Former legal boss on drug charges 'showed bag of cash'
A FORMER top Cairns prosecutor accused of drug trafficking allegedly showed an ex-colleague a bag full of $20,000 cash outside the police station and told her it was for "fees".
Roger Griffith, 55, is accused of being a key figure in a Far North drug trafficking syndicate and is charged with trafficking ice and cannabis, perverting the course of justice, money laundering and burglary.
Mr Griffith was previously the boss of the Department of Public Prosecutions in Cairns and was most recently working as a barrister in the city.
On the first day of his committal hearing in the Cairns Magistrates Court, police prosecutor Megan Howard, who previously worked with Mr Griffith at the DPP, confirmed he had voluntarily shown her the cash inside the bag in late 2017.
Defence barrister Stephen Zillman asked whether Mr Griffth then told Ms Howard the names of several people he was representing on drug matters and mentioned their upcoming bail applications, which she confirmed.
The court heard a key prosecution witness in Mr Griffith's case is Townsville man John Benjamin who was allegedly arrested twice in two months early in 2017 with a total of more than 20kg of cannabis in his car.
Far North police Major and Organised Crime Squad Det Sen Constable Trent Odmark told the court he and a colleague had met with Mr Benjamin at a Townsville police station in November 2017 where he accused Mr Griffith of being involved in drug trafficking.
He said Mr Benjamin told police he had been advised by others within the syndicate if he ever got caught with drugs, to take the rap for it, but Mr Griffith would get him bail.
The court heard police have alleged Mr Griffith was part of a syndicate headed by Smithfield man Zane Rene Brache, 42, who was arrested in November 2017 and charged with trafficking.
Mr Zillman asked Det Sen Constable Odmark what evidence he had Mr Griffith was dealing ice as well as cannabis.
"His overall position within Zane Brache's drug trafficking ring," he said.
"He goes from cannabis, through to meth, the same acts."
Det Sen-Constable Odmark said they also had phone taps of Mr Griffith speaking with a man in Brisbane arranging to "look after" a man who had just been busted in a car with 500g of meth.
The hearing continues tomorrow.