Solicitor questions directive of bikies bail application

OUTSPOKEN Rockhampton solicitor Doug Winning has supported the right of three alleged Rebels bikies to have their bail application heard in the Townsville Magistrates Court.

The three men, including alleged Townsville Rebels branch president Vaughan Collins, were arrested on drugs charges last week.

Their solicitor argued for their release yesterday, and said the Brisbane Magistrates Court had no jurisdiction to hear the application.

Legislation allows for them to be held in custody for up to seven days.

Mr Winning said every magistrates court had its geographical and jurisdictional limits governed by the Justices Act.

"The act does not permit bail applications which relate to Rockhampton to be heard in Brisbane without the consent of both parties. Remanding somebody in custody in Brisbane without consent of their defence, is simply unlawful," he said.

The situation arose from a practice direction issued by Queensland Chief Magistrate Tim Carmody in November last year, which directed all contested applications for bail be reserved for him in the Brisbane Magistrates Court.

But Mr Winning argued that a person charged with an offence was entitled to be taken before the magistrates court at the first reasonable opportunity.

"This practice direction is tortured, or rendered useless, by provisions of the Justices Act," he said. Mr Winning said a declaratory order by the Supreme Court would declare the process in the Brisbane Magistrates Court unlawful.

Chief Magistrate Carmody said it would be inappropriate for him to comment as the case was before the courts.

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