Assistant Commissioner Richard Cowling made a misleading statement to the media on or about March 10, 2019.
At a hearing in Hobart on Thursday, April 18, 2019, the prosecution told Deputy Chief Magistrate Daly 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. (Vass was in court facing 2 minor counts possession controlled plant/products charges.)
The prosecution summary of facts contradicts 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. Sue Neill-Fraser had not been involved. I reported the police statement on my blog, wrongfulconvictionsreport.org, on March 12: 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) But the prosecution summary of facts contradicts that: she had only said “No comment”.
There is a clear contradiction between the police statement to the media and the summary of facts presented in court about the same interview of Meaghan Vass.
I request a report on the matter from the Integrity Commission.
Andrew L. Urban
June 18, 2019