Open letter 2 to Tasmanian Attorney General Re TasPol & Meaghan Vass in matter Sue Neill-Fraser

Andrew L. Urban.

I refer to this matter which I raised over two weeks ago. I now have the audio of the court hearing of April 18 in which the prosecution explained to the court that police advised that Meaghan Vass had said ‘no comment’ to all questions put to her on March 8. The transcript is attached. This clearly contradicts the statement on or about March 11 by Assistant Commissioner Richard Cowling – to which I referred in my original letter – to the effect that Vass had ‘changed her story’ about witnessing Bob Chappell’s murder on Four Winds. Continue reading

Posted in Case 1 Sue Neill-Fraser | 12 Comments

Murder by the Prosecution – Live On Stage

A presentation by Andrew L. Urban on Saturday May 18 at Parramatta College, Sydney, will bring to life the contents of his book, Murder by the Prosecution. Continue reading

Posted in General articles | 7 Comments

Kourakis report re Keogh: Chief Justice position now untenable

The report at the centre of South Australia’s scandalous miscarriage of justice in the case of Henry Keogh has finally been released, over 13 years after it was delivered by then Solicitor General Chris Kourakis (now Chief Justice) to then Acting Attorney General Kevin Foley. The report shows that Kourakis had made a disturbing, incorrect decision, which resulted in Keogh’s continued incarceration. Analysing the report, legal academic Dr Bob Moles* concludes Chief Justice Kourakis’ position is now untenable. Continue reading

Posted in Case 2 Henry Keogh | 7 Comments

Murder scene DNA – Coroner shrugs

Andrew L. Urban

The DNA of the eye witness to Bob Chappell’s murder is central to the new appeal in the Sue Neill-Fraser case. Its importance had been downplayed by the prosecution at every step of the legal process ever since it was found, on January 30, 2009. When the Coroner, Glenn Hay, finally released his findings on January 17, 2014, he not only also dismissed its importance – he shrugged – he even got key facts wrong. Continue reading

Posted in Case 1 Sue Neill-Fraser | 11 Comments

Barbara Etter – the facts

In view of recent interest in Sue Neill-Fraser’s former lawyer Barbara Etter APM, as expressed by readers in various comments, we publish the relevant facts about Etter’s withdrawal from her legal practice in mid 2018, and her statement at the time. Continue reading

Posted in Case 1 Sue Neill-Fraser | 20 Comments

Open letter to Tasmanian AG Elise Archer MP re TasPol & Meaghan Vass

The Hon Elise Archer MP
Attorney General of Tasmania
April 23, 2019
Dear Attorney General,

I am writing this as an open letter to you in the interests of transparency and the unprecedented public interest in this matter. I do not represent or speak for any of the parties involved. I am a journalist and author having investigated wrongful convictions since mid 2013, notably the case of Sue Neill-Fraser, and publish (where this letter is also published) and the book, Murder by the Prosecution (Wilkinson Publishing). Continue reading

Posted in Case 1 Sue Neill-Fraser | 23 Comments

Is this Australian justice?

Andrew L. Urban.

A man, without a single other legal blemish, convicted of historical sexual abuse of a little girl in his family, 22 years before, believes he could prove his innocence if the NSW Attorney General advised the Governor to act on his petition and referred his case for a judicial review – as it was recently done for Kathleen Folbigg, convicted of murdering her children. But he has been refused and given no reason. Continue reading

Posted in Case 6 'Paul' | 3 Comments

Meaghan Vass told police ‘No comment’ – prosecution tells court

Andrew L. Urban.

At a hearing in Hobart today, the prosecution told the court that key murder witness in the Sue Neill-Fraser case, Meaghan Vass, had said ‘No comment’ to everything put to her by police when she was picked up for questioning on Thursday March 7. In other words, Vass did not recant.

This prosecution statement of facts appears to contradict the earlier statement issued by police after the 60 Minutes interview in which Vass admitted to being on board Four Winds and witnessing the murder of Bob Chappell on Australia Day 2009. We reported it on March 12 here: Assistant Commissioner Richard Cowling said police re-interviewed Ms Vass last week when the program’s promotional material suggested a new version of events.

The version of events given by Ms Vass on 60 Minutes is contrary to her previous police interview, contrary to her sworn evidence in court and contrary to last week’s police interview,” Commander Cowling said. (emphasis added.) A close friend of Vass’ commented: “I don’t know what the cops are talking about.”

The prosecution’s statement also corrects the false impression created by the story in The Australian published on Monday, April 14, 2019 by Matthew Denholm, headlined Yacht murder witness changes her tune again – that Vass had recanted her admission to police in the previous few days.

Vass was in court today facing two charges of possession (marijuana), a result of police searching her bag when she was picked up. A conviction was recorded. She now goes back into rehab on the mainland.

TasPol was asked to comment, and replied: “…as the matter is before the courts, we are unable to comment.”

Posted in Case 1 Sue Neill-Fraser | 19 Comments

UPDATE: Sue Neill-Fraser key witness denies recanting to police

Andrew L. Urban.

Yesterday’s story by Matthew Denholm in The Australian (‘Yacht murder witness changes her tune again’) does not refer to any new statement made by Meaghan Vass in the matter of Sue Neill-Fraser, but is a repeat of the police statement of March 11. ‘Again’ is a reference to the earlier claims by police, Denholm explains, to describe how Vass had recanted once before (in court, in October 2017). Continue reading

Posted in Case 1 Sue Neill-Fraser | 21 Comments

Sue Neill-Fraser case: key witness denies recanting to police

Andrew L. Urban.

The key witness in the Sue Neill-Fraser case, Meaghan Vass, has today denied claims attributed to police in today’s The Australian that she has recanted her 60 Minutes testimony admitting she was on board Four Winds at the crime scene on Australia Day 2009. She names a Tasmanian detective she believes may be behind the latest move to discredit her, if the story originated from TasPol. Continue reading

Posted in Case 1 Sue Neill-Fraser | 37 Comments