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VIC Obtaining a Copy of Brief of Evidence from DPP and TGA?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Paul Mark, 29 May 2014.

  1. Paul Mark

    Paul Mark Active Member

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    Hi. I have been charged with importing vitamin supplements including melatonin which is a prescription only item in Australia (although can be found on supermarket shelves in the US and UK).

    On May 19, the TGA informed me via email that their Brief of Evidence has been submitted to the Director of Public Prosescutions (Melbourne Office) and that on May 21 they (the TGA) will be applying for an order to extend possession of goods seized during the investigation for a further 6 months.

    The TGA are ignoring my emails asking for a copy of the Brief of Evidence.

    I am yet to employ the services of a legal practitioner as I am strapped for cash at the moment.

    How do I obtain a copy of the Brief of Evidence? And how do I find out the details of the May 21 TGA application?

    Cheers,
    Paul.
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Paul,
    Further information on the working relationship between the Therapuetic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) and the prosecution process is available from the following links:
    http://www.tga.gov.au/about/compliance-actions-court.htm
    http://www.cdpp.gov.au/prosecution-process/

    Assuming that your matter is being dealt with in Melbourne, you may want to contact the Melbourne Magistrates' Court Criminal Registry on (03) 9628 7826 to see if they can provide further information in relation to any TGA application on 21 May.

    In relation to the brief of evidence, it's generally a waiting game for the CDPP to:
    1. review the brief of evidence prepared by the TGA following their investigation/s; and
    2. decide on the next steps that they intend to take (e.g. ask TGA for further evidence, continue to prosecution, etc.).
    Please also consider engaging a lawyer at your earliest opportunity to advise you. Have you tried contacting Legal Aid Victoria on 1300 792 387?
    Please keep us updated with your progress.
     
    Tim W likes this.
  3. Paul Mark

    Paul Mark Active Member

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    Thanks John R, I will check out those links and also keep you posted on the proceedings!
     
  4. Paul Mark

    Paul Mark Active Member

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    Hi, I have still heard nothing from either the TGA or the Director of Public Prosescutions (Melbourne Office).

    Does this still fit in the normal timeframes? Has been almost 3 months now since the TGA supposedly submitted their BOE.

    Paul.
     
  5. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Paul,
    It's difficult to say with certainty but it's likely that you will need to continue patiently waiting because:
    1. the "wheels of justice" generally move slowly at the best of times; and
    2. given that you understand the TGA to have applied for a 6 month extension on ~21 May - a "normal timeframe" is likely to include up to ~21 November.
    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Paul Mark

    Paul Mark Active Member

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    Thanks again John, appreciated. Will keep you posted!
     
  7. Paul Mark

    Paul Mark Active Member

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    So the TGA finally got back to me today via email saying:

    "The brief of evidence is currently with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Melbourne office, you are advised that we intend to apply for an order to extend the period of possession of good seized during this investigation for a further three (3) months at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on the 12th November 2014, under section 48J of the Therapeutic Goods Cat 1989 (Cth)"

    They are telling me this on one day's notice, being the 11th as I write this.

    Anyhow, does this mean I am able to obtain a copy of the BOE? And how long can they keep on extending things for? They initially seized my goods back in March 2012!

    Paul.
     

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