A juror in the trial of a world champion kayaker and his brother accused of importing cocaine into Australia worries they will be followed out of court.
Olympic silver medalist Nathan Baggaley and his younger brother Dru Baggaley are accused of being involved in a plan to get 650 kg of cocaine – worth up to $ 200 million – from a foreign ship hundreds of miles off NSW.
The proceedings were adjourned early Friday afternoon after jurors raised concerns with Brisbane Supreme Court Judge Ann Lyons.
A judge opined that they were followed on Wednesday night as they walked to the train station, despite changing course, she said.
Dru Anthony Baggaley (left) and Anthony Draper (right) are seen on a ship with navy personnel while under arrest for alleged drug trafficking
“Most of us have an idea when we’re being tracked and it was clear this judge felt that,” added Justice Lyons.
Jurors were also concerned about a group of “young men” who stared at the jury for extended periods earlier in the trial.
Justice Lyons said she had asked to watch closed circuit television as part of an investigation into what was happening.
She told jurors to consider over the weekend whether they can still be impartial.
“If it is clear that you cannot be impartial, then it is appropriate for a juror to be fired,” Judge Lyons said.
Earlier on Friday, Dru Baggaley, 39, told the court that another man, Anthony Draper, had asked him to buy a boat and prepare it to meet a ship from Indonesia that would bring tobacco to be brought in. Australia to sell.
Olympic silver medalist Nathan Baggaley (pictured) and his younger brother Dru Baggaley are accused of being involved in a plan to obtain 650 kg of cocaine
Dru Baggaley said Draper was a “ very likable character ” who raised $ 100,000 in cash for the rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB), which Baggaley was able to keep to start a whale watching business.
“(Draper) was alluding to the fact … he’d been involved in this sort of thing before,” Baggaley said.
He said Draper was ‘in a panic’ when the couple reached the boat ramp at Brunswick Heads around 9:30 pm and said, ‘Mate, you’re fucking with me whether you like it or not.’
Baggaley said he told Draper that “it was never the deal,” that he had to work in the morning and got seasick, but the other man insisted.
Draper warned he would tell “dangerous people” involved in the import of the tobacco worth more than $ 1 million where his family lived, he said.
‘(Draper’s) basically said … I’ll be held responsible for all these s *** and people will come after my family and me if I don’t get on board,’ he added.
Earlier on Friday, Dru Baggaley (pictured), 39, told the court that another man, Anthony Draper, asked him to buy a boat and get it ready to meet a ship from Indonesia that would bring tobacco to in Australia.
Draper, 56, previously told the court that he flew from Sydney to Coolangatta on July 30, 2018, at the request of Dru Baggaley.
Draper said he thought the couple would go a few miles offshore to pick up ‘smoko’ that he thought was marijuana.
They met a “big red boat” with “South American people,” some with weapons on board, Draper testified.
He and Baggaley loaded a “significant” number of black parcels, thrown from the larger ship, onto the RHIB, he said.
While Draper shouted ‘no more pot’ because there may be ‘too much’ for the small boat, the foreign men called ‘cocoa’.
The footage shows the pair throwing packages into the sea when approached by a naval patrol boat. They were arrested by the police before reaching the mainland.
Black bags reportedly filled with nearly 650 kg of cocaine were seized by Queensland police
The court heard Draper testify as part of a commitment made when he received a reduced sentence in previous court proceedings.
The prosecution alleges that Nathan Baggaley also had a “key role” in the import, saying he bought the RHIB for $ 100,000, prepared it and covered the registration number for the voyage at sea with heavy black tape.
But Dru Baggaley told the court on Friday that he caught up with his brother to help with the RHIB purchase because he “didn’t have enough time.”
Nathan Baggaley’s lawyer, Anthony Kimmins, told the court that the prosecution’s case against his client was based on circumstantial evidence that did not prove that he was involved in the alleged attempt to import the cocaine.
The men both pleaded not guilty to a single attempt to import a commercial amount of cocaine into Coolangatta on the Gold Coast between December 2017 and August 2018.
Dru Baggaley is expected to continue to testify on Monday.