Lawyers defending Gold Coast Titans players against charges of cocaine supply and possession are demanding the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) produce the evidence.
Legal teams representing current players Greg Bird, Dave Taylor, Beau Falloon, Jamie Dowling and Faifai Loa, and past players Ashley Harrison and Joe Vickery, were back in Southport Magistrates Court on Friday seeking another adjournment.
The players were not required to attend but their lawyers argued the CCC is dragging its heels by not yet providing a brief of its evidence.
The Titans players, along with Falloon’s girlfriend Elise Abood, are facing more than 20 charges of cocaine supply and possession following an investigation by the CCC into a drug trafficking syndicate in the state’s south.
I can only guess the CCC, who are driving this, seem to be sitting on their hands.Beau Falloon’s lawyer Chris Nyst
All pleaded not guilty in March and the lawyer for Falloon and Abood, Chris Nyst, is critical of delays in receiving a brief from police.
Falloon wanted his matter resolved quickly so he could finalise NRL contract negotiations for next year.
“I can only guess the CCC, who are driving this, seem to be sitting on their hands,” Nyst said.
“There has been ample, ample, ample time to do this.”
Police prosecutor Sergeant Kristy Johnson told the court, “I don’t think there has been any undue delays.”
Magistrate Kerry McGee ordered police to present the brief to the defence teams on June 12.
The matter was adjourned for a committal mention on July 6.
The five current Titans players were initially stood down by the club following the CCC’s findings in February but were reinstated ahead of the third round of the NRL season, with Bird, Taylor and Falloon rushed back into the starting side.
Former New South Wales State of Origin star Bird will not play a game before the next hearing date after he was this week suspended for eight matches for a lifting tackle while playing for Australia in the loss to New Zealand.
Bird is not eligible to play until the Titans’ round 19 match against Newcastle and will miss the entire State of Origin series.
Queensland Reds rugby player Karmichael Hunt was also caught up in the CCC investigation. He appeared in court on March 9, pleaded guilty to four cases of cocaine possession, was fined $2,500 and no conviction was recorded.
Hunt was also fined $30,000 and suspended for six weeks by the Australian and Queensland rugby unions.
Former Titans and Brisbane Broncos back Steve Michaels, currently playing for Hull in the English Super League, will face supply charges once he returns to Australia.
In the midst of the growing drug scandal surrounding the Titans in February, the NRL was forced to take ownership of the financially struggling club after the Titans went into voluntary administration.
In early March, the club received a boost with the Titans signing Manly star Daly Cherry-Evans from 2016.