Seven people accused of being involved in an abduction ring that helped mothers take and hide their children in violation of family court orders have been committed to stand trial.
NSW doctor William Russell Pridgeon faces three counts of child stealing and two counts of conspiring to defeat justice for his alleged role in a network that eluded authorities for years.
He and co-accused Patrick Finbar McGarry O’Dea, together with five women, were committed to stand trial on Tuesday after an earlier hearing in Brisbane Magistrates Court.
Pridgeon, founder of the Australian Anti-Paedophile Party, was the main financial backer and planner behind helping two women abduct their children – contrary to family law orders – and then hide them, police alleged earlier.
Pridgeon said earlier he was looking forward to the “truth of this matter coming out”.
“Crimes have been covered up by many people who shouldn’t have,” he told reporters soon after his arrest.
“I’m looking forward to exposing that and I intend to.”
He and O’Dea were extradited from NSW to face court after their arrest in 2018.
O’Dea is charged with three counts of child stealing and one of unlawful stalking.
Police alleged earlier he was a co-organiser who tried to portray fathers as child abusers in social media and other public forums.
One woman faces one count of child stealing and two of conspiracy to defeat justice, while the other four are charged with conspiring to defeat justice.
The seven will stand trial at a date yet to be set.