Andrew L. Urban
When At 11.50 am on Monday March 1, 2021, at the Sue Neill-Fraser appeal in Hobart, Meaghan Vass replied ‘Yes’ to the first question put to her by Robert Richter QC, the pent up anticipation of a five year wait since the appeal process began, was released. Richter had asked her to confirm that she was indeed on board the Four Winds, as her DNA showed, when and where Neill-Fraser was alleged to have murdered Bob Chappell.
Vass thus confirmed what she had said in her latest sworn statement of 25 February, 2017 as she had promised on 60 Minutes in March 2019.
Giving evidence via a videolink from a nearby room, Vass also provided other details of the confrontation that ended in the death of Bob Chappell, the alleged victim of Sue Neill-Fraser, who Vass stated was not there.
In the covid restricted court 1 (and by CCTV in court 2) of the Supreme Court in Salamanca, family and supporters of Neill-Fraser strained to hear the hushed words of the lawyers … strained in more ways than one.
After her evidence in chief, Vass was extensively cross examined by the DPP, Daryl Coates SC, who probed her memory, her testimony and her reliability to such an extent the court had to allow Vass to leave early due to her stressed state.
The case continues on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at 9.30am and is expected to last five days.
Fuller reporting of the hearing will follow.