Abbott to know of WA extradition next week

Notorious “Postcard Bandit” Brenden Abbott will have to wait until next week to find out if he’ll be extradited to Western Australia, a Queensland court has heard.

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Abbott, 53, was arrested in Brisbane upon his release on parole this month after serving 18 years of a 25-year sentence for a string of robberies and a brazen jailbreak in 1997.

Justice David Jackson on Friday flagged his intention to make a decision about Abbott’s extradition next Tuesday at a hearing in Brisbane’s Supreme Court.

It came after counsel for the infamous criminal made arguments concerning “abuse of process” relating to the proposed extradition, following a Brisbane magistrate determining it should go ahead but suspending the order for the Supreme Court review.

Barrister Christian Jennings told the court the WA authorities’ decision to now seek to extradite Abbott, who could face up to 16 more years behind bars in the state for a 1989 prison escape, was in itself an abuse given they had past opportunities to resolve the matter.

But Justice Jackson at times appeared unconvinced by the legal nuance of his arguments, at one point remarking: “It seems to me that you are unscrambling an egg”.

Mr Jennings also advanced submissions made by Abbott’s legal team in documents filed last week that laws surrounding how a court deals with such matters could prevent it from acting in line with its essential character.

But his opponent, Peter Davis, QC, conceded his team had struggled to understand exactly what the proposed abuse was, even calling elements of the submission “bizarre”.

“There’s no suggestion anywhere that the charge of escaping lawful custody is not a valid charge,” he observed, referring to the 1989 warrant.

“There’s also no suggestion that Mr Abbott is not liable to (serve) whatever period is under an existing sentence in WA.”

Notably, he said there were simply “potential consequences” to Abbott’s extradition to WA and a stay could well be granted by the interstate courts.

Abbott was dubbed the “Postcard Bandit” amid claims he taunted police by sending them postcards while on the run after his Fremantle prison break.

If the move to stop his extradition is successful, his lawyers have said he plans to move to Cairns to live with his sister.