Prosecutors have dropped an application to have a northern suburbs shopping centre frozen with a lawyer for the business blasting the “paucity of evidence” against his client.

Prosecutors have dropped their application to have a northern suburbs shopping centre frozen after one of its directors was charged with trafficking in large amounts of cannabis.

Dante Martire, 46, of Payneham South is charged along with three other people with crimes alleged to have occurred in Mount Barker.

On Wednesday, the Director of Public Prosecutions sought to have Mr Martire’s shares in Martins Plaza Shopping Centre frozen while court proceedings continue.

The move was a reversal of a previous application heard earlier this month to have the actual Parafield Gardens shopping centre restrained by the courts.

The order would not have meant the shopping centre would have been shuttered – but that its owners would not have been able to sell it, borrow against it or diminish its value while court proceedings continued.

Judge Karen Thomas ordered that the company be removed as a respondent from the DPP’s application and instead placed as an interested party who would be allowed a voice in the continuing lawsuit.

The move represented a backing down from the DPP’s prior position that they could prove that Mr Martire had a controlling interest in the company.

Instead it was his seven shares in the company out of a total of 35 which were frozen.
 
Steven Hagivassillis, for St Martin Plaza Shopping Centre, said the DPP had pursued the application without officially notifying his client.

“It was disappointing that my client was initially named as a respondent, especially given the paucity of evidence regarding effective control,” Mr Hagivassillis said.

“It appears that the application was pushed at the last proceeding without my clients being served.”

Judge Thomas said it was for the company to take up with the DPP and ordered the shares be seized.

Prosecutors are also trying to have Mr Martire’s interest in another company – Savmar – which they claim he has a controlling interest in.

During the hearing earlier this month Judge Thomas froze a million-dollar Payneham South house and a Beulah Park property that last sold for $650,000, and which belongs to Mr Martire.

She also ordered a silver Ford ute, a blue 1968 Holden sedan be restrained and $410,955 in Mr Martire’s account be frozen.

Documents released by the Adelaide Magistrates Court show police allege Mr Martire, along with Anthony Canova, 46, Rebecca Canova, 43 and Ivan Marotti, 65, cultivated and trafficked cannabis on January 5, 2022.
 
Ms Canova is also charged with trafficking cannabis in McLaren Vale on January 6.

Under the current legislation a large commercial quantity of cannabis is more than 2.5kg or 100 plants.
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