Andrew Katelaris trial shown cannabis seizure video

By Sam McKeith

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 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 lab 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.

On Friday, the court was played a 1.5-hour video of the police search from May last year in which Mr Katelaris is shown 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.

The video also shows officers counting $10,000 cash found in a green trench coat in the lab.

"There is a little lab set up and some cannabis,” an officer can be heard to say at one point.

Crown prosecutor, Mark Hobart, SC, has previously told the trial that police found in the lab about 8kg of cannabis oil and 10kg of cannabis leaf in addition to the cash.

Mr Hobart has also argued that the defence of medical necessity does not apply in the case.

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 before Judge Clive Jeffreys.



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