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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

AUSTRAILIA - Finks launch case against legislation move

THE Gold Coast Finks are one step closer to a challenge in the High Court against moves to have the gxxg declared a criminal organisation.

High-profile Gold Coast criminal lawyer Bill Potts yesterday lodged a summary of argument to have Queensland's Criminal Organisation Act declared unconstitutional.

The document outlines the club's legal position and Mr Potts said he hoped to have a preliminary High Court date in November.

The Queensland Police Service will now be required to respond with its own summary argument and a notice will also be filed to all attorneys-general in Australia allowing them to contribute to the legal argument.

If the Finks fail to have the legislation removed, other states and territories are expected to adopt the legislation and bring action against outlaw motorcycle gxxgs.

Yesterday's move comes more than two months after police used the 2009 law for the first time in a Supreme Court bid to have the Finks' Gold Coast chapter and an associated company declared a criminal organisation.

Police Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon alleged the Finks had been involved in crimes including murder, extortion, robbery and drug trafficking and posed "a great risk to the community".

Affidavits lodged with the Supreme Court in June alleged 45 Finks members had criminal convictions and that the gxxg included a so-called "Terror Team" whose "major function ... is the extortion of money by a system known as Finks Fines".

Mr Potts said the Finks contended the Criminal Organisation Act was "invalid and unconstitutional" because it denied them the right to challenge the case in the Supreme Court, including criminal intelligence, and denies members' individual freedom.

"We are simply saying the legislation is fundamentally flawed," Mr Potts said.

"It is legislation which has far-reaching and enormously intrusive powers to effectively declare that fathers, sons, brothers and friends cannot associate and that if they do, they are criminals," he said.

"There is no recourse for them to test the evidence against them or to even be legally represented in court."

The Finks have retained constitutional expert Bret Walker SC who represented the club in the successful High Court challenge to similar anti-bikie laws in South Australia.

The Finks will also be represented by Peter Kulevski and Anthony Kimmins.