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Monday, 21 November 2011

Bikies trial to test courts

10:06 |


Police arrested 22 Finks and Hells Angels members over a fight in The City nightclub in Hindley St on May 29. They were charged with aggravated riot for the alleged incident that involved bar stools, bottles and table tops as weapons. Defence lawyer Craig Caldicott said if the matter proceeded to the District Court, as he expected, arrangements would need to be made. "There is not currently a courtroom that could house it," he said. "A courtroom would have to be made, and this is in a time when we can't even get disability access (to courtrooms) for judges." Mr Caldicott said the animosity between the two groups could also be an issue if all were to stand trial simultaneously. Currently, all the accused are charged on the same information from the Director of Public Prosecution and all are on bail.  The two groups have been appearing in separate hearings in the Magistrates Court. "You would need special security ... you would have to have a special set-up," Mr Caldicott said. The accused appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court last week and were listed to answer the charges. However, the case was adjourned for the prosecution to supply further information to the defence. CCTV footage is among the information already provided by police and lawyers believe there are more than 150 witnesses to the alleged incident. Mr Caldicott said his clients, who were affiliates of the Finks Motorcycle Club, would be going to trial at this stage. "The aggravated riot charge will be contested," he said. The Courts Administration Authority said it was "too early" to know how the matter would be managed in the District Court. "All these things will be considered by the court at directions hearings if and when it is committed to the District Court," an administration spokeswoman said. "It is still going through the court process in the Magistrates Court." In Sydney in 2007, a Supreme Court room was remodelled to accommodate the committal hearing of nine men accused of plotting a terror attack. The dock and bar table were extended for the case.

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