Hells Angels drug charges dropped

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 10:13 31/10/2012
hells angels
FAIRFAX NZ
GANGLAND TIES: The Red Devils are widely regarded as an offshoot or feeder gang to the Hells Angels.

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The fake prosecution of an undercover police officer has led to charges against a senior Auckland Hells Angels member being thrown out.

Phillip Schubert was charged with offering to supply methamphetamine after Operation Explorer, which involved undercover officer Michael Wiremu Wilson infiltrating the Nelson Red Devils gang.

Wilson was the subject of a fake prosecution in which police deceived the courts and served a fake search warrant on a member of the public.

High Court judge Justice Simon France last week stayed charges against 21 Red Devils and associates and heavily criticised police actions in bringing the prosecution.

Auckland lawyer Eb Leary, in representing Schubert, was the first to spot the police malfeasance.

Leary battled to force information from the police that led to Justice France's decision.

He represented Schubert in the High Court at Auckland this morning.

Schubert's single charge was dependent on what happened to the Nelson case and accordingly, his case was today stayed.

Justice Andrews said she had read Justice France's decision and accepted that Schubert's case was in the same category.

However, she cautioned that Schubert's case could be brought back to court should Justice France's decision be successfully appealed.

Crown Law is currently contemplating whether to appeal.

Outside court, Schubert said there was "no substance to the charges in the first place" and he was "100 per cent confident" of defending them should he be required.

He questioned how people could have faith when the people tasked with upholding the law were allowed to break it.

Leary said he thought Justice France's decision was "unassailable".

He said the police had committed "severe criminal offending" in misleading the courts but he did not think they would hold those responsible to account.

Leary rejected going to the Independent Police Conduct Authority as it was "like talking to a brick wall".

Schubert and Leary said they were considering applying for legal costs from police.

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- Auckland Now

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