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Kurve

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INDEPENDENT BROAD-BASED ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION OPERATION GLOUCESTER – PUBLIC HEARING OPENING STATEMENT COUNSEL ASSISTING – MR JACK RUSH QC 4 FEBRUARY 2019


Alleged "serious misconduct" by Victoria Police in the taking of witness statements during an investigation into the 1998 murder of two police officers is the subject of public hearings by the state's anti-corruption body.

Officers Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller were shot dead while on duty in Moorabbin, in Melbourne's south-east, and two men — Jason Roberts and Bendali Debs — have been jailed over the killings.

In November last year, the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) began an investigation into allegations that detectives involved in the murder tampered with a piece of evidence that led to Roberts' conviction.

Separately, the Victorian Government asked the Supreme Court in August to assess new claims of an alibi put forward by Roberts, who has always maintained his innocence and is serving a 35-year jail term.

TODAY

Crucial information was missing from key witness statements taken from police at the scene of the murders of officers Gary Silk and Rodney Miller in Melbourne's south-east, Victoria's corruption watchdog has heard.
  • There were substantial differences between two statements regarding the number of offenders
  • Jack Rush QC said statement-taking by police had the potential to pervert the course of justice
  • The hearing is focused on alleged police misconduct rather than the conviction

Bandali Debs and Jason Roberts were convicted of murdering Sergeant Silk and Senior Constable Miller, but Roberts claimed he was not there on the night the men were shot dead on duty in a Moorabbin street.

IBAC heard there were substantial differences in two statements made by Senior Constable Glenn Pullin, including an original version that made no mention of Senior Constable Miller describing more than one gunman, and a second that suggested there were two.

In that version, Mr Pullin said he asked Senior Constable Miller as he lay dying, "were they in a car or on foot?" to which Mr Miller replied "they were on foot".

Former homicide squad detective Ron Iddles, who doubts the validity of Roberts' conviction, told the hearing he had concerns about the statement-taking process.

"When I look at the key statements, conversations which are crucial don't appear until two years later or thereabouts," he said.

Counsel assisting IBAC, Jack Rush QC, told the hearing the investigation had uncovered evidence indicating a "pattern of systemic behaviour by Victoria Police in statement-taking that is of such gravity that it has the potential to pervert the course of justice".

Some of the practices include:

  • Instructions being given to witnesses to remove or exclude information from their statements, including Senior Constable Miller's description of the offender or offenders
  • Creating a new version of a statement that purports to be the original but includes additional information
  • If a witness statement is deficient, a replacement rather than a supplementary statement is taken and the original destroyed
  • Deliberately not recording a witness' description of an offender, instead noting it on a separate document
Mr Rush said one police officer indicated the practice of omitting descriptions in statements was taught at the academy, while others suggested it was discussed at detective training school or taught "on the job".

"A number of witnesses have agreed that a potential reason for the practice is to use the description of the offender later in the investigation if it matches a suspect and not use it at all if it does not," he said.

Mr Rush told the hearing the handling of witness statements had significant implications for the proper administration of justice, although it was unclear if the practices were still adopted by police.

"The manner in which police themselves provide statements and evidence in major crime cases is of critical importance to the administration of justice," he said.

The IBAC hearing will focus on the alleged police misconduct, rather than examining the soundness of the convictions of Debs and Roberts.
 

sprockets

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"... Roberts, who has always maintained his innocence ..." Not sure why they bother adding this, the vast majority say they're innocent. It holds no weight.
 

Kurve

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"... Roberts, who has always maintained his innocence ..." Not sure why they bother adding this, the vast majority say they're innocent. It holds no weight.
It's in line with Ron Iddles view, allegations of tampering and he had an alibi apparently. How that wasn't tested in court is beyond me, who was his lawyer?
 

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bigfarter

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The latest episode on Case File is amazing. I urge everybody to check it out.
Thanks - listened to it off this recommendation and it really was amazing. What a twisted story. I've listened to a handful of Casefile episodes, mainly about cases I was already aware of (Cobby, Snowtown, the Russian hammer boys) - are there any other standouts you could recommend? I think the most interesting case I listened to that I wasn't aware of was ep. 36 - Amok, which was a similarly odd tale.
 

petedavo

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Malaysian hitman to be deported after murder conviction https://t.co/HoZrsY9ax5


A former bodyguard to Malaysia's ex-prime minister Najib Razak faces eventual deportation from Australia after a Sydney court this week rejected his appeal for political asylum.

Key points:

Sirul was sentenced to death in Malaysia but applied for asylum in Australia

The tribunal found the murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu did not amount to a political crime

It is Australian policy not to deport anyone facing the death penalty

Sirul Azhar Umar was one of two bodyguards sentenced to death in 2015 over the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

But Australia is expected to delay his deportation until after Malaysia abolishes the death penalty.

Ms Altantuya had worked as a translator on a $1 billion Malaysian deal to buy French submarines, which was embroiled in allegations of bribery and kickbacks.

She had also been having an affair with Abdul Razak Baginda, a close confidante of Mr Najib, who was at the time Malaysia's deputy prime minister.

