26 May 2021

Case against Canberra lawyer Ben Aulich adjourned to June

| Albert McKnight
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Ben Aulich

Ben Aulich remains on bail after his case was adjourned to 15 June. Photo: Supplied.

The case against Canberra lawyer Ben Aulich has been adjourned to 15 June after the lawyer representing Mr Aulich said the prosecution had not responded to requests for information.

Mr Aulich was arrested in December 2020 following an eight-month investigation targeting organised crime. Last year, police alleged Mr Aulich recruited accountant Michael Anthony Papandrea to engage in criminal activity.

Mr Aulich has pleaded not guilty to one count each of conspiracy and recruiting people to engage in criminal activity. Mr Papandrea will also fight a charge of conspiracy.

Mr Aulich and Mr Papandrea had the cases against them heard in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday (25 May) where prosecutor Skye Jerome said the matters should be committed to the Supreme Court.

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However Mr Aulich’s lawyer, Peter Woodhouse, a partner at the law firm Aulich, requested a three-week adjournment as he said he had not received a response from the prosecution about a request for information.

He said he was not in a position to concede that the case should be committed.

Ms Jerome said the prosecution did not have the requested documents, but there had been a “flurry of correspondence” from Mr Woodhouse’s office, including three letters since Friday (21 May) regarding 10 issues. She said she would reply to those letters by the afternoon of 25 May.

Magistrate Glenn Theakston said he understood it would be frustrating if no response was received to a request but that without consent from both parties, the case could not go to the Supreme Court. He said his “hands are tied”.

Magistrate Theakston adjourned the case to 15 June and continued bail for both men, saying they could be excused from appearing in person if legally represented.

Mr Aulich is a founding partner of the law firm Aulich. He was admitted to legal practice in 2000.

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