Alleged drug ring kingpin faces court delays
THE alleged kingpin of a prison-supplying drug syndicate has had his committal adjourned.
Bilinga man Corey David Edward Magee, 26, faced Lismore District Court via video link from custody on Tuesday.
Mr Magee is facing 18 drug supply charges in relation to the alleged syndicate.
Solicitor Zoe Hunter, acting as an agent for Fahim Kahn of Parramatta-based Criminal Defence Lawyers, applied for the adjournment.
Ms Hunter told the court a case conferencing between defence and prosecution, scheduled for December 12, had not taken place.
"Your honour has the discretion to decide whether or not an adjournment ... is reasonable in the circumstances," she told Magistrate David Heilpern.
Mr Heilpern asked why the case conference didn't go ahead as ordered by the court.
Ms Hunter said the principal solicitor had not been able to get through the "four large folders" that made up the police brief.
She said Mr Kahn believed one charge, involving the alleged large commercial supply of drugs, was "not correct" and may need to be downgraded.
"I'm instructed if the matter does proceed on the current charges (they) would be seeking several weeks to be set aside in the District Court," Ms Hunter said.
The court heard the brief was served on September 18 last year.
Mr Heilpern agreed with Crown prosecutor Peter Woods that there should no further adjournments after the next court date.
"This is a matter where a court has made an order that there will be a case conference," he said.
"Mr Magee is in custody and that is entirely unfair in the sense that ... the community has to pay (for his custody) which is about $100,000 a year.
"There's no finality to his position.
"If (his lawyers) can't handle doing the matter in Sydney where the defendant's at the jail on the Mid North Coast and the crime is said to have taken place on the Far North Coast, they shouldn't have taken the brief."
Mr Heilpern ordered case conferencing take place on February 4 and the matter will return to court the following day. One of Mr Magee's co-accused, 25-year-old, Abdul Raouf Derbas - who is facing a charge of supplying a prohibited drug of a large commercial quantity - also faced court via video link on Tuesday.
Mr Woods said a case conference planned for Mr Derbas' matter did not take place, but would now be held on February 25.
Mr Heilpern told Mr Derbas it was his lawyers' responsibility to ensure this goes ahead on that date.
While Mr Derbas was in custody, the court heard Mr Heilpern had previously granted him bail and he had an appointment with parole on Wednesday.
Mr Derbas' matter will return to court on March 5.