Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Roger Rogerson wanted co-accused Glen McNamara to agree to same defence, court hears

By court reporter Karl Hoerr

Glen McNamara gave his murder co-accused Roger Rogerson the impression they would adopt the same defence over the death of student Jamie Gao, a Sydney court has heard.

On his fourth day in the witness box at his trial in the New South Wales Supreme Court, McNamara relayed a series of conversations he said he had with Rogerson in prison after they were charged.

Rogerson and McNamara are accused of murdering Mr Gao, who was shot twice inside a Padstow storage unit on May 20, 2014.

They also allegedly took almost three kilograms of the drug ice that Mr Gao had in his possession.

McNamara said Rogerson wanted them both to say Mr Gao had "ripped off the triads", was desperate and McNamara had shot him in self-defence after he was car-jacked.

"I wanted to convey to Mr Rogerson that I would agree to this defence so that I could collect evidence of the true nature of the offence by Mr Rogerson," McNamara said.

His barrister Gabriel Wendler produced a handwritten note Rogerson allegedly gave to McNamara last year, headed "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury", outlining what their defence should be.

"You have heard the learned crown prosecutor explain to you the crown plans to produce to you evidence of a strong circumstantial case," the note read.

"Well ladies and gentlemen let me tell you the crown will not be able to prove this at all."

McNamara told the court: "Rogerson said, 'This opening address ... has to be the way we run the whole case'."

He said he told Rogerson, "I think I'm willing to go along with you but I've got some concerns."

McNamara said he wanted to know everything about the gun that was used in the shooting, including what happened to it.

He said Rogerson told him he sourced the weapon from a man called Tony Butler and returned the weapon to Mr Butler's workplace three days after the shooting.

The former police officer was asked about his career in the police force and said it included working on the Milperra massacre investigation, a secondment to the National Crime Authority, as well as stints as a detective in Sydney's south as well as Darlinghurst and Kings Cross.

He said he left the police force after working on an undercover, internal investigation.

"My work was leaked and there were threats to kill me," McNamara said.

McNamara is expected to be questioned by George Thomas, the barrister for Rogerson, when the trial resumes.

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