Andrew L. Urban.
At a directions hearing in Sydney yesterday (28/4/2020) in advance of the appeal against his five murder convictions*, Robert Xie’s representative Belinda Rigg SC told the court the appeal hearing would include allegations that an expert witness had given “dishonest” evidence, “one of the most serious accusations of an expert witness,” as Justice Beech-Jones remarked.
Evidence from two foreign doctors, Dr Peter Gill and Dr Mark Perlin, is expected to be heard during the appeal. Both men had given evidence at the trial regarding a DNA sample that the prosecution claimed was crucial in proving Xie’s guilt. The sample was found on the garage floor of Xie’s house, 300 metres from the crime scene. A credible explanation for stain 91 (tiny as it was) may be found in the fact that the two families often played games together (eg badminton) in this garage. The DNA could have been deposited at any time prior to the murders. The Crown asserted that stain91 was evidence of the murder weapon having rested on the garage floor, awaiting disposal later in the day. No murder weapon was produced in evidence. See our report on the Xie case.
Justice Beech-Jones directed Belinda Rigg SC to notify the Crown on the parts of Professor Gill’s report they intended to rely on in the appeal by 5pm May 11.
He also asked Crown prosecutor Anna Mitchelmore SC to file and serve any written report of Dr Perlin proposed to be adduced by 5pm May 20.
Dr. Mark Perlin is Chief Scientific and Executive Officer at Cybergenetics, in Pittsburgh, USA. Dr Peter Gill is Professor of Forensic Genetics at Oslo University, Norway.
The appeal is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 22, 2020.
* In brief:
July 18, 2009 – Newsagent Min Lin, 45, Mr Lin’s wife Yun Li “Lily” Lin, 44, their sons Henry, 12, and Terry, 9, and Mrs Lin’s sister, Yun Bin “Irene” Lin, 39, are found dead in their North Epping home.
Min Lin’s sister Kathy and her husband Lian Bin “Robert” Xie had gone to the Lin house (just 200 metres from their own) around 9:50am, after receiving a phone call to say the family newsagency had still not opened. They discovered the bodies, which had been bashed so badly their faces were unrecognisable.
May 5, 2011 – Robert Xie is arrested and charged with five counts of murder.
At the end of the fourth trial (with a new defence team), on Thursday, February 13, 2017, Justice Fullerton sentenced Lian Bin (Robert) Xie to life imprisonment without parole.