By Karl Hoerr
Former police officers Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara were recruited to extort money from Sydney property developer Ron Medich, a jury has been told.
The claim emerged this week at Medich’s trial for the murder of his estranged business associate Michael McGurk in 2009.
Under cross-examination, key prosecution witness Lucky Gattellari admitted that he met with Roger Rogerson at Cooma Jail, in southern New South Wales, in 2014.
Gatellari received a reduced sentence after admitting to his part in the murder.
Medich’s barrister put it to Gattellari that the jail visit was about an arrangement to illegally extort money from his client.
“I disagree,” said Gattellari.
“There was a plan put in place with the knowledge of police, that we were going to try to get Mr Medich to pay some money up front,” he said.
Lucky Gattellari told the jury the plan was for Ron Medich to pay $10 million before his committal hearing or $15 million after the hearing.
“Roger Rogerson was going to deliver a message to the Medich camp, that for a certain amount of money, I could be got at to not give evidence.”
Gattellari said he did not tell any of the people involved in the plan that he was talking to the police.
“At some stage, did you form the view that Roger Rogerson might be double-crossing you?” asked defence barrister Winston Terracini SC.
Gattellari answered “Yes.”
At another point during his evidence, Lucky Gattellari was asked if he held himself out as an honest man.
“I’m as honest as the next man,” he said.
He was also questioned about whether he had asked police in 2013 “Is it a crime if I agree to do something, but don’t go ahead with it?”
Gatellari answered “I may have.”