Drug dealer Frank La Rosa was a prime target for organised crime figures from the Eastern States before he was found buried with his wife Kim at a remote Chittering property, the Supreme Court was told today.

Frank Mikhail and his son, Adam Mikhail, are scheduled to face a trial in April into allegations that they wilfully murdered the La Rosas, whose bodies were discovered in a deep grave on a 40ha property in Chittering in January 2009.

At a status conference in the Supreme Court today, defence lawyer Jonathan Davies, representing Mr Mikhail Snr, outlined "grave" concerns about forensic aspects of the prosecution case and said independent reviews by experts were being sought. The forensic evidence related to a shotgun, blood and DNA.

Mr Davies told the court that the alleged motive for the murder related to an outstanding debt owed by Adam Mikhail, but the defence was investigating the identity of possible alternative perpetrators.

He said Mr La Rosa was involved in an investigation by the Australian Crime Commission in the weeks before his death and was a "prime target" for organised crime figures from the Eastern States. The defence had contacted the ACC and was seeking access to its intelligence, as well as records of evidence relating to various police operations involving Mr La Rosa.

Mr Davies said the trial, which was initially scheduled for March, could run for a couple of months.

The case was listed for another status conference next month.

The West Australian

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