Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Accused wanted victim to disappear: Court

Everything Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara did in the days before and after the death of Sydney student Jamie Gao was aimed at making their victim disappear, the crown said as the murder trial against the two former police officers nears its end.
McNamara didn't take his boat out of storage the day before the May 20, 2014 murder so he could take his daughter fishing, he was preparing to dump Mr Gao's body, prosecutor Chris Maxwell, QC, told the Supreme Court in his closing submissions on Wednesday.
The boat is one of nine pieces of evidence that Mr Maxwell said was all the jury needed to convict both men.
It's a circumstantial case, but the evidence is powerful, he said.
"The crown says everything has been done that can possibly be done to make Jamie Gao disappear, and more importantly to reduce the risk of detection," he said.
The court heard Jamie Gao, an alleged Triads associate and drug dealer, was driven from Arab Road in Padstow to a nearby storage unit where he was killed.
Mr Maxwell said while only one of the accused is guilty of firing the fatal shot, both were involved in conspiring to kill Mr Gao and steal 2.78kg of the drug ice he had in his possession.
They then arranged to move his body to McNamara's boat, weigh the corpse down and dump it in the ocean near Cronulla the following day.
"Right from the fact Jamie Gao opened that partly-opened door on Arab Road, everything was done by both accused to make sure that he disappeared, that he disappeared and would not be found at all," he said.
"The disposal of the body in this way is evidence available to you to find that they did it, because to allow the body to be found would implicate them in the commission of the crime," he said.
One failure, the court heard, was that they hadn't allowed for the possibility that the body would resurface and be discovered as it was.
Rogerson and McNamara have both pleaded not guilty to the murder and have denied acting as a joint enterprise.
Closing submissions are continuing.

Jamie Gao murder trial: Rogerson and McNamara gave 'unbelievable' versions of events, court hears

Two former police officers charged with the murder of Sydney student Jamie Gao have given "far-fetched and unbelievable" versions of what happened, prosecutors say.

In his closing address at the murder trial of Glen McNamara and Roger Rogerson, prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC told the jury both men were part of an agreement to kill Mr Gao and steal almost three kilograms of the drug ice.

The court heard the pair used a car that could not be traced to transport Mr Gao from the Padstow storage unit where he was shot on May 20, 2014.

Rogerson said he was not involved in acquiring the white Ford Falcon station wagon, but his fingerprint was found on the receipt for its purchase.

Mr Maxwell said McNamara's boat was taken out of storage the day before the shooting, "to make Jamie Gao disappear".

The court heard it was used to dump the body at sea the day after the 20-year-old was killed, and the boat was then returned to storage.

McNamara said Rogerson shot and killed Mr Gao before threatening him and his family.

Courts hears of meetings in months before alleged murder
Rogerson said he found Mr Gao already dead and was told he had pulled a gun on McNamara, who tried to defend himself.

"Jamie Gao shot himself twice in a struggle?" Mr Maxwell asked.

Rogerson replied: "It never happened like that."

"It is far-fetched and unbelievable," Mr Maxwell replied.

Mr Gao had told his cousin he was going to be involved in a massive deal.

He held a number of meetings with McNamara in the months before his death and the men were also in contact by text message.

Mr Maxwell said Rogerson knew all about it, because he was in regular phone contact with McNamara, including around the time of a number of the meetings with Mr Gao.

The jury was told McNamara tried to shield Mr Gao from CCTV cameras at the Padstow storage complex.

During his evidence, McNamara said he was meeting Mr Gao as a source for a book he was writing about Asian crime gangs but learnt that Mr Gao was being followed by triads.

Mr Maxwell dismissed this, saying McNamara and Rogerson did things in preparation for the killing.

"Both of them knew what was to happen after Jamie Gao entered unit 803 at 1:46pm on the 20th of May," he said.

"It's clear one of the accused shot Jamie Gao.

"To convict both accused, you don't have to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt, who was the shooter."

The prosecutor's closing address continues.

Read more http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-18/former-police-gave-'unbelievable'-versions-of-gao-murder/7424986