Bid to seize bikie stronghold dropped – who pays the bill?

A brazen bid to seize the Hells Angels’ stronghold has been suddenly abandoned – catching a senior judge off-guard and potentially leaving taxpayers to pay the outlaws’ hefty legal costs.

An audacious, unprecedented bid to forcibly seize a bikie stronghold has been abandoned by the State Government – meaning taxpayers may have to foot the outlaws’ legal bill. In the Supreme Court on Wednesday, government lawyers said they would no longer seek to claim the Hell’s Angels’ beloved, million-dollar Ponde property as an instrument of crime.

The decision – which caught Justice Malcolm Blue off-guard – came after a series of fraught hearings that saw claims of legal abuse and another judge disqualify himself. The only remaining dispute in the aborted attempt is the bill – it is estimated the club’s legal costs, which include hiring a QC, run into tens of thousands of dollars.

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