Two Victorians jailed under Queensland’s anti-bikie laws will be released on bail because police can’t prove they’re still bikies.
Two Victorians jailed for allegedly breaking Queensland’s anti-bikie laws have been granted bail because police couldn’t prove they were still bikies.
Bane Alajbegovic, 30, and Dario Halilovic, 23, will be released from solitary confinement 20 days after police alleged they were Comancheros associates and charged them with laws that ban gang members from meeting in public.
The men were granted bail in the Supreme Court in Brisbane on Thursday after the Crown said the case against them wasn’t “particularly strong”.
Alajbegovic and Halilovic were arrested on January 4, while on bail for matters in Victoria, for walking down a street together and meeting at a hotel on the Gold Coast.
In a written judgment, Justice Anthe Philippides said it was questionable whether a hotel fell within the definition of a public place and it was “sensibly conceded” that the prosecution case wasn’t strong.
There was no evidence to suggest either man was a flight risk and the risk of either reoffending was “not unacceptable”, she said.
Counsel Tony Kimmins argued Alajbegovic and Halilovic had joined the Comancheros in July 2012 but resigned in August 2013 and have had no contact with the club since.
Prosecutor Vicki Loury said there was nothing to suggest this wasn’t the case, although investigations in Victoria were ongoing.
“There is currently no distinct intelligence or information available to police to dispute their claims that they no longer associate with these organisations,” she said.
Lawyer Bill Potts, for Alajbegovic and Halilovic, says the case is a “stark” example of Queensland’s “oppressive” and “harsh” anti-bike laws going too far.
“In Queensland at the present time, men who are charged essentially with being in a public place buying an ice-cream find themselves criminalised and placed in solitary confinement,” he told reporters outside court.
Mr Potts said his clients had effectively lived in a “concrete tomb” while in solitary confinement at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre, near Ipswich.
Alajbegovic and Halilovic were among a group of five men who became the first interstate people to be charged for meeting in a public place under Queensland’s new laws.
Three others, accused of being Hells Angels members or prospects, are yet to apply for bail.
The case will be next mentioned in the Southport Magistrates Court on February 17.
Mr Potts said Alajbegovic and Halilovic would both plead not guilty.