Crime lord Robert Dawes in the soup again

British crime lord Robert Dawes is under further investigation along with his French trial lawyers over a mysterious faked document used in his defence at his 2018 trial.

Dawes, 48, and three of his French lawyers have been the subject of a probe into an attempt to pervert the course of justice during his trial over 1.3 tonnes of cocaine seized at Paris’ Orly airport in September 2013. The news comes from French newspaper Le Point in an article by Marc Leplongeon.

Before Dawes was arrested in late 2015 he had been secretly recorded meeting with a Columbian connection at a five-star hotel in Madrid. The meeting was set to discuss future shipments of cocaine into Europe with Dawes bragging he could get illicit cargo into virtually any European airport. During the conversation which was being listened to by Guardia Civil officers, Dawes bragged that the French shipment hidden in more than 30 “ghost passenger suitcases was his load.

After being arrested and the case against him disclosed, Dawes knew he had a problem with the recording. His answer it appears was to construct a fake document indicating that the Guardia Civil did not have the proper legal authority to carry out the bugging at the Madrid hotel.

Somehow Dawes and a close associate managed to insert the document into official sealed court documents. However, their plan was rumbled halfway through the court case when prosecutors made contact with their Spanish counterparts and were sent the original document which showed the Spanish did have the authority to bug Dawes and that the document produced in court by Dawes’ lawyers was a fake.

Robert Dawes discusses business over drinks with the Columbians at Hotel Villa Magna, Madrid

Investigators in France are continuing their probe into the matter which could result in disciplinary action against Dawes’ lawyers and more jail time for Dawes himself.

Investigators have already intercepted Whatsapp messages between Dawes and a senior associate which they say indicate the two cooked up the forgery plan. In other messages there are indications that Dawes sought to try to crash his trial and get an acquittal by arguing he was a victim of a set-up by French-moroccan drug smuggler who had turned informant.

This was the case of Sofiane Hambli, which caused a scandal in France and led to the dismissal of one of France’s most senior police officers Francois Thierry. Dawes even went to the effort of hiring Sofiane Hambli’s own lawyer for his case, which investigators saw as an attempt to co-ordinate a “story” with Hambli.

Dawes will attempt to appeal his case against the 2018 Paris airport cocaine conviction in May this year after he was sentenced to 22 years in prison. he is also facing a murder investigation in the Netherlands over his connection to the 2002 brutal execution of Dutch schoolteacher Gerard Meesters.

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Carl Fellstrom

I am a journalist, author and broadcaster covering crime and justice issues

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