Roger Rogerson not on the run over Jamie Gao murder, lawyer says

Disgraced former police officer Roger Rogerson is not on the run and is ‘‘beyond shocked’’ at being linked to the murder of Sydney university student Jamie Gao.

Detectives want to speak to Mr Rogerson in relation to the murder of 20-year-old Mr Gao at Padstow, in Sydney’s south-west, last Tuesday.

Rogerson's long-time lawyer Paul Kenny, interviewed on 2UE, denied his client was on the run, adding the last time he spoke with Mr Rogerson was on Monday morning. He was “absolutely stunned” and “beyond shocked” by the events of the past 48 hours.

He said they were in constant communication but refused to comment on Mr Rogerson’s whereabouts.

Wanted for questioning: Roger Rogerson. Photo: Janie Barrett

Wanted for questioning: Roger Rogerson. Photo: Janie Barrett

Off-air, Mr Rogerson’s wife Anne Melocco said he had returned to Sydney. NSW Police have confirmed to Fairfax Media that the two NSW Police senior detectives on the hunt for Mr Rogerson are returning to Sydney from Queensland.

It’s understood no formal arrangements have yet been made to meet with the former detective, but indications are he will do so later today.

Mr Rogerson’s home at Padstow Heights appeared to be empty on Tuesday morning.

Mr Kenny described his client as being in a ‘‘very upset and distressed’’ state who was willing to ‘‘completely’’ co-operate with police.

A former Kings Cross detective turned author, Glen McNamara, 55, on Monday faced Kogarah Local Court where he was charged with the promising business student’s murder, and large-scale drug supply.

Only hours earlier a body wrapped in a blue tarpaulin was found by a fisherman, floating off the coast at Cronulla. It is believed to be that of the missing Hurstville man.

Police will allege that Mr Gao was killed after a multimillion-dollar drug deal went wrong inside a rented storage shed last Tuesday afternoon.

Colourful business identity Jim Byrnes believes Mr Gao may have been a police informant working under surveillance when a drug deal went wrong.

Heading back to Sydney: two NSW Police senior detectives. Photo: Glenn Hunt

Heading back to Sydney: two NSW Police senior detectives. Photo: Glenn Hunt

‘‘How did the police get so much surveillance footage so quickly? It’s something the Crime Commission might be able to shed light on in the future because I think they had prior knowledge of the young man who is now deceased,” said Mr Rogerson’s friend from Los Angeles on Fairfax-owned 2UE.

“The information gathered by police ... which has come to light in such a rapid manner would suggest somebody was already watching,” he said. ‘‘I think the 20-year-old may have been an informant.’’

Mr Byrnes believes Mr Rogerson was an accessory in the alleged large-scale drug crime and murder of Mr Gao.

At 73 years of age, Mr Rogerson would have been physically incapable of stopping the weakest 23-year-old if “something horribly went wrong,” he added.

“He’s tired… I don’t know whether he’s got the strength to go on and be in what can be a long and expensive trial … and possibly a very long stint of incarceration,” he said.

“When you’re over 73 years of age, anything over 12 months is potentially a life sentence.”