Andrew L. Urban.
Five members of a family brutally murdered – no clues, no weapons, no motive, yet the law chased Robert Xie through four trials and an appeal for over 11 years to get a conviction, ignoring the absurdity of their case – and exculpatory facts. “They have no case against Xie” says Kevin Borick QC.
The murders were committed sometime between the evening of July 17 and the morning of May 18, 2009; the victims were 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. Robert Xie is married to Kathy Lin, Min’s sister, and they lived in houses 300 metres apart, in Sydney’s North Epping.
TIME OF DEATH UNKNOWN
“The Crown does not know exactly what time it was that the murders occurred,” said the prosecution in the opening address, “but our case is that it must have occurred after 2 o’clock in the morning, because you will hear that it is accepted that the accused had been at home with his wife using the internet until around this time. So it is at some point after 2 o’clock and before 5.30am.” In other words, the case is based on circular reasoning. The Crown asked the jury to accept that the deaths occurred after 2am – without any evidence – to fit their accusation against Xie.
Robert Xie’s claim of innocence looks entirely justified, according to veteran defence barrister Kevin Borick QC. “The prosecution admits it doesn’t know the time of death of the victims. It simply asserts a timeframe it has made up – based on the uncontested alibi that Xie was on his computer until 2am on the night in question. But the prosecution has not negated the possibility that any or all of the victims were killed before 2am. They have no case against Xie.”
To help make their case, the police wired an informer in jail, known as Witness A, to covertly record conversations with Xie (then on remand awaiting trial) trying to entrap him to say he had sedated his wife so she would sleep through him getting up and murdering her family 300 metres away – after 2am. There was nothing to motivate police to suspect Xie of sedating his wife; it was just the only way to negate the alibi, and to place Robert Xie at the crime scene at the time of the crime.
The recordings by Witness A, scratchy audio that only a profoundly biased ear would accept as evidence beyond reasonable doubt; the judge certainly did not. The Crown was asking the court to accept that a man, with broken English and with no criminal record, claiming innocence of the murder charge against him, would admit to a ‘seasoned criminal’ (as Her Honour put it) in jail, the suggestion that he sedated his wife so he could brutally murder five of her family 300 meters away. There was no evidence to support sedation.
LOVING FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS
Kathy Lin was close to her brother Min; she was on good terms with Irene and she loved the two boys, who were close friends of her own family, including their son. On oath, she confirmed the alibi for her husband because she knows he is innocent. If she had any doubts, she could not maintain the strong relationship with him in the face of these brutal killings of her own family members. She continues to love and support him, which I have observed first hand.
QUESTIONS YOU MAY ASK
Why did police insist on targeting Robert Xie with evidence weak enough to be questioned by a judge and a magistrate?
April 5, 2012
Justice Derek Price denies bail, but acknowledges a jury may find there is not enough evidence to convict Xie.
December 20, 2012
Xie is granted bail by local court magistrate John Andrews, who says the Crown case is not strong. ”It was effectively conceded by the prosecutor that there was no evidence of motive. ”On the contrary, the evidence indicates a very close relationship between the families.”
Did police try to manufacture evidence against Xie by recruiting a prison inmate to entrap Xie – or was that plan justified by reliable clues or indications?
Why did the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions put Robert Xie on trial for the five murders without having credible evidence that placed him at the crime?
Did anyone – detectives, police management, lawyers or prosecutors – ever raise a concern about the absurdity of charging Robert Xie with the brutal murder of his wife’s family in spite of the ‘very close relationship between the families’ – and without solid, durable evidence against him?