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Palm Island:the Hurley secret evidence revealed

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  • RatbagMedia
    I guess most people weren t aware of it but the Qld Coroner withheld a segment of evidence from the trial of Chris Hurley. I knew of its existence (but not its
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 1 2:22 AM
      I guess most people weren't aware of it but the Qld Coroner withheld a
      segment of evidence from the trial of Chris Hurley.

      I knew of its existence (but not its content)only because a recent
      book on the case referred to it: Gone for a Song A Death in Custody
      on Palm Island by Jeff Waters.

      The facts are that Hurley had ben accused of several previous cases
      of violence against aboriginal people but this evidence was withheld
      as it was thought it could prejudice his case.I think the number is
      over ten.

      You betcha! It was prejudicial! The court saw fit to explore the
      character of Mulrunji or later that of Lex Wotton but Hurley wasn't to
      be bothered by any background

      So now that this evidence may leek -- and may reach a broader public
      awareness if a freedom of information application is successful --
      suggests that the evidence AGAINST Lex Wotton warrants the same degree
      of scrutiny.

      The information will be published on Ratbag Media tomorrow but it
      won't necesarily impact on the sentencing of Wotton which will proceed
      next week.

      So there's a lot to unravel in our collective attempt to get Lex
      released from his sentence.

      Today there were about 300 at the militant rally here in Brisbane.

      dave riley
    • RatbagMedia
      ABC challenges Palm Island death secrets Georgia Waters | August 27, 2008 - 8:00AM
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 1 8:11 AM
        ABC challenges Palm Island death secrets
        Georgia Waters | August 27, 2008 - 8:00AM
        http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/queensland/abc-challenges-palm-island-death-secrets/2008/08/27/1219516512866.html
        Secret evidence in the case of the death of an Aboriginal man in
        custody in North Queensland may be released to the public if legal
        action taken by the ABC is successful.

        The national broadcaster yesterday announced it had begun legal action
        in the Queensland Supreme Court in a bid to overturn a coronial order
        that prevented the reporting of controversial evidence following the
        death of 36-year-old Mulrunji Doomadgee in a Palm Island police cell
        on November 19, 2004.

        The incident sparked a riot in the small community.

        In September 2006, acting State Coronor Christine Clements ruled
        Mulrunji had died after being struck while on the floor of the
        watchouse and placed a non-publication order over some of the evidence
        heard during the case.

        The reasons behind the supression have never been made public.

        Former Palm Island officer-in-charge, Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley,
        was later charged with Mulrunji's manslaughter and assault but was
        acquitted by a Townsville Supreme Court jury in June last year.

        The ABC opted to take legal action to challenge the gag order
        following the publication of a book on the affair, written by ABC
        journalist Jeff Waters, who was prevented from using the secret evidence.

        Gone for a Song: A Death in Custody on Palm Island, published in May
        this year, included a postscript that "[now Senior Sergeant Chris
        Hurley's] trial is over, there is no reason why, in the public
        interest, the suppression order should not be overturned.

        "The information that would then become available would certainly
        reveal a need for institutional reform - and perhaps even force it -
        for the benefit of society as a whole," Waters wrote.

        The matter will go to court on September 5.
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