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Fellow political figures triggered a CCC probe, which led to charges of corruption being laid in 2019 against one of ‘Queensland’s most successful developers’, Tosh Murphy and Mr Raedel, who was widely tipped to become Moreton Bay mayor at the last local government election.
After more than two years of the CCC continually missing key dates to provide evidence and causing other delays, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) advised: “That it is our intention to formally offer no evidence in relation to the charges at the mention of this matter…”
Further, the DPP said after consideration of this matter, it was determined that the prosecution would be “discontinued”.
The charges centred around a trip to China Mr Raedel took with long-time friend Mr Murphy to look at digital signage technology, and that Mr Murphy had allowed Mr Raedel to live in a house rent free.
The case against the pair was attempting to draw a link to Mr Raedel supposedly advocating for a favourable development outcome for Mr Murphy.
Summary of refuting submission:
In the submission dealing with this topic, it is noted in relation to Raedel being overseas with Murphy to look at signs that Murphy said he had child care centres and if you look at most schools they have digital signs out the front and Murphy was going to replicate that and that the signs were for Murphy’s child care centres noting that Raedel prior to becoming a Councillor was an ex-signwriter and he maintained an interest in that field. In the submission it was argued that the circumstances surrounding the China trip cannot amount to a prima facie case constituting corrupt activity and that Raedel’s alleged failure to refer to the overseas sponsored trip as being to China (the trip itself was on Mr Raedel’s interest register) does not by that fact alone turn the China trip into ‘corrupt activity’ and in any event as far as it affects the case against Murphy the failure by Raedel to include the word ‘China’ in the Register of Interests is irrelevant.
Raynbird Road (referred to in the wording of the charge as Narangba Development Advocacy)
After reciting a long list of relevant facts and emails the submission argued that examples in the Prosecution Brief of Raedel being involved in ‘Raynbird Road advocacy’ showed a small number of examples of such advocacy. Advocacy by a Councillor for a particular proposed development is not corrupt activity. It was also argued in the submission that there were numerous examples in the Brief of work done by Raedel for other Developers apart from Murphy which while showing Raedel’s pro development stance could not be said to be ‘corrupt advocacy’ for other Developers. The submission to discontinue noted Grimwade’s role in relation to Raynbird Road as compared to Raedel’s role and quoted numerous instances of Grimwade publicly advocating for Raynbird Road. The submission concluded with the observation that Grimwade’s background role and profile supporting and advocating Raynbird Road was at the same level as Raedel where both had been beneficiaries of Murphy’s electoral donations and both were friendly with and socialised with Murphy. Both were relevant Councillors for the general area where the Raynbird Road Development was proposed.
In relation to the “rent free” house, Mr Raedel purchased the house after getting a valuation done by Herron Todd White.
Because the property was within an estate at the time still being finalised, the property title could not be provided.
During this interim period, Mr Raedel stayed in the house with duties of caretaker over the estate being developed.
The purchase was undertaken with independent financial advice and in a way that is not unusual.
Further, the house was in a state of disrepair, so much so, the local real estate agency advised it would not be beneficial to the vendor to take the property to market.
Mr Raedel welcomed all charges being dismissed by a judge Monday morning, 9 August.
“This has been devastating to so many people both close to me and across the community,” Mr Raedel said immediately after the charges were dismissed.
“I am deeply thankful to my wife, family, and friends that have stuck by me through all this.
“And to the community, those that I know and those that I didn’t, that reached out and encouraged me to fight on.
“From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”
More to come.