Sirul and the other bodyguard, Azilah Hadri, were found to have shot Ms Altantuya several times in the head in a patch of jungle outside Kuala Lumpur in 2006.

They then blew up her body with military grade explosives.

Azilah is now in jail, but Sirul, a former police corporal, maintains his innocence, insisting he was ordered by his superiors to carry out the killing.

He has never said who wanted Ms Altantuya killed or why.

Ms Altantuya's family is hoping Sirul's return will shed light on who ordered her killing.

Last month Ms Altantuya's father launched a civil case against the two Malaysian bodyguards, her former lover, and the Malaysian Government.

Sirul has previously offered to tell all if he is granted a full pardon by Malaysian authorities.

There has long been speculation the 28-year-old was killed to stop her exposing the bribes allegedly paid during the submarine sale to close confidantes of Mr Najib.

Despite a photograph purporting to show her with Mr Najib and her former lover in Paris, he has vehemently denied ever meeting her, or having anything to do with her death.

"That is slander. Lies. I never met her," he was quoted as saying by the Malaysiakini online news portal last month.

'Non-political crime'

Sirul has been in Sydney's Villawood detention centre for more than four years after he fled to Australia in 2014 while on bail.

A Malaysian associate of Sirul's living in Australia — who does not want to be named — said he took his case for political asylum to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Sydney.

"He wants to be released into the Australian society, released from detention, so that he could go into the Australian society and live, because he said that his crime was a political crime," he said.

After a lengthy court process, the tribunal rejected Sirul's initial claim, and an appeal on Monday, on the grounds it was not a political crime.

"There are serious reasons for considering that the applicant committed in Malaysia a serious non-political crime before entering Australia," the tribunal ruled.

It found no suggestion "that a state-ordered assassination would amount to a political crime".

A lawyer for Ms Altantuya's family, Ramkarpal Singh, spoke recently to Malaysian media in Kuala Lumpur.

"The Australian Government … even if there is a moratorium [on the death penalty], I don't think they'll send him back as long as the death penalty is in existence," he said.



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skipper kelly

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Have read most of the transcripts (yes I need a life) the level of incompetence is staggering across the justice system in this case. I hope it is does not represent the system as a whole. First off, if the coppers have bodgied up witness statements, which some of the evidence is seriously pointing to, then they should be charged. That's the main crux of it. No sympathy from me whatsoever. Also, doubt the transcript will be released from yesterday and today. Transcripts now available.

My query is how do these legal people get paid so much? There are statements from witnesses stating, to paraphrase, this is my second statement and I would like to add this.......(better descriptions). What crosses the mind of these legal eagles when they read this?

I need to stop reading this crap. The level of stupidity across the system is mind blowing, or is it pure corruption at all levels. ******* morons the lot of them.
 
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Kurve

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The level of stupidity across the system is mind blowing, or is it pure corruption at all levels. ******* morons the lot of them.
Frustrated at first, now I find it a bit depressing Skipper. Battle on I guess and hope it all gets sorted out, somehow I doubt it though the rot looks deep.
 

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skipper kelly

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Frustrated at first, now I find it a bit depressing Skipper. Battle on I guess and hope it all gets sorted out, somehow I doubt it though the rot looks deep.
I hate to sound melodramatic shellyg but it seems beyond help. I might post a full rant one day but for now I must get out of the rabbit hole. Don't know how you follow this sh*t so closely.
 

Kurve

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I hate to sound melodramatic shellyg but it seems beyond help. I might post a full rant one day but for now I must get out of the rabbit hole. Don't know how you follow this sh*t so closely.
I compartmentalise well but detox with the arts and music, garden and spending time with kind people. The simple things.

Looking forward to your rant, when you're ready. :)
 

Truckosaurus

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petedavo

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https://www.wired.com/story/dna-transfer-framed-murder/

Extract»
"Back in the 1980s, when DNA forensic analysis was still in its infancy, crime labs needed a speck of bodily fluid—usually blood, semen, or spit—to generate a genetic profile.

That changed in 1997, when Australian forensic scientist Roland van Oorschot stunned the criminal justice world with a nine-paragraph paper titled "DNA Fingerprints from Fingerprints." It revealed that DNA could be detected not just from bodily fluids but from traces left by a touch. Investigators across the globe began scouring crime scenes for anything—a doorknob, a countertop, a knife handle—that a perpetrator may have tainted with incriminating "touch" DNA"

Go to the link and read the next bit. It's a dousey.

"But van Oorschot's paper also contained a vital observation: Some people's DNA appeared on things that they had never touched."

"In the years since, van Oorschot's lab has been one of the few to investigate this phenomenon, dubbed "secondary transfer." What they have learned is that, once it's out in the world, DNA doesn't always stay put."

......

But, like most human enterprises, DNA analysis is not perfect. And without study, the scope and impact of that imperfection is difficult to assess, says Peter Gill, a British forensic researcher. He has little doubt that his field, so often credited with solving crimes, is also responsible for wrongful convictions.

"The problem is we're not looking for these things," Gill says. "For every miscarriage of justice that is detected, there must be a dozen that are never discovered."



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