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).

Denholm says that as he had been away on leave around the time of the 60 Minutes interview going to air, he was now “reviewing the stories at the time; what the police had put out then was quite ambiguous”. He did speak to someone for yesterday’s story (filed on Sunday, April 14, 2019) but is “not going to say who” and has “complete confidence in the information” that Vass recanted to police when questioned by police on or about March 7 or 8. “My information was clearly that she had lied (on 60 Minutes).” Only a police source could provide such information.

Yesterday, Vass denied she had recanted to police.

Readers have suggested that Denholm’s story was misleading, in that it suggested a new development, post March 12. To the question whether he had received any feedback to the story yesterday, Denholm said “I have had emails and phone calls about it but as yet I haven’t had time to get back to them…”

One such writer to Denholm was reader Garry Stannus, who commented today: “I am dismayed to have read Matthew Denholm’s recent article and I find that it falls short of the journalistic standards which he usually displays… I have written to Matthew “.

Diane Kemp wrote:This journalist needs to be accountable for what he has written however, there is ample evidence aside from what MV has provided to still have Sue released to home detention immediately.”

Readers have also suggested that in advance of the upcoming appeal, the police seem intent on discrediting Vass.

tony wrote: the two persons named by Meagan Vass, are they being investigated or are they being protected by this certain detective whose name seems to crop up every time, perhaps he is the one who has been leaning on Meaghan and all the other witnesses




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

  1. Wayne Broad says:

    The whole lot of Australian Police force need a FUL INQUIRY into COURRUPTION & PROCEDURE at CRIME SCENE’S.
    Queensland & Tasmania seam to need a FULL & OPEN ENQUIRY.
    The failure to comply with basic procedure & logging of evadence & questionable conduct by the force.

  2. Andrea says:

    Well just went to court with Meaghan. Two counts of possession conviction recorded and back to rehab…
    By the way… Prosecution facts were that Meaghan said no comment to EVERYTHING.
    So much for her statement re SNF.

    • Garry Stannus says:

      𝗔 𝗟𝗮𝘄 𝗨𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗺𝘀𝗲𝗹𝘃𝗲𝘀?

      Surely Andrew,
      surely it is patently clear by now that the police are out to control Meaghan Vass. We’ve seen Andrea’s comments over quite some time … she has been telling us what’s going on … from the Meaghan point-of-view. It is quite disappointing that Matthew Denholm has not responded publicly or to me in regard to what I regard as reasonable questions/criticisms of his 15Apr19 article.

      And one can not reasonably rule out Andrea’s claims, claims that Meaghan has not reneged on her Feb25 affidavit. Andrea has told us, bit by bit how once 60Minutes promotional material for the ‘I was on the yacht’ interview became known to the police, Meaghan was picked up from a bus-stop, some marijuana found in her handbag, taken to Glenorchy police station and then put in a room with Damian. It’s this Damian that Andrea tells us was earlier responsible for Meahan going back on her first (April2017) affidavit.

      It seems, Andrew, that Matthew Denholm has been in contact with you and mostly stands by his article. However, there seems to be a wall of silence gone up from the police camp: maybe my searching is second rate, but I can’t find any police media release on this matter, I can’t find a released police statement, just what was in The Advocate and now the same stuff in Matthew’s article.

      Yet, today, Andrea’s info seems pretty close to the mark:

      𝗛𝗼𝗯𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗖𝗿𝗶𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹
      𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁 𝗟𝗶𝘀𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗧𝗵𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗱𝗮𝘆, 𝟭𝟴 𝗔𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗹 𝟮𝟬𝟭𝟵

      43 VASS, Meagan Elizabeth
      • 1 count of Possess controlled plant or its products. (minor offence).
      92/2019 PB HBT 2
      02:15 PM

      37 VASS, Meaghan Elizabeth
      • 1 count of Possess controlled plant or its products. (minor offence).
      2891/2019 PLE HBT 2
      02:15 PM

      [sorry for the formatting/spacing … what I’ve pasted is today’s Hobart Magistrate’s (Criminal) Court List]

      I don’t know, Andrew, how it is that cops (and their ex-cop apologists) can not see that we – in the public domain – think that perhaps they – the cops – are beginning to act as if they are ‘𝗮 𝗹𝗮𝘄 𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺𝘀𝗲𝗹𝘃𝗲𝘀’.

