In 2010 Darwin travel agent Xana Kamitsis booked former NT Police Commissioner John McRoberts into her own five-star hotel room in Melbourne, court documents tabled this week revealed.
Evidence presented by Crown prosecutor David Morters included a string of emails between ­Kamitsis and the Park Hyatt, asking for Mr McRoberts’ name to be added to her ‘spa king room’ for two nights in October 2010.
Mr Morters used his opening address in the Kamitsis trial to allege the former chair of the NT branch of Crime Stoppers fraudulently obtained money from an NT government scheme designed to subsidise pensioners’ travel and used it for the benefit of family and friends, including money transferred to a “trip file in the name of John McRoberts”.
The Crown prosector told the NT Supreme Court jury that emails between Kamitsis and McRoberts would be tendered throughout the case to show “she was a very close friend” of the former ­commissioner, and that witness evidence would show $1,000 received by Kamitsis to pay for a pensioner’s travel was transferred into a “trip file in the name of John McRoberts”.
Mr Morters also implicated Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker, alleging he benefited from cash fraudulently obtained by Kamitsis from the Department of Health.
The court was told the Crown will aim to prove Kamitsis knowingly invoiced the ­Department’s Pensioner Travel Scheme for flights more ­expensive than the ones she booked for her clients.
It is alleged she then diverted the difference – $18,000 – into her Latitude Travel bank accounts, and that the money was the source of “benefits” directed to friends of Kamitsis between 2009 and 2013.
The court heard the alleged benefits included flights and limousine travel. Mr Morters said witnesses would provide “overwhelming” evidence that Kamitsis was the only Latitude Travel staffer who generated the allegedly false invoices.
Twenty-two people are scheduled to give evidence during the three-week trial. Kamitsis has pleaded not guilty to 37 charges of obtaining benefit by deception and ­stealing.