Cousins friend 'part of drug conspiracy'
A long-time friend of AFL star Ben Cousins conspired with another man to traffic 45kg of MDMA or ecstasy, a Perth court has heard.
Fabian Quaid, 33, a former Olympic athlete and mate of Cousins, is on trial in the West Australian Supreme Court, charged with conspiring with others to take possession of MDMA powder after it arrived in WA on a cargo ship last year.
Dimitrios Papadimitriou, 39, of Queensland, is also on trial for the conspiracy.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In her opening address to the jury, prosecutor Gillian Braddock showed the court a series of videos and photographs taken during a covert police investigation last year.
Ms Braddock said a video, filmed at Fremantle port on the night of April 16 last year, showed a small boat, with no lights on, moving away from a commercial ship.
She alleged the boat removed two bags of MDMA powder, weighing 45kg from the cargo ship.
Ms Braddock said the drugs were uncovered by police during a secret search of a granny flat in Lockridge, in Perth's northeastern suburbs, on May 8.
Investigators replaced the drugs with a fake substance so they could continue to monitor the house, she said.
Recorded phone conversations, photographs and video evidence would form the basis of the prosecution's case against Quaid and Papadimitriou, Ms Braddock told the jury.
Police have alleged both men are members of an international drug syndicate which was the focus of the police operation that led to the bust.
Ms Braddock said the conspiracy was believed to have started during a meeting between Quaid and another man in July 2007.
The cargo ship filmed at the Fremantle port was believed to have travelled from a port in the United Kingdom, visiting ports at Mauritius and Sydney before its arrival in WA.
On Monday, potential jurors were told AFL stars Cousins and Michael Gardiner would be mentioned during the six-week trial, which started on Wednesday.
Quaid, who was living in Manly in Sydney at the time of his arrest last year, represented Australia in tae kwon do at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
The trial continues, with the accused's defence team to open their case on Wednesday afternoon.
November 4, 2009 - 4:59PM
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