Tobias Friedrich Moran in court facing murder charges over death of Simone Strobel

By Greta Stonehouse
Updated August 3 2022 - 4:23am, first published 4:17am
Tobias Moran has voluntarily supplied DNA and nothing suggests it incriminates him, his lawyer says. (Supplied/NSW Police)

The case against the boyfriend of slain German backpacker Simone Strobel is fundamentally flawed based on theories and ideas with no new evidence, a Sydney magistrate has been told.

Tim Game SC in the Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday made a bail application for Tobias Friedrich Moran who appeared via video link from jail.

Advertisement

Ad

The 42-year-old is charged with murdering his former partner and acting with intent to pervert the course of justice between 11pm on February 11, 2005 and 3.30pm the following day.

Police allege Moran suffocated or smothered his girlfriend in a camper van in Lismore and disposed of her body nearby.

"There is no evidence direct or indirect that Mr Moran assaulted her in the van," Mr Game said.

And it would be an "insane thing for a person to do," to dump the body 100 metres away from where he is accused of murdering her, before booking back into the campsite with two alleged accomplices on the same day.

He said the prosecution case was fundamentally flawed.

"This statement of facts is not a reliable document. It's a theory."

His client had volunteered DNA in recent times, and there was nothing to suggest it incriminated him.

"New DNA from 2019 ... shows on the black top found on the street there is DNA from another person, an unknown male."

He said there was no explanation why Moran was suddenly arrested early one morning in Perth 17 years after the woman was killed.

Magistrate Margaret Quinn was told the criminal trial was particularly complex to prepare for, with more than 300 witness statements.

Moran had been travelling around Australia with the 25-year-old school teacher before she was reported missing.

According to court documents, Moran made false statements to police and withheld relevant information about her disappearance.

But Moran had been living "in plain sight" of the German authorities who did their own extensive investigation and then in Perth with his wife and family, Mr Game said.

The man formerly known as as Tobias Suckfuell altered his surname following his marriage, and was not trying to be "sneaky" as police claimed, he said.

The officer in charge of the investigation "has an adverse view of him and has had for many years".

Police told an inquest in 2007 they believed Ms Strobel was murdered by Moran, who refused to return to Australia to give evidence at the inquest.

Mr Game said the police left out evidence such as witness statements of hearing screams coming from outside the caravan park.

Advertisement

Ad

Police last week confirmed they were communicating with German authorities about two arrest warrants for suspects who had been "persons of interest from the very beginning".

Moran's sister Katrin Suckfuell and friend Jens Martin were also travelling with the pair.

His wife has offered $200,000 in security to relieve her husband of the "inhumane conditions," he has been subject to in custody, the court was told.

The bail application continues.

Australian Associated Press