Men sentenced to 30 years jail over $120m cocaine bust

THREE men convicted of trying to import almost half a tonne of cocaine into Australia have been sentenced to 30 years jail.

Last month Australians Terrance Elfar and Simon Charles Golding and German Holger Sander were found guilty of importing about 400kg - about $120 million worth - of cocaine and were sentenced to jail on Wednesday.

All men received a head sentence of 30 years jail but with varying non-parole periods.

The court heard Sander helped transport the cocaine from Panama on a boat. He captained the vessel in the two-month journey across the Pacific and met another boat that Elfar and Golding were on in international waters off the Australian coast in October 2010.

The drugs were transferred onto the Australian boat and Elfar and Golding then sailed into Scarborough, south of the Sunshine Coast.

The two men were arrested once they reached Australia and Sander was arrested when an Australian ship intercepted his boat.

When handing down her sentence Justice Roslyn Atkinson said Elfar had a higher level of criminality than Golding because he controlled the boat. She set his non-parole period at 20 years.

Golding will be eligible for parole after serving 18 years and Sander after 16 years.

Before being sentenced, Elfar, who represented himself, accused Justice Atkinson of being biased and requested that she stand down.

"I do not disrespect your court," he said. "Your Honour should have stood down and I'm asking Your Honour to stand down from this matter. I cannot accept your sentence until I am granted the path to a fair trial."

Elfar also argued he was not able to adequately prepare submissions in his sentence hearing because of limited access to a computer while in custody.

He also said he had lodged an appeal.

Justice Atkinson said Elfar's "angry speech" denouncing the trial was irrelevant to his sentence.


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