      So Meaghan Vass, having told the world that she was on the yacht, is now getting picked up on the street and being busted… for a teensy bit of dope. Her associates are being visited by the police … out of ‘concern’ for Meaghan.

      Welcome to our Tasmania.

      Matthew Denholm gets a call from police-centrale and is told that Meaghan has admitted this and has admitted that and … Matthew bloody prints it!

      But the cops don’t present any of that to Justice Brett. Nah mate, they get ‘The Australian’ to have a go. Andrea said it quite some time ago … how it shows how desperate they are.

      You know, Andrew, this is showing that there is something bad going on here.
      We are getting to a place quite beyond the issue of whether or not Susan Neill-Fraser got a fair trial. No, here we have at ‘face value’ a case of police police harassment of a court witness.

      Gotta ask, when they have their annual picnic and cricket match, do they use a bit of sandpaper on the ball … or do they just bowl underarm?

      Garry Stannus.

  3. Henry Fitzsimmons says:

    One piece of writing and reporting that appears ethical, not misleading, and in my short time of reading it, is the work of Andrew L Urban.
    The bloggers, like myself, who respond to his articles, have opinions on the SNF conviction and the responses, I believe, are individually responsive to current, up to date information, that he provides.
    On the other hand, the reporting from one such reporter writing in the ‘Australian’ and then the follow up by the Mercury, both attribute to unethical, unreadworthy journalism that adds to the, unsavoury tactics being portrayed, even during this woman’s lawful process seeking to have the truth unfold.
    We all have a right to continue reading the unethical rubbish or chose to discard buying this rubbish.
    We have choices and I for one would encourage all the bloggers who respond to Andrew’s information to also keep writing, but write also to those who may need a jolt to their selective memories and who are in positions of power to now consider that Sue Neill-Fraser should be home with her family as she prepares for a new appeal.
    After all, what are we listening to day and night now that the election has been called, nothing other than calls for ‘ a fair go’ from the people who want you to vote for them to make new legislations. Think of Sue Neill Fraser every time you hear ‘ a fair go’ call on TV during this election period.

  4. Robin Bowles says:

    See my post yesterday. As I said then, unattributed beatup. I’m sorry to say that about Matt Denholm, he’s a good journo, but continuing to push the police line to discredit MV and other witnesses, made possible by his close relationship with TasPol. I first became aware of the symbiotic between the police and court/crime reporters during the Jaidyn Leskie case. Journos themselves told me that if they wrote stories favourable to the police, directing public option, they continued to get the ‘leaked’ stories. If not they get shut out. No leaks.

    • Henry Fitzsimmons says:

      Robin, unfortunately it’s the world we live in. There has been grubs since the crucifixon (Easter coming up) and for many of us, we all got taught at school how many pieces of silver that this grub got. Thankfully when they’re found out they recant, as did Judas. Just a matter of knowing who they are, as you have highlighted. Thank you.
      Henry Fitzsimmons

  5. Peter Innes says:

    What annoys me is some of the people involved in the port arthur coverup are involved.i have evidence of this and i dare these corrupt crew to have a crack at me.but dont miss.the private school boys club alive and well in hobart.

    • MM says:

      Yes, it is rather annoying hey!

      Keep your eye open for the WASP movie, the trailer will be released shortly. Just waiting for the anniversary to blow over so it doesn’t cause a shitstorm.

      It’s not going to overtly blow the lid on anything, but if you’re clued up with the truth you’ll see the clues scattered through the movie.

  6. Caroline ex-cop says:

    I suggest that M. Vass may have been advised, either by the police or by her lawyer, that the best way she can avoid any further pressure on her from the public is to deny she told the cops that she lied on 60 minutes.

    • Diane Kemp says:

      Caroline – you may suggest but we do not need to listen.
      I suspect my name will now go on a list somewhere???

