Australia: Man jailed over cocaine in shipping container wins appeal

A man jailed for attempting to possess nearly 100 packages of cocaine hidden in a shipping container will face a new trial after winning his appeal.

Mark Anthony Dumenil, 52, was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment in February 2023 after a jury found him guilty of one count of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of imported drugs.

The Brisbane Court of Appeal on Wednesday found that Dumenil had not faced a fair trial as the jury likely convicted him using evidence against his co-defendant.

Justices Debra Mullins, David Boddice and Peter Callaghan took a few minutes to consider their judgment before ordering Dumenil’s conviction be overturned.

Justice Mullins said the court would publish its reasons at a later date but earlier said she was concerned about what the jury was told.

“This is a question of inadmissible evidence being before the jury,” she said.

On January 8, 2018 the Australian Border Force found 26.5kg of pure cocaine in 99 packages hidden in the roof of a shipping container that had arrived in Brisbane from Colombia.


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