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Former Hells Angel bikie boss Derek Wainohu's $300,000 court win kills gang law


Court victory ... Derek Wainohu (white top), former Sydney President of the Hells Angels/ Pic: Brad Hunter Source: The Daily Telegraph

THE state government has been ordered to pay former Hells Angel bikie boss Derek Wainohu $300,000 in legal fees after he successfully challenged legislation aimed at breaking up bikie gangs.

While bikies were celebrating yesterday's High Court victory, police and the government were looking at redrafting legislation against outlaw motorcycle gangs.

"We will examine whether legislation can be prepared which will adequately address the concerns of the High Court, but we will not allow this decision to slow the NSW government's crackdown on organised crime," Attorney-General Greg Smith said.

The High Court yesterday declared the NSW Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act invalid and ordered the state to pay the legal costs of Mr Wainohu, estimated to be more than $300,000.

The law was introduced in April 2009, after Hells Angel associate Anthony Zervas was killed during a brawl at Terminal 3 at Sydney Airport.

Under the law, the police commissioner could ask a Supreme Court judge to declare individual bikie gangs criminal organisations and ban members from associating with one another. It also granted the power to ban "controlled members" from working in certain jobs, with penalties of up to five years jail for those who disobeyed.

Mr Wainohu challenged the law after police applied to the Supreme Court in July 2010 asking a judge to declare the Hells Angels an outlaw organisation. He claimed individuals' freedom would be impinged under the law. The High Court agreed, saying it was concerned the law lacked any right for defendants to appeal and any regard for the normal rules of evidence.

The NSW Police released a statement saying they will continue to fight organised bikie gangs.

Mr Wainohu's barrister Wayne Baffsky said the case had been watched by bikies around the world.

He said police will now have to drop their application to have the club declared a criminal organisation when it returns to the Supreme Court next month.

"I have spoken to Hells Angels all around Australia, they are all very excited and they are happy that this is the end of the act because of the implications as to what would happen if control orders are ever made," Mr Baffsky said. on behalf of Derek Wainohu and the United Motorcycle Council.



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