The brother of an NRL star arrested on drug charges has been granted bail due to an “extremely weak” case that provided no basis for keeping him in custody.

Zeda Haas appeared in the NSW Supreme Court via video-link to apply for bail on Wednesday after he was arrested in northern NSW in August along with another man.

Haas is the younger brother of Brisbane Broncos prop Payne Haas, a star forward in the NRL and a key player for the NSW State of Origin team.

Zeda Haas and his co-accused were stopped in a ute at Beresfield in the NSW Hunter region in August shortly after collecting a package.

Police said they had already removed 1.8kg of methamphetamine from the package after a shipment of drugs was detected at the border.

Haas was charged with drug supply and trafficking offences after his arrest.

Justice David Davies granted him bail on Wednesday.


The only serious concern was that Haas would not come to court given the serious nature of the charges, which can carry a sentence of life imprisonment.

“On the information of the extent of his involvement, I would not regard that as a concern of any weight at all,” Justice Davies said.

Also in Haas’s favour was his lack of a criminal record.

“I don’t think there is any basis for refusing bail to this man,” the judge said.

Haas was ordered to live in western Sydney and report to police three times a week, among other conditions including a $50,000 surety for him to appear at Newcastle Local Court on October 11.

He was also barred from communicating with his co-accused, ordered not to apply for any travel documents, to provide details of his only mobile phone to police and stay half a kilometre away from any international departure points.


Haas is accused of both NSW and commonwealth drug offences.

But the judge questioned if there was any evidence for the latter charge, while adding that the case for the state offence was lacking.

“The extent of the evidence against him is (that) he was in the car with someone who went to this place and picked up this package,” Justice Davies said.

The prosecutor said Haas made some “non-recorded admissions” to the officer in charge when arrested, but they were not in evidence.

Police are still preparing their brief and awaiting downloads from mobile phones taken when the pair were arrested.

The judge said prosecutors could apply to detain Haas again if their case strengthened.


“The crown case … on the present material available to the court, is an extremely weak one,” Justice Davies said.

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