Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Roger Rogerson charged over murder of Jamie Gao

Notorious former police officer Roger Rogerson has been charged with the murder of Sydney university student Jamie Gao in Sydney's south-west.

Arrested at his Padstow Heights home on Tuesday morning, the 73-year-old was taken to Bankstown police station, where he was charged with murder and large-scale drug supply.

He is due to appear in Bankstown Local Court on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Rogerson is the second former police officer to be charged over the murder of the 20-year-old, after ex-Kings Cross detective Glen McNamara was charged on Monday.

Police will allege Mr Gao was murdered inside a Padstow storage unit after a multimillion-dollar drug deal with the two former detectives went wrong.

Security footage allegedly shows three men walking into the storage shed – but only the two former police officers walk out.

The murder charge against Mr Rogerson follows an extraordinary 48 hours in which police initially believed the wanted man would return to Sydney on Monday from Brisbane, where he had a speaking engagement.

When that seemed unlikely, two senior detectives flew north to speak to Mr Rogerson – but in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Mr Rogerson mysteriously returned to his south-western Sydney home.

He was then in discussions, through his solicitor, to hand himself in.

But an hour before he claimed he would front at the Sydney Police Centre in Surry Hills, detectives arrived at Mr Rogerson's home, placed him in handcuffs and took him to Bankstown, where he was charged.

A statement from the NSW police said officers acted because they were "not satisfied with the arrangements being proposed".

Mr Rogerson's solicitor, Paul Kenny, said the police's actions in arresting an elderly man in his home like that were "disgraceful".

The former police officer was "treated like a dog", Mr Kenny claimed

Speaking to Fairfax Media after the arrest, Mr Kenny said he had been having a legal conference with Mr Rogerson and his wife, Anne, when police banged loudly on the front door.

"Someone yelled 'lock the house down'," Mr Kenny said.

Mr Kenny said four detectives proceeded to barge past Mrs Rogerson, who was distressed and crying as they handcuffed her husband, who was sitting in their small home office.

Mr Kenny said that Mr Rogerson had arrived back at his Padstow house in the early hours of the morning.

"They have totally betrayed our trust," Mr Kenny said of the police not honouring the arrangement that had been made to hand his client in at midday.

"He can't even walk, let alone flee," he said of the 73-year-old former detective, who has a bad hip and walks with the aid of a cane.

Police will allege that Mr Gao took three kilograms of the drug ice, with an estimated street value of $3 million, to the prearranged meeting with Mr McNamara and Mr Rogerson.

The business student at the University of Technology was reported missing the next day.

An hour after Mr McNamara was charged with Mr Gao's murder, a body believed to be that of the missing 20-year-old was spotted by a fisherman off the coast near Cronulla. It was wrapped in a blue tarpaulin.

Police confirmed on Tuesday that the body was that of Mr Gao.

POST ORIGINATED FROM http://www.smh.com.au


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