Argentina, conspiracy and drug trafficking.

A big drug importing case has just paused for a summer break.  It is the matter of a conspiracy to import and traffic 100 kg of cocaine in a fruit crusher from Argentina. It is being heard in front of Madam Justice Beames, and the past couple of weeks have been more than interesting….

The Crown allowed to amend/lengthen the duration of the alleged conspiracy from 10 days which was on the original indictment and contemplated since the case began almost three years to increase it to a four month conspiracy to import.  The amendment would and has extended the time frame for this alleged conspiracy by over 100 days.  Madam Justice Beames has allowed the amendment, which causes new challenges for the accused in relation to the prejudice to their case and the strategies which they have been working with since the beginning.  Relevancy of evidence, and its admissibility will also become hugely important.

The case is before the courts again in August.

How social media effects you and your case.

Ok everybody listen up!

We all use social media so much today that we forget that it is written documentation.  We send texts indiscriminately, we update our FB pages without considering who is seeing them, we send our boyfriends or girlfriends compromising photos of ourselves and we still seem to believe that all of this is private.  Guess what? It’s really, really isn’t!

I can’t count how many family files I have that have reams of text messages between the two warring parties. Things said in anger or in jest are raised from the dead and entered as evidence of a person’s bad parenting / anger and general bad attitude.  We need to be more cognizant, especially when dealing with an estranged spouse that these texts can AND WILL be used against us.  So think twice before drunk texting – stick to good old fashioned drunk dialing, at least those conversations are still somewhat private.

I have also seen situations where one party swears up and down that little “Johnny” wasn’t driving in their car without a seatbelt / driving on a quad bike that wasn’t age appropriate, or doing other activities that are unsafe – only to then see many pictures pulled from their FB page of little “Johnny” doing exactly that!  Now the client has double trouble – little “Johnny” is obviously engaging in unsafe activities which is bad enough, but now the client is also categorically lying ….

And the proof is there in the photos!!

So the next time the client swears up and down about something, what is the likelihood that he (or she) will be trusted? Slim to none unfortunately.  So save all those photos for your personal use or do a giant upload much, much later when your family law file is a distant memory.

Finally, remember the naughty photo sent in the early stages of a new relationship when we feel loved up and all sexy?  Remember, those photos don’t always end up where they should end up.  The last thing you want is a naughty photo of yourself or your new partner being entered into evidence to attack your credibility in a situation where the relationship possibly started earlier than you want to admit to.

The basic rule is “don’t do something that you wouldn’t want the world knowing about”, but since we are all human and therefore do things we aren’t always proud of – don’t post them, talk about them or send them via social media.

It’s called social because LOTS of people have access to it!!

Paule Seeger, B.A. LLB