Former Detective Sergeant of the New South Wales Police Force, found guilty of murder 2016
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Glen McNamara's barrister says Roger Rogerson murdered Jamie Gao
Former NSW detective Glen McNamara has accused his former police colleague Roger Rogerson of murdering Sydney student Jamie Gao "in cold blood" and then threatening to kill him and his family if he refused to help him cover up the crime, a court has heard.
In an extraordinary opening address to the murder trial of Mr McNamara and Mr Rogerson in the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday, Mr McNamara's barrister, Charles Waterstreet, also told the jury that his client had not been involved in Mr Gao's drug dealing but was simply interested in him as a source for an upcoming book about Asian triads titled The Ice Age.
But the evidence to support these claims may not be heard for weeks, after the judge in the murder trial discharged the jury for legal reasons.
"Glen McNamara says that he's not guilty," Mr Waterstreet told the NSW Supreme Court before the jury was discharged
"He says that he saw Roger Rogerson pull out the gun that he had a discussion with Mr Gao about the drugs and that Mr Rogerson shot Mr Gao in cold blood.
"Glen McNamara says that he knows nothing about having any gun in the shed or when he came into the shed. He had no idea he would pull a gun on Mr Gao. He was at all times, from beginning to end, the property of Mr Rogerson."
Mr Waterstreet went on to say that, after killing Mr Gao, Mr Rogerson pointed the gun at his client and "threatened to kill him and his family".
"Mr McNamara has two daughters and Mr Rogerson knew that. Mr Rogerson threatened to kill Mr McNamara and threatened to kill his daughters if Mr McNamara did not comply."
He said that Mr McNamara was in fear that Mr Rogerson would carry out his threat and that his actions from that point were conducted under "duress".
The Crown alleges that, after killing Mr Gao, Mr Rogerson and Mr McNamara dumped his body in the ocean off the coast of Cronulla the next day.
In response to the Crown's claim that Mr McNamara had met with Mr Gao on a number of occasions prior to the murder, Mr Waterstreet claimed that his client was doing research for a book.
He alleged that Mr Gao had been a member of the Sydney-based Asian triad Sing Wah prior to his death, and that Mr McNamara's book was about the role of the triads in importing and selling the drug ice.
"Mr Gao was a valuable source for Mr McNamara as a writer and he kept notes of all his meetings with Mr Gao," Mr Waterstreet said.
"The activity of Mr McNamara is one of innocence and one of duress. And one wonders – what do you do?"
Mr McNamara and Mr Rogerson are accused of murdering Mr Gao on May 22 last year in a south-west Sydney storage shed.
Four days later, police allegedly found 2.78 kilograms of the drug ice stashed in Mr McNamara's car. The Crown suggests the drugs were stolen from Mr Gao by Mr McNamara and Mr Rogerson, and that this was part of their "joint criminal enterprise" to kill or cause serious injury to Mr Gao.
But Mr Waterstreet said that his client had deliberately left the drugs there as "a trail of breadcrumbs" for the police to find.
Earlier, Crown prosecutor Chris Maxwell, QC, showed a series of still images from CCTV footage which he said would be help to prove beyond reasonable doubt that both men shot and killed Mr Gao.
This included images allegedly showing that about 40 minutes before the murder, Mr Rogerson and and Mr McNamara visited the Padstow unit block, going into and out of the storage unit in which Mr Gao was about to be killed.
"Something unusual is happening you might think in unit 803 at this time shortly before Jamie Gao meets his death in the unit and it involves both men," Mr Maxwell said.
At 2.15pm Justice Geoff Bellew discharged the jury for legal reasons which cannot be reported. Another jury is expected to be impanelled, however this is expected to take a number of weeks.