Sunday, July 28, 2002

Rogerson charged on PIC evidence

By John Kidman, Sun Herald Police Reporter

July 28 2002
The Sun-Herald

Former police detective Roger Caleb Rogerson has been charged with perjuring himself before the NSW Police Integrity Commission.

Rogerson, 62, is facing six counts of giving false evidence to the PIC on his dealings with former Liverpool Council employee Sam "Mr 10 per cent" Masri in May 1999.

At the time, Rogerson was also the star witness at a parallel inquiry run by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), at which Masri, a purchasing officer, was named as taking kickbacks from contractors.

Rogerson's de facto, Anne Melocco, who also testified about her partner's business affairs and company interests at the PIC, has been charged with three counts of giving false evidence.

NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Nick Cowdery QC said the couple were issued with summonses by PIC officers on July 18. They are due to appear in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court on August 14.

If found guilty, they face up to a $22,000 fine, five years' jail or both for each offence.

Most of the PIC evidence of May 25, 1999, was devoted to allegations of Rogerson's corrupt connections with Masri.

There was also talk of a home invasion, a tip-off on the whereabouts of media magnate Kerry Packer's missing gold bullion and accusations of a conspiracy to hydroponically cultivate marijuana.

In each case Rogerson denied any wrongdoing and no-one has been charged over any of the allegations.
Still, it was courtroom drama at its best.

When it was Rogerson's turn to answer questions, he complained of being "completely ambushed".

He was asked about a plot to raid a home in the south-western Sydney suburb of Austral in October 1998, but said he recollected no such thing.

Three days later, he conceded that he did "case a joint". It wasn't to conduct a robbery, only to recover some of the $5.4 million worth of gold bars stolen from Mr Packer in 1995.

The plan was to return the bullion and claim a reward. Asked by council assisting, David Frearson, if he ever obtained any of the bars, Rogerson said he had not. If he had, though, "possibly one or two would've gone missing" before the haul was returned to its owner.