Lawyers for a group of men accused of subjecting a Queensland businessman and his model girlfriend to a shocking kidnap and torture ordeal have told a court their clients have no case to answer.
Nathan John Miller, Mark Clinton Atta-Singh, Jordan Roman Brennan, Saleh Atasoy, Justin John Kuhner and Brodie Jeet Singh are facing a committal hearing over the alleged kidnapping of businessman Eduardus Groenewegen and his model girlfriend, Caroll Dufailly, in October 2019.
Police allege the pair were restrained and forced into a white van before being tortured for information about a safe in Mr Groenewegen’s possession.
A heavy police presence was seen in Ipswich Magistrates Court as all six men were crammed into the dock as supporters looked on from the gallery.
Each of the men is facing a raft of serious charges, including torture, kidnapping, administering poison, extortion, robbery and deprivation of liberty.
Police allege members of the group were dressed as police when they allegedly stormed the couple’s Raceview home on October 25, 2019.
It is alleged the intruders restrained Mr Groenewegen and Ms Dufailly with duct tape and zip ties before forcing them into a white van, repeatedly demanding the code to a safe.
It is alleged the pair were driven around for hours and tortured before being left in nearby bushland.
Barrister Bernard Reilly, acting for Mr Atta-Singh, said the evidence against his client was not sufficient to proceed to trial.
The court was told the men – who were alleged to be members or associates of the Lone Wolves outlaw bikie gang – were seen consorting at a funeral weeks before the alleged incident.
But lawyers for Mr Kunah and Mr Brennan said their clients denied being involved with the criminal group.
On the crown’s case, data from the encrypted phone app “Cipher” and CCTV are alleged to link the men to the offences.
Mr Reilly said there was not sufficient proof Mr Atta-Singh used one of the particular phones in the Raceview area when the alleged ordeal began.
He said the CCTV footage could not sufficiently identify Mr Atta-Singh and his client did not have strong associations with any of the alleged co-offenders.
Josh Underwood, acting for Mr Singh, said the phone data linking his client to the offences was “extremely tenuous”.
He said the crown was alleging Mr Singh acquired the encrypted phone after it was “passed on” from multiple associates, but the inference drawn was “not strong”.
“There’s a missing link in the crown’s case … they seek to identify a handset with a service but there’s no evidence it was used on this handset,” Mr Underwood said.
Magistrate Dennis Kinsella adjourned the matter until Friday for mention, telling the lawyers he would need time to consider the substantial amount of material.
The committal hearing will determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial in a higher court.
Mr Groenewegen last week gave evidence in the committal hearing that he did not know anyone who would wish to harm him prior to the alleged attack.