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Murder plot discussed over coffee

22A PRIVATE moneylender accused of conspiring to have a Melbourne man murdered by international assassins in a revenge hit will stand trial.
Martin Charles White, of Surfers Paradise (foto), said “Your Honour, I’d like to say that I am not guilty” before he was told yesterday he would face a jury in the Southport District Court on a date to be set.
The 52-year-old stands accused of conspiring with business associate Ronald Williams to have Greek – Australian Stephen Amanatidis killed by hitmen in revenge for fraudulent loans and an outstanding debt to Mr White of almost $800,000.
During the three-day hearing the court was told Mr White and Mr Williams met in Oxenford cafe Luv A Coffee on March 24 last year where Mr White outlined a plot to have Mr Amanatidis killed by two Vietnamese assassins for a $60,000 fee.
Mr Williams told the court he agreed to the plot over a cup of coffee.
As part of his involvement, he said he promised to get photos of Mr Amanatidis for Mr White to give to the hitmen to ensure they got the right man.
But a day later, Mr Williams said he changed his mind after speaking with his friend and former lawyer Frank Butera who convinced him to go to the police.
In exchange for indemnity, Mr Williams agreed to allow police to wire him with a covert recording device during a conversation with Mr White.
The pair met on March 27 at the Amalfi Bar at the Watermark Hotel where Mr Williams tried to extract information about the alleged plot from his associate.
Hours later police arrested Mr White and charged him with conspiracy to murder.
Defence barrister Peter Davis SC argued a conspiracy charge required two people to have a criminal agreement to carry out an unlawful act.
He said the alleged conspiracy was void the moment Mr Williams flipped Mr White to the police and became a ‘pretend conspirator’.
But police prosecutor Sergeant Greg Overton said the alleged conspiracy was considered live until it was either completed, stopped or abandoned.
“It is clear from the evidence that Mr Williams did enter the agreement and intended to play some part in the death of Mr Amanatidis,” he said.
Sgt Overton said Mr Williams cemented his participation by agreeing to supply photographs of Mr Amanatidis to Mr White for the hitmen.
Magistrate Duroux accepted there was enough evidence to commit Mr White to trial before a jury.

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