Shooting victim charged over loaded gun

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

An alleged shooting victim in October has been charged with firearms and drug trafficking offences, a court has heard.

Zoran Djukic faced two counts of being a prohibited person with a gun during a hearing at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 4 February.

On Christmas Eve, police officers from the Armed Crime Squad seized a loaded silver-coloured revolver and a gold-coloured firearm while visiting Djukic for a statement on his shooting, his defence lawyer said in describing a police summary to the court.

Djukic and two others were sitting in a home’s car port at the time.

One of the other men stepped up to leave, took the silver revolver out of a bum bag and threw it to Djukic.

The gun hit Djukic in the chest and bounced onto the bonnet of a car, the lawyer said.

He was also charged with carrying a gold-coloured firearm – though there was no evidence on whether it was loaded or capable of firing, the lawyer told the court.

Both Djukic and the other man were charged with possessing the gun, the court was told.

During the visit, Djukic declined to give a statement on his alleged shooting on 6 October.

On a later search warrant of Djukic’s home on New Years’ Eve, police allegedly seized an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine and charged him with trafficking.

Djukic claimed the drugs were up to four grams, and for his personal pain management, the defence lawyer said.

Police applied for the case to be heard in the County Court due to the type and level of offending and relevant prior convictions.

The magistrates’ court may not be able to hand down a sufficient sentence, police argued.

Djukic had been sentenced in 2016 to up to three years’ jail for drug trafficking. He was released early on parole, the court heard.

His defence lawyer opposed the move, saying the trafficking charge was likely to resolve to merely drug possession.

There was no corroborative evidence of trafficking at the house, such as cash, the lawyer said.

The co-offender in the car port had also been charged with possessing the two firearms. Djukic had no weapons priors, the lawyer told the court.

Magistrate Tony Burns said he had to take the prosecution case at its highest, noting Djukic had faced 10 matters in court in the past three years.

He said he was unsure if a magistrates’ court had the sentencing range to deal with the matter, if Djukic was guilty.

A magistrate can hand down a maximum of five years’ jail for multiple offences.

Had the charges been drug possession and fire arms only, Mr Burns said he would have heard the matter.

“If the trafficking charges are withdrawn you can apply for this court to hear this matter again,” Mr Burns told the lawyer.

Djukic was remanded for a filing hearing at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 10 February.

He was set to appear on other matters at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 17 April.

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