A MEMBER of the Chaouk crime family has been acquitted of gun and drug offences after a Melbourne judge ruled the conduct of police investigators was ''oppressive'' in threatening to charge his mother unless he confessed.
Judge Julian Leckie decided such conduct influenced Matwali Chaouk and admissions he made in a police interview were therefore inadmissable at his trial.
Chaouk alleged and police denied - as they did his allegation about the interview - that a gun was placed in his mouth.
Chaouk was arrested more than eight years ago by armed police, who raided his Brooklyn home over a shooting but he was not charged until 2009.
A year after the raid, his sword-wielding brother Mohamed was shot dead by police at the house and in 2010, family patriarch Macchour, was murdered by an unknown gunman.
In a ruling this week in the County Court, Judge Leckie relied on a case law that stated ''oppressive conduct can encompass mental and psychological pressure''.
He also expressed ''considerable disquiet'' about ''surprising'' deficiencies in the police investigation for which he felt no satisfactory explanation had been provided.
Following the ruling, prosecutor Michael Hennessy announced the Crown would not lead any evidence, which required Judge Leckie to direct entries of not guilty be recorded.
Defence barrister John Desmond then thanked him for the ''professional and even-handed'' way he last week handled an outburst by Chaouk when Mr Hennessy was questioning his mother, Fatma.
Chaouk threatened and abused Mr Hennessy and screamed from the dock not to ''bring up my f---ing brothers'' and that ''I'll rip your f---ing head off''.
The outburst followed Mr Hennessy asking Ms Chaouk, who has had cancer, about other raids on her house.
Judge Leckie accepted Chaouk's apology and one to Mr Hennessy and said it was sensible no charges would be laid.
Chaouk faced charges of cultivating a commercial quantity of marijuana and possessing an unregistered shotgun and a pen pistol.
It was revealed in pretrial evidence that since the raid, the original informant, Detective Paul Allen, had not fully investigated or taken action on the Chaouks and many other files.
Health issues have forced the suspension of an internal police investigation into him.
Chaouk said police told him that unless he said the items were his, they would charge his mother. He did, but told Judge Leckie that admission was false. Police denied this allegation.
He said in evidence he felt under duress, that he thought his mother was a ''hostage'' and police were going to charge her with ''everything''.
Chaouk, who has completed a jail term for firearms offences, was remanded in custody on other matters.