8 September 2023

Lifejacket-wearing driver claims alleged handgun found in 'manbag' was a toy

| Albert McKnight
handle of gun poking out of a manbag

The alleged firearm 38-year-old Ali Haragli was charged over was found in a “manbag”. Photo: Tendered to the court.

A man was spotted wearing a lifejacket while driving before police found what they believed to be a Glock-branded firearm inside a “manbag” in the car.

But 38-year-old Ali Haragli disagreed with the term “firearm” when he was hauled before the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday (6 September).

“‘You keep saying ‘firearm’. I can prove it’s not – it’s a toy!” he cried in an outburst.

“It’s far from a firearm.”

Special Magistrate Rebecca Christensen told him, “Mr Haragli, you’re not doing yourself any favours”.

Police stopped the car in Monash at around 3 am on Wednesday morning and found Mr Haragli to be its driver and sole occupant, court documents say.

They claimed that while they spoke to him, “he was jittery, talking rapidly, unfocussed, had very dilated pupils, and was poor at following instructions”.

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He was in a lifejacket, “which he stated he was wearing for his own personal safety”, they said.

“He stated there was extra padding in it, which appear to be pieces of paper shoved into cuts made in the jacket itself,” police said in the court documents.

When police searched the car, they found an alleged Glock-branded handgun with a green receiver in a bag on the front passenger seat.

“The firearm appeared capable of propelling a projectile,” they claimed. Mr Haragli told them it was a toy that belonged to someone else.

Ali Haragli claimed this alleged firearm was a toy. Photo: Tendered to the court.

When applying for bail, duty lawyer Brandon Bodel claimed the prosecution’s case was weak as they could not prove his client possessed the alleged firearm.

He said it was found in what he would describe as a “manbag” in the passenger’s seat while his client had been in the driver’s seat.

He claimed the person who owned the firearm must have put it in the car and argued the prosecution had no information to exclude this possibility.

Mr Bodel also said the alleged firearm hadn’t been tested to confirm its capabilities, while his client had said it was made of rubber.

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Special Magistrate Christensen said Mr Haragli had to prove special or exceptional circumstances existed to favour the granting of bail due to the other charges he faces.

She said these circumstances were not present and she was not satisfied the prosecution case was weak before refusing bail.

“Bro, you killed me, man,” Mr Haragli told the prosecutor before he was led off into custody.

The painter from Googong in NSW has been charged with possessing an unregistered/prohibited firearm.

No plea was entered and the matter was adjourned to 25 October.

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