12 April 2021

UPDATED: Money laundering charges against Aulich lawyer Bridie Harders formally dropped

| David Murtagh
Start the conversation
Bridie Harders

Charges will be dropped against Bridie Harders on Monday. Photo: Aulich.

UPDATED 12 April, 2:15 pm: The charges against Aulich lawyer Bridie Harders were formally dropped in the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday (12 April).

One charge against her boss Benjamin Joseph Aulich was also withdrawn, but he still faces charges of conspiracy and recruiting people to engage in criminal activity to which he has pleaded not guilty.

In court, when requesting a four-week adjournment, Aulich managing partner Peter Woodhouse said a “voluminous brief” regarding Mr Aulich’s matter had been served and he was still processing it.

He said once that was done he expected to be in a position to progress the matter.

Magistrate Glenn Theakston accepted the withdrawal of the charges, continued Mr Aulich’s bail and adjourned his matter to 10 May.

9 April, 2:40 pm: Prosecutors have given notice they will drop charges against Canberra lawyer Bridie Harders, who was charged with conspiracy to deal with the proceeds of crime in December last year alongside her boss, lawyer Ben Aulich.

Ms Harders and Mr Aulich were arrested in December last year following an eight-month investigation targeting organised crime.

An accountant was also arrested following the police investigation.

Ms Bridie and Mr Aulich were charged with conspiracy to deal with the proceeds of crime exceeding $100,000. Mr Aulich was also charged with recruiting people to engage in criminal activity.

It is understood charges against Ms Bridie will be formally dropped next week as there is little chance of a successful prosecution.

The news was welcomed by the law firm, Aulich, which issued a statement indicating the matter would be withdrawn on Monday (12 April).

“It has always been our position that there was insufficient evidence to bring a charge against Bridie in the first place. Naturally, we are all very pleased with this outcome for Bridie and it comes as a great relief to her and the Aulich team,” managing partner Peter Woodhouse said.

“The defence of Ben’s matter continues and we remain hopeful of the same outcome.”

Mr Aulich is due to appear in court on Monday.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.