Alleged cocaine smugglers go to trial despite lawyer change
IT HAS been five years since three men were arrested for allegedly trying to import half a tonne of cocaine into Australia, and a lawyer representing two of the men told a court she was not ready for their trial to start next month.
Three men - Simon Charles Golding, Holger Sander and Terrance Elfar - have been accused of importing a commercial quantity of cocaine.
It is alleged police found the cocaine on a yacht at a marina near Redcliffe, south of the Sunshine Coast in 2010.
Mr Elfar and Mr Golding have recently changed lawyers and their newest solicitor - Zali Burrows - took on their case last Thursday, the Supreme Court heard.
On Wednesday, Ms Burrows asked for an adjournment of the trial, which is set to start next month, but Supreme Court Judge Roslyn Atkinson refused this.
She said experienced solicitors and counsel had previously represented both men and that Mr Elfar and Mr Golding were aware the trial would start on July 20.
Justice Atkinson also said both men knew changing lawyers would not affect the trial date.
"There is a public interest in justice being done and being seen to be done," Justice Atkinson said.
"There has been in my view, ample time, for the defendants to prepare for trial."
She also said the men's co-accused, Mr Sander, had been in custody since they were arrested in October 2010 and that he was anxious for the trial to proceed.