Sydney jeweller Michel Germani accused of staging robbery in his own store to remain behind bars despite his wife offering more bail money
More money offered from the wife of a jailed Sydney jeweller accused of orchestrating a robbery at his own store has failed to secure his release.
Michel Elias Germani is accused of masterminding a robbery at his eponymous jewellery store in Sydney’s CBD in January, telling police two men threatened him and his employee with a knife, tying them up and demanding access to a safe.
He has been in custody since his arrest in April but returned to the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday to ask for release.
Michel Elias Germani (pictured left) was denied bail in the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday. He is accused of staging a robbery on his boutique jewellery store on January 19, 2023
A proposed ankle-bracelet to monitor his movements, and more money to assure his future appearances in court, were not enough to convince Justice Sarah McNaughton to grant him bail.
She said the money, the bulk of it $200,000 from an accountant ‘who barely knows him’, might have been enough in some cases, but not for an alleged robbery involving more than $2 million in proceeds.
His wife had also offered up $60,000, an increase of $10,000 since Germani applied for bail in July.
‘Given the allegations that she has knowledge of the offending in my view she’s not an appropriate person to put up money of that nature,’ the judge said.
Germani’s lawyer John Korn disputed the prosecution’s allegation that his wife had any knowledge.
‘That’s a comment made by the officer-in-charge and there is no material to substantiate that at all,’ he said.
He suggested alternative interpretations of intercepted communications between Germani and his co-accuseds, including that they pertained to property purchases and the operation of legitimate jewellery business.
The judge said prosecutors had a powerful case outside the alternative explanations.
Mr Germani told police two men threatened him and his employee with a knife, before they allegedly tied them up and demanded access to a safe
‘The combination of the circumstantial evidence and the indicated evidence indicates to me a very strong crown case,’ she said, denying bail.
There were also concerning allegations before the court that Germani had deleted evidence from his phone prior to being arrested, and may have connections to organised crime groups and associations with people overseas, the judge said.
While police allege Germani and a number of others were in on the robbery, there is no suggestion his young employee who was allegedly threatened and tied to a chair had anything to do with it.
Almost $3million in jewellery was allegedly stolen by the robbers from the high-end store in Sydney
‘The whole notion of setting up a false robbery and causing extreme distress and alarm to an employee shows that the applicant is capable of, if it’s found to be made out, conduct which does not give the court any confidence that he would comply with bail conditions,’ Justice McNaughton said.
Germani appeared shocked by the denial of bail, covering his mouth with his hands from an audiovisual link room at the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre in Sydney’s west.
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