An­drew Kate­laris trial shown cannabis seizure video

The Northern Star - - NEWS - SAM MCKEITH news­desk@news­re­gional­me­

A DEREGISTERED med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner ac­cused of se­ri­ous drug-re­lated of­fences told po­lice they were seiz­ing “life-sav­ing medicine” dur­ing a raid on his for­mer home, a court has been told.

An­drew Kate­laris, 63, is fac­ing charges in­clud­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing and sup­ply­ing a large com­mer­cial quan­tity of a pro­hib­ited drug and deal­ing with the pro­ceeds of crime, flow­ing from a 2017 po­lice search on the Syd­ney home of his part­ner Maria.

The po­lice raid came just two days af­ter a seg­ment on Chan­nel 7’s Sun­day Night pro­gram in which Mr Kate­laris al­legedly showed a re­porter the lab­o­ra­tory where he pro­duced cannabis oil.

Mr Kate­laris, who was deregistered as a med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner in the mid-2000s, is rep­re­sent­ing him­self at a jury trial un­der way at the NSW Dis­trict Court in Syd­ney.

The for­mer med­i­cal doc­tor is de­fend­ing the charges on the ba­sis of med­i­cal ne­ces­sity and has de­scribed him­self in court as a “con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tor” to “dra­co­nian” cannabis laws.

Yes­ter­day the court was played a 1.5-hour video of the po­lice search from May last year in which Mr Kate­laris is seen to con­front de­tec­tives in his liv­ing room.

“It’s be­ing used to pro­duce life-sav­ing medicine for sick chil­dren,” he says in the video.

“You’re here to de­stroy the po­ten­tial of life-sav­ing medicine.”

The video shows Mr Kate­laris’s part­ner lead­ing po­lice, in­clud­ing Hornsby de­tec­tive Jay David­son, who is cur­rently in the wit­ness box, to the deregistered doc­tor’s at­tic “lab­o­ra­tory”.

“I know what you’re look­ing for, it was on Chan­nel 7 the other night,” Maria says in the video.

She also tells po­lice: “It’s at the top of the stairs ... you can fol­low me.”

Once in­side the lab, of­fi­cers are shown seiz­ing items in­clud­ing sev­eral white con­tain­ers filled with “green veg­etable mat­ter”, a sil­ver drum and flu­o­res­cent lights.

Mr Kate­laris, a long-time ad­vo­cate of med­i­cal cannabis to treat de­bil­i­tat­ing con­di­tions like “in­tractable epilepsy”, showed lit­tle emo­tion as the video was played in court.

He has pre­vi­ously told the court he could spend the rest of his life in jail if found guilty.

The trial con­tin­ues.

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