Magistrate flabbergasted at Baden-Clay delay

Delay to forensic accounting report by the Queensland Police

It could take another five months for a forensic accountant employed by Queensland Police to analyse financial records belonging to accused murderer Gerard Baden-Clay, prosecutors say.

Mr Baden-Clay is accused of killing his wife and the mother of his three daughters, Allison, in their Brookfield home in April this year.

I can’t believe for any minute that it would take five months for an investigative accountant to look into the affairs of one defendant

Lawyers prosecuting the real estate agent briefly faced Brisbane Magistrates Court today to arrange the handing over of a “voluminous” brief of evidence to Mr Baden-Clay’s defence team.

Mr Baden-Clay was due to face the court via video-link from prison, but was instead represented by his solicitor Darren Mahony.

Prosector Danny Boyle told the court the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was ready to hand over 330 witness statements already contained in the brief of evidence, but said it could take up to five months for a forensic accountant with Queensland Police to provide her report on Mr Baden-Clay’s financial affairs.

Mr Bolye said police were also in the process of obtaining a further 50 to 100 witness statements.

Mr Boyle said police were also waiting on computer and phone examinations, as well as results from the post-mortem.

The post-mortem tests are outstanding … the forensics pathologist was away last week and this week until Wednesday” he said.

Magistrate Chris Callaghan said he was “flabbergasted” to hear of the lengthy delay.

I can’t believe for any minute that it would take five months for an investigative accountant to look into the affairs of one defendant” he said.

The defence can’t be asked to make any decisions without the full brief.

Mr Boyle argued the accountant’s statement was a “discreet matter” compared to other matters in the brief.

However, Mr Mahony also voiced concern at the delay.

I don’t want there to be any delay in provision of other material, because we’re waiting on the statement of one accountant” he said.

Mr Callaghan ordered that the brief of evidence, excluding the statement from the forensic accountant, be handed to Mr Baden-Clay’s legal team by August 20.

He ordered that Mr Baden-Clay face court again on September 3.

Mrs Baden-Clay’s body was found on a Brisbane creek bank 10 days after her husband reported her missing on April 20.

Earlier this month, Mr Baden-Clay was arrested and charged his 43-year-old wife’s murder and interfering with her body by moving her to the location where she was found.

Court documents have previously revealed that Mr Baden-Clay’s debts totalled about $1 million. It is alleged he stood to gain about $960,000 from his wife’s life insurance and superannuation policies.

He was refused bail and remanded in custody.

(Source: Marissa Calligeros, Brisbane Times, July 9, 2012)

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