit, 30, and 31-year-old Mr Tajjour. Five days later, Mr Tajjour was arrested again, this time in the company of Justin Hawthorne, 21. The same day, David Brannan, 25, was also charged.
The Herald understands that among the allegations, Mr Zammit, Mr Tajjour and Mr Brannan are accused of ''consorting'' with one another at the Merrylands home of the Ibrahim family matriarch, Wahiba.
The mother to nightclub boss John, Mrs Ibrahim has cancer, and the trio are understood to have claimed they were visiting her because she was gravely ill. Mr Tajjour is also a cousin of the Ibrahim brothers.