NEWS – “without comment”
Lawyer for serial conman Peter Foster slams fraud charges as ‘trumped’ amid internal police probe ABC Gold Coast By Alexandria Utting May 24, 2021
The lawyer for notorious conman Peter Foster has labelled fresh fraud charges as “trumped” and revealed an internal probe was conducted by NSW Police into the handling of the case.
* NSW Police conducted an internal investigation into Peter Foster’s case interstate
* The notorious conman’s lawyer Chris Hannay says charges expected to be laid in Queensland are “trumped”
* Foster’s whereabouts remain unknown
Queensland Police last week issued a warrant for Foster’s arrest after $2 million fraud charges were withdrawn by prosecutors in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court due to jurisdictional issues.
Foster’s whereabouts remain unknown since the charges were withdrawn in New South Wales last week.
The 58-year-old was dramatically arrested in Far North Queensland last year and extradited to NSW over allegations he orchestrated a multi-million-dollar Bitcoin scam through an Asia-based online sports trading operation.
Foster served seven months on remand in NSW before the charges were dropped last week.
Queensland Police have now issued a warrant for Foster’s arrest on similar charges.
Arrest last year was recorded
His arrest last year was recorded by a television news crew and private investigator Ken Gamble, who acts for the alleged victim of the fraud.
It is understood NSW Police professional standards investigators began an internal probe into aspects of Foster’s case last year.
Foster’s lawyer Chris Hannay on Monday said the NSW internal probe considered whether there had been “an improper relationship” between the police and the private investigator who was present during last year’s arrest.
“That was one of the considerations in dropping the charges against him (Foster),” Mr Hannay said.
When contacted, Mr Gamble denied having any improper relationship with the officers involved in Foster’s case.
He said it was his understanding the internal police probe was instead considering whether information about Foster’s arrest had been improperly provided to the media.
NSW Police have been contacted for comment.
Foster ‘will be pleading not guilty’
Mr Hannay said it “beggars belief” that a warrant was issued for Foster’s arrest in Queensland on fraud charges, which are understood to emulate the charges dropped in NSW.
He described his client as a “Queensland icon” who had “done a lot of good” and “a lot of bad”.
“I’ve been in contact with Peter, he’s contacted me and expressed his desire to come to Queensland and face the music, so to speak, in relation to these charges,” Mr Hannay said.
“He is of the full belief that, in his words, the charges are ‘trumped’ and he will be pleading not guilty and strenuously defending it.”
Mr Hannay said it was a “miscarriage of justice” that Foster had been imprisoned in NSW on charges that were later dropped.
“It’s extraordinarily concerning. Matters before the court like this should have been properly investigated before anyone was charged,” he said.
NSW Police said that “as the matter is currently the subject of an internal investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further”.
Foster is expected to surrender in Queensland later this week.