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Magistrate critical of bikie's treatment

12:53 AEDT Fri Apr 20 2012


A magistrate has slammed moves by correctional officials in Adelaide to deny bikie Vince Focarelli access to his legal team as he spends 23 hours a day in isolation while on remand for drug charges.

In the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Friday, magistrate Susan O'Connor questioned if Focarelli was receiving "due process" with continued efforts by his lawyers to get instructions thwarted by a lack of access to their client.

Ms O'Connor said given the 37-year-old spent so much time each day in a cell in maximum security, it could be expected there would be ample time for his legal team to visit.

But she said repeated efforts to gain access to Focarelli had been denied and Correctional Services had also been reluctant to have him brought to court because of security concerns.

"That can't possibly be due process," Ms O'Connor said.

The magistrate told prosecutors they should also be concerned about the situation given that they had argued strongly against Focarelli being granted bail.

"This is a serious matter," she said.

In his appearance in court by videolink on Friday, Focarelli was charged with breaching bail and trafficking in a controlled drug.

He is yet to answer the charges and will appear again in relation to the bail offence on May 11 and in relation to the drug charge on May 25.

Focarelli has been linked to both the Comanchero bikie gang and the New Boyz street gang in Adelaide and has been in custody for more than two months after he was shot and seriously hurt in January.

His son, Giovanni, 22, died in the same attack.

Focarelli was also shot in a previous incident last year and was thought to have been the target of a failed bomb attack in 2010 by two men linked to the Hells Angels, who were both killed when the bomb accidentally exploded in their car.

Since his arrest Focarelli has refused to co-operate with police but defence counsel David Edwardson said on Friday there was little or no evidence to implicate him in the alleged offending.


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