One of the alleged Stuart MacGill kidnappers denies knowledge of plot

One of the men accused of snatching former Test cricketer Stuart MacGill from a Sydney street has told a court he had no knowledge of the alleged kidnapping plot.

Three of the men who are accused of kidnapping the leg-spinner and holding him at gunpoint at a southwestern Sydney property appeared in Sutherland Local Court on Monday.

Son Minh Nguyen, 42, is charged with being a key player in the alleged incident and is facing one count each of knowingly directing a criminal group and take/detain in company with intent to get advantage occasioning actual bodily harm.

The Banksia man’s lawyer Greg Goold told the court during a bail application that there was not enough evidence to substantiate the charges against his client.

Ex-cricketer Stuart MacGill and partner Maria O’Meagher. Picture: Instagram.Source:Supplied

“The police would have to establish that … the applicant was aware of all the elements of the kidnapping, which is an issue, in order to participate in that kidnapping and direct that kidnapping,” Mr Goold said.

“The evidence does not support that.”

During his bail application, the court heard that among the evidence tendered by the police was text messages between Mr Nguyen and an undercover operative.

Mr Nguyen appeared in court via video link from jail, where he is on remand, wearing prison greens as Magistrate Michael Connell adjourned his application until next week.

He will appear in court again on May 19 for legal arguments about whether the charges against him represent “show cause” offences.

During bail applications, if a person has been charged with serious offences, the onus is placed on the defendant to prove why their detention is not justified.

Former Test bowler Stuart MacGill was allegedly kidnapped outside his Sydney home at gunpoint. Picture: William West/AFP.Source:AFP

Police have said MacGill was not involved in any illegal activity and that he was “purely” a victim after he was allegedly kidnapped on April 14.

MacGill, who played 44 Tests and took 208 wickets for the Australian Test team from 1998 to 2008, did not report the alleged kidnapping to NSW Police for a week for fear of reprisal.

Police allege MacGill was forced into a vehicle near his home at Cremorne on Sydney’s lower north shore.

He was allegedly taken to a Bringelly property in Sydney’s southwest where he was assaulted, threatened with a gun and demands were made for money.

He was held for an hour before being driven to Belmore, in southwestern Sydney, where he was let go.

Four men were last week arrested over the alleged plot, including Marino Sotiropoulos, 46, who is the brother of Mr MacGill’s partner Maria O’Meagher.

Mr Sotiropoulos has been charged with take/detain in company with intent to get advantage occasioning actual bodily harm, participating in a criminal group and supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.

He is due to appear in court later this week.

Richard Schaaf has been arrested in relation to the alleged kidnapping of former Test cricketer Stuart MacGill. Picture: Facebook.Source:Supplied

Frederick Schaaf was arrested after former Australian Test cricketer Stuart MacGill was allegedly kidnapped and threatened at gunpoint. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied

It has not been alleged that Ms O’Meagher, who runs Neutral Bay’s Aristotle Greek restaurant, was involved in the incident.

Frederick Schaaf, 27, and Richard Schaaf, 29, were also arrested over the alleged kidnapping.

Their matters were briefly mentioned in Sutherland Local Court on Monday before being adjourned until next week, when they are expected to apply for bail.

The court heard that their lawyers were reviewing a large section of CCTV which they would be relying upon as evidence.

They were charged with participating in a criminal group and take/detain in company with intent to get advantage occasioning actual bodily harm.

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