A Gold Coast lawyer says police are abusing Queensland’s anti-bikie laws, as people with no bikie links are kept in custody without proper evidence.
A prominent Gold Coast lawyer believes Queensland is starting to resemble a police state.
Campbell MacCallum slammed the state’s controversial anti-bikie laws after a bail application for his client was adjourned in Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday.
Braden Quan, 26, is facing charges of trafficking as part of a police investigation into a major Gold Coast drug syndicate allegedly run by nightclub owner Ivan Tesic.
Quan has not been charged under the anti-bikie laws.
But his bail application was adjourned after police prosecutor Senior Constable Tahnee Roberts alleged that he was a Bandidos bikie associate.
Mr MacCallum said Queensland was close to being a police state, with no onus on prosecutors to prove someone was connected with a criminal gang.
“We’re in a situation where there is a lot of power given to the police, especially the prosecutors,” he told reporters.
“Not just so-called bikies are getting caught up in this. It’s also citizens charged with normal offences who are getting caught up in this draconian legislation.”
Quan remains in custody until April 17, when his revised bail application is being heard.
“Once an allegation is made that they’re part of a criminal organisation, it becomes a case of somebody is in custody for a certain amount of period without recourse,” Mr MacCallum said.
Tesic, 40, also fronted court on Thursday after being extradited from Sydney, but as he had already been charged under the anti-bikie laws his bail application was immediately adjourned until April 17.
Tesic and Quan are accused of being part of a syndicate that ran drugs in modified cars from Sydney to be sold in Surfers Paradise clubs, including those owned by Tesic.
Police at the weekend closed down a 19-month investigation targeting the Gold Coast’s party scene after three days of raids.
To date, 152 people have been arrested, including 37 alleged outlaw bikies and associates.