Former Sydney Swans player Tony Smith was charged in 2014 with carrying out a kidnapping plot involving an NAB executive.
Former Sydney Swans player Tony Smith was charged in 2014 with carrying out a kidnapping plot involving an NAB executive.

Reason for ‘Palmer decoy’ kidnap case delays

A HIGH-profile kidnapping case involving a former AFL player, a former cop and Clive Palmer's media adviser continues to crawl through the courts five years on, with lengthy delays frustrating those involved.

The executive believed he was meeting Clive Palmer for a job interview but was instead allegedly confronted by Mr Smith - a former NAB client of his. Mr Palmer was not involved in the alleged plot in any way and had no knowledge of the incident.

Police have alleged Mr Smith forced the executive to record a false confession that he'd lied during a 2012 civil trial. Smith took NAB to court after losing $68 million on a Gold Coast building project and in shares.

 

Gold Coast cop-turned-private investigator Michael Featherstone.
Gold Coast cop-turned-private investigator Michael Featherstone.

 

"I bet you didn't expect to see me, you silly c***," Mr Smith is alleged to have shouted at the banker.

"If you think Schapelle Corby was in a bad situation, then you don't know what's coming. I can plant s*** on you now and call the police and they will bury you so deep you won't see the light of day."

He is then alleged to have told the banker: "Today is your lucky day because I'm going to give you a get out of jail free card and that is that you will do exactly what I am about to tell you and this all ends today. If you don't, then you're f***"

After making the recording, the banker said he was allowed to leave. He reported the incident to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

 

Media adviser Andrew Crook.
Media adviser Andrew Crook.

 

But court documents have revealed the "confession" recording and transcript was sent to the NAB.

Mr Smith, Mr Featherstone and Mr Crook have all been charged with retaliation against a witness, attempting to pervert the course of justice and attempted fraud.

The men, who are all on bail, have not yet entered pleas, but have all indicated they will defend the charges.

The case has suffered lengthy delays, partly due to legal argument over the admissibility of evidence.

A date has not yet been set for a committal and the case is listed for mention on May 27.

The Director of Public Prosecutions declined to comment on the delay, as did the NAB.