The release of Tobias Friedrich Moran, accused of murdering his German backpacker girlfriend, must be determined by the NSW Supreme Court after a magistrate said the case against him was not the strongest.
Magistrate Margaret Quinn in the Downing Center Local Court on Thursday accepted submissions from Moran’s barrister there was no new evidence connecting him to the murder of Simone Strobel in 2005.
And while the Crown submitted new witness statements taken from people in Germany showed that he lied about the state of their relationship, that evidence was not currently before the court.
The magistrate said evidence showed the couple had been fighting, drinking a lot and perhaps on some drugs about the time of the alleged murder.
“(But) it doesn’t appear in this case to be any direct or indirect evidence connecting him to the offence,” Ms Quinn said.
“It’s not the strongest circumstantial case I have seen.”
Prosecutor Scott Jaeger confirmed they would be appealing to the Supreme Court to revoke bail and his release was delayed for three days.
Moran must wait in prison until that determination before he could potentially return to live with his wife and family in City Beach, Western Australia.
His wife has offered $200,000 in security if he fails to show up in Lismore court when required, while another $250,000 has been offered as an undertaking.
The 42-year-old is charged with murdering his then partner, 25, and acting with intent to pervert the course of justice between 11pm on February 11, 2005 and 3.30pm the following day.
Police allege Moran suffocated or smothered his girlfriend in a camper van in Lismore and disposed of her body nearby.
Moran reported the school teacher missing before she was found days later 100 meters from the camper van.
Her body was too decomposed for a coroner to determine the cause of death, but it is believed to be asphyxiation.
The magistrate disagreed with the Crown’s submission that Moran had not co-operated with police, acknowledging he had refused to show up for an inquest in 2007.
But he had submitted plenty of DNA samples to police, one of which was lost, and most recently put himself forward for extradition, she said.
Bail conditions – if granted – stipulated he must report to police three days a week and must not communicate via any encrypted websites.
Police last week confirmed they were communicating with German authorities about two arrest warrants for suspects who had been “persons of interest from the very beginning”.
Moran’s sister Katrin Suckfuell and friend Jens Martin were also traveling with the pair.