Costs bid fails after month behind bars

Ngoc-Dinh Nguyen outside Albury court.
Ngoc-Dinh Nguyen outside Albury court.

A MELBOURNE man who spent a month in jail on remand after the drug ice valued at $1.25 million was found in his car at Holbrook has failed to win costs against police.

The application by Ngoc-Dinh Nguyen was made after a Director of Public Prosecutions representative this week in Albury Local Court withdrew drug possession and supply charges.

Magistrate Megan Greenwood was told yesterday the Australian Federal Police had alerted their NSW counterparts about Nguyen and another man.

Highway patrol officers stopped them in Holbrook on May 24 last year and searched Nguyen’s vehicle which was being driven by the other man, Ho Pham.

Police found inside a backpack five individual packages of ice each weighing about one kilogram.

Pham admitted being paid $1000 to deliver the packages to someone in Melbourne.

Nyugen 52, of West Footscray, was charged with the deemed supply of more than a large commercial quantity of drugs and drug possession.

Solicitor Michael Mantaj said in his application for costs that what happened to Nguyen raised the issue of civil liberty.

Mr Mantaj said Nguyen spent more than a month in custody with bail refused.

He was granted bail in July last year with a condition he live in Albury away from his family and unable to get work.

His vehicle was impounded and Nguyen was under stress for six months with charges pending.

“It is my submission when these proceedings were initiated there was no case to answer,” Mr Mantaj said.

He said Nguyen was seeking compensation for “the small fortune” he has spent on the legal proceedings.

DPP representative Graham Lamond said information from federal police had been absolutely correct.

He said the car was registered to Nguyen.

Ms Greenwood said it was suggested the proceedings against Nguyen were initiated without reasonable cause.

But she rejected that argument and dismissed the costs application.