A prominent criminal lawyer charged with perverting the course of justice

A prominent criminal lawyer charged with perverting the course of justice

By Michael Moussa, Principal Lawyer of National Criminal Lawyers. 

A prominent Sydney lawyer, Mr Ali Abbas, 38, has been charged over an intricate plot to allegedly falsify Affidavit evidence and other legal documents linked to an investigation into the alleged murder of Brayden Dillon, 15.

Young Brayden was shot dead on Good Friday last year while in his bed, allegedly to avenge the bloody death of another slain Sydney teenager. For more information on the article, click here

Abbas a prominent Sydney Lawyer was arrested by Strike Force Wongala at Surry Hills police station about 6am on Wednesday. It followed raids on Tuesday afternoon at his home at Monterey in Sydney’s south, his office in Sydney’s CBD and a storage unit in Bexley, NSW.

Following his arrest, police have charged Mr Abbas (among other charges) with “Perverting the course of justice” . 

In particular Police allege Mr Abbas facilitated and coordinated the provision of false affidavits on behalf of others and passed on information relating to the alleged murder between numerous people.

In July last year, then-26-year-old Conrad Craig was charged with firing the weapon which killed Brayden Dillon.

Perverting the Course the Justice is a very serious crime and only a handful of lawyers are astute in meticulously understanding its operation.

The purpose of this article is to discuss the offence surrounding perverting the course of justice.

WHAT IS PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE?

Perverting the course of justice is a reference to perverting obstructing, preventing or defeating the course of justice or the administration of the law. It is a serious offence and carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 14 years. Please note, this penalty is only reserved for the worst of offending.

THE LAW

The offence of Perverting the Course of Justice is contained in section 319 of the Crimes Act 1900(NSW) which states:

“A person who does any act, or makes any omission, intending in any way to pervert the course of justice, is liable to imprisonment for 14 years”.

CASE LAW

The seriousness with which the community regards offences against justice can be gauged from the Second Reading Speech for the Crimes (Public Justice) Amendment Bill (Legislative Assembly, Hansard, 17 May 1990) which inserted Pt 7 into the Crimes Act: and in the case of Marinellis v R [2006] NSWCCA 307 at [10] AND; Richards v R [2006] NSWCCA 262 at [68].

The then Attorney-General, the Hon John Dowd MLA said at p 3691:

“Offences that damage the administration of justice strike at the very heart of our judicial system. It is fundamentally important that confidence is maintained in our system of justice, and to this end must be protected from attack. Those who interfere with the course of justice must be subject to severe penalties. Not only do offences concerning the administration of justice affect individuals, but the community as a whole has an interest in ensuring that justice is properly done”.

 

WHAT MUST THE PROSECUTION PROVE?

Since perverting the course of justice is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution.

The prosecution must prove the Accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. That is a high standard of proof that the prosecution must achieve before someone can be convicted of perverting the course of justice.

To establish perverting the course of justice, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. That you did any act or made any omission; and
  2. With intent in any way to pervert the course of justice.

“Course of justice” refers to, among other things, legal proceedings.

DEFENCES?

Some of the possible defences available for those charged with perverting the course of justice may include:

You did not know that there were judicial proceedings on foot or that they were imminent or might occur;

  • That you had no intent to pervert the course of justice in acting the way you did, or in omitting what you did;
  • If you were compelled to act in a certain way due to the circumstances, or the threats of another you may be able to argue “Duress”;
  • Necessity – If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring, you may have the defence of-Necessity and/or
  • If you were defending yourself or another OR yours or another’s property you may have a Defence of Self-Defence

For a list of all possible defences, please visit our dedicated defences pages 

IF YOU ARE CHARGED WITH THE OFFENCE OF “PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE”, WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?

National Criminal Lawyers (NCL) only employ the best Criminal Lawyers Sydney has to offer. Moreover, we have been successful in defending a number of “Perverting the course of justice” charges where the prosecution could not establish each of the elements to the required threshold.

NCL  offer the following options for those who have been charged with “perverting the course of justice” ;

  1. We will negotiate with prosecutors (police or DPP) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) to request that the charge is withdrawn, downgraded or fact sheets amended;
  2. We can on your instructions facilitate a plea of Not Guilty and go to hearing/trial and attempt to persuade the Court that prosecution has not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt;
  3. We can on your instructions facilitate a plea of guilty to the elements of the charge and then dispute the facts (at a special “disputed facts” hearing) with the view of having you sentenced less harshly; and/or
  4. Plead guilty with full acceptance of the facts as set out by the police and make strong submissions on your behalf requesting that the Court not record a criminal conviction or have you sentenced to the least restrictive penalty available.

 

WHY NATIONAL CRIMINAL LAWYERS?

There are many reasons to choose National Criminal Lawyers:

  1. We understand that one of the worst consequences of a criminal charge is the damage to your reputation. As one of the top law firms Sydney has on offer we ALWAYS seek to restore your reputation;
  2. Our clients Testimonials are glowing and our customers/clients speak for themselves. For consideration of these testimonials see https://www.nationalcriminallawyers.com.au and/or check out our google reviews;
  3. We always guide you through the preparation work required and assist in helping you provide everything needed to go to court.
  4. We always guide you through obtaining the best of character references and letters of apology. We also use the best psychologists, medical and other experts;
  5. We guarantee that a Senior Criminal Lawyer from Sydney will represent you. This means that with our over 25 years of Combined criminal law experience you will get the best result possible and will not be subjected to a Junior or recently graduated Lawyer;
  6. We are the experts in either beating or having criminal charges withdrawn AND/OR obtaining the least restrictive penalty available; and
  7. We know that Criminal Law is a matter of Human Rights. As such we take pride and passion in representing our clients. You can always rest assured that National Criminal Lawyers are the best defenders of your rights;

 

 

 

 

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