There are “serious questions” to be asked of an investigation into serial conman Peter Foster by a PI who alleges he has previously been a victim of the convicted fraudster, his lawyer claims.
Foster’s legal team have filed a subpoena seeking to view the police brief of evidence that sparked his dramatic arrest on a Queensland beach last month, with undercover officers crash-tackling him to the sand as he walked his dogs.
Police allege he duped a Hong Kong man into sending him $1.89 million in Bitcoin through an online betting scam.
At Central Local Court on Tuesday, the 58-year-old’s lawyer Angelo Bilias said his legal team wanted to see the evidence against their client to prepare a bail application.
Mr Bilias said the probe that led to Foster being charged with 16 new fraud offences was a “bit different to your usual type of investigation”.
“It was conducted not by the police but by an external agent … with their own agenda as to why they conducted the investigation,” he said.
“It raises very serious questions as to who and why and where (it) has been put together.”
The court heard the “very, very large” brief had previously been ordered to be served on the defence by October 22.
It heard a statement by the complainant that contained 400 pages of annexures had already been exposed to Foster.
Magistrate Robert Williams adjourned the subpoena hearing to October 22, saying he could see no distinction between this case and many similar matters.
“This happens in every matter that comes on the DDP list,” he said. “If Mr Foster wants to bring a release application, he can do so at any stage.”
Mr Williams said it was uncommon for a subpoena to be issued so soon after a person had been charged.
Mr Bilias had argued his client had been refused bail, potentially for a long period of time, based on allegations from a PI who appeared to have personal interest in Mr Foster.
“It is a person that is a private investigator that has had other involvements in this saga, in which he himself is alleged to have been a victim of Mr Foster,” he said.
“This is the person who has been investigating him.”
The matter will return to court in October.