IT’S been nearly a year since $190,000 in cash was found in the back of a car in Wodonga but police are yet to receive an explanation for the origins of the money.
Stefan Nikollaj was found with the money while speeding through the city on the Hume Highway on October 27 last year.
Police suspect the cash is the proceeds of crime, with the 31-year-old Thomastown man facing one such count before court.
He recently fronted the Wodonga Magistrates Court, where magistrate Ian Watkins was scathing of the way his lawyers had handled the matter.
The case was to go to a hearing last week, but his legal team sent a letter asking for further delays with little explanation.
Mr Watkins said there had been nearly a year to prepare and a gun was now being held to the court’s head.
“This is just disgraceful,” he said.
Nikollaj’s legal team did not turn up to court, and instead had a local lawyer sit in.
The court heard his father had business interests in Melbourne and Sydney, with hopes a paper trail could show where the cash came from.
But there were no details of what documents would be sought or any other indication of how the matter would progress.
Prosecutor Wayne Taylor said the letter was “putting the court over a barrel”.
“The manner in which it’s been done leaves a bad taste in my mouth,” he said.
Mr Watkins ordered Nikollaj’s solicitor appear in court next week to explain what records were being sought.
“It’s just grossly discourteous to the court to be treated in this way,” he said.
“It’s just not acceptable.”
The matter will return for a special mention next Tuesday.