Former top prosecutor could potentially be jailed a after pleading guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering.
Former top prosecutor could potentially be jailed a after pleading guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering.

Former top prosecutor’s shock plea to drug charges

CAIRNS' former top prosecutor will be sentenced later this year after pleading guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering.

Roger Griffith, who served as the boss of Cairns' Department of Public Prosecutions for several years, but was most recently working in the city as a defence barrister, was arraigned in the District Court in Brisbane on Thursday.

He pleaded guilty to one count of drug trafficking, one count of money laundering, two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice and one count of possessing property obtained from the proceeds of trafficking.

 

Former Department of Public Prosecutions boss Roger Griffith leaves Cairns Court after his committal hearing for drug trafficking in the Cairns Magistrates Court in 2020. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
Former Department of Public Prosecutions boss Roger Griffith leaves Cairns Court after his committal hearing for drug trafficking in the Cairns Magistrates Court in 2020. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN


The trafficking charge is linked to cannabis.

Mr Griffith was initially charged with trafficking methylamphetamines but despite being committed to the higher court after his committal in the Cairns Magistrates Court in March last year, did not proceed on indictment.

Prosecutors also dropped a drug possession charge on Thursday.

During his committal hearing last year, the court heard he was charged with being a senior figure in a drug syndicate he was legally acting for, and which was operating in the Far North between 2016 and 2017.

The syndicate was headed by Smithfield man Zane Rene Cook, 42, who was handed a nine-and-a-half year jail sentence in Townsville Supreme Court in October last year.

Mr Griffith's barrister Stephen Zillman had argued during the committal there was no evidence of his client's involvement in the meth trafficking.

The court heard other details of his offending though where Mr Griffith allegedly dug up a bag of $25,000 cash at Mr Cook's property after visiting him in custody.

The court heard during the committal Mr Griffith then showed the bag of cash to a former lawyer colleague and told her they were "fees for services rendered".

Mr Griffith was originally due to be sentenced in May, but it was adjourned to August 12 in Brisbane.

He remains on bail.

Drug trafficking carries a maximum sentence of 25 years jail.

Originally published as Former top Cairns prosecutor's shock plea to drug charges



Inland Rail report delayed for fourth time

Premium Content Inland Rail report delayed for fourth time

A much-anticipated report from the Senate inquiry into the $14.5 billion Inland...

Man hospitalised after falling into fire

Premium Content Man hospitalised after falling into fire

He was taken to hospital with burns to his upper limb and back.

Man says drug items found in dying mum’s car not his

Premium Content Man says drug items found in dying mum’s car not his

A drug user tried to blame his dying mother for drugs found in a car he was...