    • andrew says:

      Your baseless suggestion seems at odds with the fact that there is no pressure from the public on M. Vass. Any pressure, it seems, comes from other quarters.

    • Andrea says:

      I suggest to you that there was no statement made regarding SNF after the airing of sixty minutes.
      I have seen all the paperwork Meaghan recieved on that day and none of it had anything to do with that boat, her lawyer has asked for evidence of this lets say elusive evidence but alas as we thought no one has came forward with anything. Also why wouldnt Tas Pol have lodged this to be heard at the appeal hearing as youd think it wouldve been enough to lay this to rest….. But no they seemingly thought theyd keep hold of it for a while. WHAT A LOAD OF S@#T!
      DAMIEN GEORGE …. Meaghans mothers inspector police friend… Just so happend that i spoke with meaghans mum and she verified speaking with him the day before she got picked up by them regarding the worry and concern for her daughter. Pity Damien is on his own team. He is also the one that got the recantment from her last time all be it sitting in the Brunswick Pub with an already typed statement she just had to sign… Seems he was fairly confident.
      The journo who covered the story for the Australian is a Hobart journalist….. Funny that. Give the Australian a call and get them to print a story that they wouldnve bothered with otherwise. When all else fails the cops start a smear campaign and what a low blow… Now people, being the shhep that they are have turned a bit nasty on Meaghan so their idea has worked…. They still have the problem of her being in rehab in another state and no chance of doing their stand over tactics while there.
      And lastly if she did infact lie then where is her charges for perverting justice as everyone else got slapped with them for nothing yet Tas Pol are saying she lied but has she been charged??? NO

      • Gruntle Massey says:

        Surprise suprise, interested parties are contradicting each other. Not sure that either Taspol or Vass have much credibility these days in relation to this matter.

        Vass has lied. You cant say one thing at a trial, then contradict it with a sworn statement later. One of those events is an offence. Since she was a child at the time of the trial be interesting to know if she is culpable for perjury? Maybe she is for upholding the lie subsequently as an adult?

        The others, as you claim, did not get slapped with justice perversion charges ‘for nothing ‘. Gleeson admitted he did wrong, there is audio and video evidence of what Thompson said in Risdon prison. Looks like he was set up? Dont know about Keefe.

        Oh, what does Vass have to say about that (now deleted) post on her FB on 11th March from Beccy Rhodes regarding her being sighted from the casino wearing SNF’s jacket? Another classic red herring? Someone has obviously complained to FB to get it removed.

        • Andrea says:

          So as a 15 year old what would you have done. I am close to Meaghan. Traumatised is putting it lightly. The smear campaign by taspol is obviously working… Disapointing really.

        • Andrea says:

          Why do you think that post was there at that time…. So over a ten year period she chooses now to carry on… And gleeson.. Well maybe he admitted to perverting as maybe he is one of the two named as being the perpetrators…. Food for thought.
          Jeff is a good guy. A really good guy… Karen. Rotten to the core

    • MM says:

      Ex cop sticking up for cops… how extraordinarily odd LOL

      I’ll stick with the mainland former homicide detectives and the QC and other law experts thanks.

  7. LB says:

    Really, after all the conjecture, assumptions and omissions in this case the public is still being subjected to this type of reporting, in a supposedly reputable national newspaper? Then local newspapers copy and paste! Nobody needs this – it is well past the time for everyone involved to closely scrutinise the morals and behaviour in decisions, actions and reporting unless they too wish to be tainted with the decidedly low standards we have seen over the last decade emanating from the Apple Isle across the board. Very disappointing to see ‘The Australian’ slip to a low akin to sloppy tabloid style where sensationalism, gossip and extreme opinions are promoted as stories to sell “news”. Where is the journalistic code of ethics these days?

    • PH says:

      LB well said, its about time this poor reporting to make news is brought to account. What a poor excuse, I was away when 60 Minutes aired their program.
      Get current new facts and report them.
      I like what Tony wrote also.

      • Diane Kemp says:

        It would be nice to think The Mercury which copied the report would correct the information but that is not likely to happen!!!

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