Bikie boss has bail altered for Thai holiday
BAILED bikie boss Mick Murray can start packing his bathers and sunscreen, with a magistrate allowing him to jet off to Thailand for a holiday despite bail conditions preventing him from leaving the country.
The Comanchero president smiled to himself as Magistrate Susan Wakeling said she did not accept he was at risk of not returning to face more than one hundred alleged fraud charges, as argued by police.
Gang-busting detectives had yesterday opposed the application to vary Murray's bail, saying he posed a flight risk.
But Ms Wakeling said Murray's strong family and business ties to Melbourne, coupled with a $1 million surety offered up by his friend and sometime business partner Graham Ritchie, was enough to satisfy the court that he will come back.
Murray had pleaded with the magistrate to allow him to enjoy a two-week holiday abroad ahead of his scheduled court appearance next month on a suite of deception charges.
Murray, 41, was arrested and charged with more than 100 offences in December last year as part of major raids by Echo taskforce detectives on businesses across Melbourne.
Most of the charges relate to allegedly fraudulently obtaining a rental Jeep and unpaid tolls and traffic fines.
He was bailed by police, under the condition he surrender his passport and not enter any points of international departure.
Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard on Tuesday that Murray had already paid for flights to Phuket.
The court was told Murray was prepared to offer a $1 million surety via friend and sometime business partner Graham Ritchie.
Wearing a black jumper emblazoned with the name of luxury brand Givenchy, the burly bikie turned to Mr Ritchie and asked "cash or cheque" after the ruling was made.
The court heard Murray will fly to Phuket tomorrow where he will holiday for five nights before continuing on to Dubai for a further 10 days.
Upon his return he will have to surrender his passport to the Melbourne Magistrates' Court immediately before again fronting the court for his contested hearing on September 17.
Any departure from his planned itinerary will be considered a breach of bail, Ms Wakeling said.
But Detective Luke Dalli had raised concerns that the surety did little to minimise the risk of Murray not returning.
"It would increase my concerns that he has access to large amounts of money at short notice," he said.
Mr Dalli said Murray's history made him an unacceptable flight risk.