Stuart MacGill's alleged kidnappers granted bail

Stuart MacGill’s alleged kidnappers granted bail

Two brothers accused of being hired “muscle” in the kidnapping of former Test cricketer Stuart MacGill have been granted bail while they await trial.

Richard and Frederick Schaaf are charged with abducting Mr MacGill from outside his home on Sydney’s lower north shore last year.

The pair pleaded not guilty to charges of take/detain in company with intent to obtain advantage, with the matter expected to go to trial mid next year.

On Thursday, they watched remotely from Bathurst Correctional Center as they were granted bail by Justice Richard Button under “strict” conditions.

The Schaaf brothers heard they will be not required to undergo electronic monitoring when they are released from jail sometime in the near future.

They were arrested along with four other men, including Mr MacGill’s de facto brother-in-law Marino Sotiropoulos, over an alleged cocaine deal gone wrong.

The court was told that Mr MacGill introduced Mr Sotiropoulos – who is the brother of his partner Maria O’Meagher – to a cocaine dealer, with the cricketer claiming that it was the extent of his involvement.

Mr Sotiropoulos has since been charged with a supply of a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug and will stand trial alongside the Schaaf brothers.

Mr MacGill alleges that a group of men forced him into a car outside his home and confronted him after the drug deal ended in a “rip off”.

The former Test spinner claimed that he was taken to a Bringelly property where he was threatened with a gun, assaulted and demands were made for money.

Earlier this month, Schaafs’ lawyer Avni Djemal argued that the evidence against the brothers supported them being released on bail.

He argued that Mr MacGill had gone willingly with the group of men to an abandoned house in southwestern Sydney and said there was no physical evidence that he had been brutally assaulted.

“The evidence implies Mr MacGill to a high level. I’m surprised he’s not charged with the actual drug transaction that he says, in his evidence, ‘I had nothing more to do with it, I just introduced the brother-in-law, Mr Sotiropoulos, to a person who I knew used to sell drugs’,” Mr Djemal said.

Mr Djemal added there was no evidence to support Mr MacGill’s assertions that he had been punched to the front and back of his head, knocked to the ground and suffered a concussion.

Mr Djemal said the only evidence of any injuries was Ms O’Meagher saying she felt a lump on Mr MacGill’s head.

“He doesn’t have one visible injury after those events,” Mr Djemal said.

“If the hits to the front of your face have produced no lumps and you say the onslaught was to the front, the side, knocked you to the ground, how could that be?

“How could his word be that there was a kidnapping? What if he went, saw photos and got brought back?”

The trial is due to begin in October 2023.

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