Extortion accused to call seven witnesses

ALLEGATIONS involving the attempted extortion of a Huon man by prominent Albury-Wodonga businessman Vyv Weatherall, who is suffering terminal cancer, will be outlined at a two-day committal hearing in August.

Weatherall, 80, former Albury man Jye Douglas Carter, 35, and Wodonga man Darren Phillip Tucker appeared in Wodonga Magistrates Court yesterday on charges of extorting with a threat to destroy property.

Magistrate Stella Stuthridge was told lawyers for the three men are seeking to have seven witnesses called at the committal.

Ms Stuthridge set the matter down for hearing on August 21 and 22 with their bail continued on the same conditions.

Solicitor Greg Duncan, for Tucker, said there were outstanding statements relating to phone records.

Ms Stuthridge has ordered any additional statements be served by police 21 days before the hearing.

Weatherall, the owner of Weatherall Masonry and former owner of Elgin’s Hotel, and Tucker, 28, previously appeared in court in January.

Both Tucker and Weatherall were each charged with two counts of extortion.

They are alleged to have arranged for Carter, a Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang member, to threaten to assault a Huon man to obtain property on November 21 last year.

Police claim the Huon man, 46, was confronted at his front gate as he drove in from the Murray Valley Highway.

It is alleged threats to assault and damage his property were made before he was punched through the open car window several times causing permanent facial injuries.

Wodonga detectives and investigators from Echo Taskforce, established to probe bikie gangs in Victoria, arrested and charged Carter in Melbourne in January.

He has been charged with two counts of extortion, recklessly causing serious injury, intentionally causing injury and making threats to damage property.

Carter was initially remanded in custody, but subsequently was granted bail.

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