CORRUPTION FILE: A trial derailed by sloppiness inside the Prosecutor’s office, in the Sue Neill-Fraser murder case

Andrew L. Urban.

Another explosive set of documents to Tasmania’s Attorney-General from Barbara Etter APM and Hugh Selby, reveals that not just the defence but even the DPP was denied correct evidence in the murder trial of Sue Neill-Fraser.

In his August 11, 2021 covering letter to the Attorney-General, the DPP and others, Hugh Selby expresses his frustration that none of the legal authorities who were advised (in two sets of documents) 10 days earlier of serious issues that in his view urgently demand the reopening the Sue Neill-Fraser appeal have taken appropriate action. He then adds further revelations of evidence withheld, clearly demonstrated by an October 5, 2010 (mid-trial) email from Police to the ODPP regarding the evidence of Peter Lorraine.

“Today I regret to share with you that the attached paper regarding the evidence of (witness) Peter Lorraine shows a significant failure to disclose, but this time it is by the Office of the DPP, not the police.

“Very unusually the victims of this failure were not just the jury, the trial judge and the Defence. It appears from a study of the court transcript that (DPP) Mr Ellis SC was also a victim.”

You don’t need to be a lawyer to recognise the gravity of such revelations.

Bystander Peter Lorraine’s evidence was effectively managed to make it seem that he had seen the Four Winds dinghy alongside in the afternoon of Australia Day, around the time when the murder is believed to have occurred. His telephoned interview was recorded by hand in some detail by police. It was disclosed to the Office of the DPP, but those who received it did not then disclose it to either the DPP or the defence: it shows Lorraine had described a very different dinghy. The disclosed Police Investigation Log noted the discussion but was bereft of critical details. The notes of the phone interview did not emerge until the evidence of a relevant police officer in August 2018 at the leave to appeal hearing.

“The witness said he saw the dinghy, a yacht and a man. He undoubtedly did see a man, a yacht and a dinghy, but he was looking at another yacht, much closer to the shore,” notes Selby. The non-disclosure prompted the DPP to base the case around that false testimony.

strong case for acquittal

Included in the latest salvo from Etter/Selby was the assertion that there has been an “accumulation of the errors set out these last ten days, combined with what is to follow, that creates a strong case for an acquittal.”

And there’s more to come, says Selby: “Our next paper will address errors by the current DPP in answers that he gave to Justice Estcourt during the March Appeal (1-3 March 2021).  It is our contention that sitting right next to him was a person with the knowledge to avoid and then correct those errors. He was one of the addressees on a critical mid-trial 2010 email.”

Episode 4 is next it seems….

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19 Responses to CORRUPTION FILE: A trial derailed by sloppiness inside the Prosecutor’s office, in the Sue Neill-Fraser murder case

  1. Geraldine Allan says:

    Misleading the court(s) by omission appears to be an ingrained prosecutorial culture

  2. Brian Johnston says:

    There were no errors.
    The case was built around Sue.
    Their minds were made up.
    Sue was boxed in.

  3. John Biggs says:

    The Etter/Selby document throw a completely different light on the case, with even the DPP being bamboozled by the police. It is staggering that this angle has not come up before. This angle would have been most helpful, no crucial, in the appeal. Throwing everything on MV being on the boat backfired badly when she went to water under the relentless bullying of DPP Coates (who should have been stopped).

    I have a submission on this for the Tas A-G but so far her office has been less than responsive. Am I being too charitable to suggest that this might be because the CCA not having reported yet, the matter is sub judice. I’m holding fire until the CCA have released their judgment; which ever way it goes I think this E/S report might then have greater effect.

    • Geraldine Allan says:

      Hey John,
      If Attorney-General, the state’s first law officer, can disregard detailed direct evidence that the rule of law has not prevailed, I see no useful purpose in we peasants wasting more of our precious campaign time making contact, that will go ‘onto a NFA’ pile.
      Let’s put our mental/physical energy & resources into far more useful activities. For example, maybe a bonfire 🔥 at Marieville Esplanade with an effigy of ??? as lamb to the slaughter.

      You might ask how can that be more useful? At least it will bring personal satisfaction and maybe, just maybe media might take notice. I cannot see any contempt issue in burning an effigy (it better still effigies) & scattering ashes to sea as we join in chorus of hallelujah.

      Nominations for effigies gratefully received.

      • andrew says:

        I believe it is more useful, despite the possibility of being ignored, to apply pressure on the Attorney-General and her team. A large volume of emails, letters, even phone calls, etc has great value to demonstrate groundswell of support for the reopening of the appeal. Keep the focus on the central goal.

        • Geraldine Allan says:

          Andrew in no way am I attempting to disrespect supporters’ efforts and/or derail enthusiasm and legitimate demands for a reopening of the CCA. I’m all for that to happen ASAP.

          My “central goal” is Sue and her entitlement to appropriate remedial action ASAP. Never do I lose sight of that objective.

          Notwithstanding, experience dictates to me that behind closed doors piles of citizen’s correspondence (pressure) is arrogantly and disdainfully disregarded. That sh*ts me 150%; I’m feeling very, very angry and I hurt deeply for Sue. That’s my focus.

          Recently, especially after reading team Selby/Etter papers, which to date have been downright ignored, I vowed that I will not be part of the problem. I will be involved in the remedy, thus no longer will I allow any Minister (Tasmanian’s elected representative) to further albeit passively insult me and, those who stand for propriety, by (i) ignoring the rule of law, (ii) acting unconstitutionally and, (iii) metaphorically ignore valid requests for prompt remedy.

          Thus the fire in my belly has metamorphosed into dynamite.
          “To be nobody but yourself in a world that’s doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting” (E.E. Cummings).

          Finally, Andrew your role in attempts to expose the wrongdoing is admirable. Thankyou. Truly, any comment of mine is never intended to diminish your enthusiastic efforts.

          • andrew says:

            Thanks Geraldine, I know that, and I understand your fury. I suspect it’s fuelled by the frustration we all feel in the face of arrogance and hubris …We will keep up the pressure any way we can.

  4. Peter Martin says:

    An acquittal would mean that the right to a further appeal is not required. I’m not a legal person, just an ordinary man in the street (in Victoria). An acquittal would be the sensible solution the way things are shaping up.

  5. Rosie C-C says:

    The office of the DPP in Tasmania has for a long time promoted itself as being a model litigant – it is time they started behaving like one.

  6. Robin Bowles says:

    Yes Gearaldine— treated with more than disdain, with contempt. Even if they needed time to absorb the shock of the contents, an acknowledgement of receipt would have been good manners. It’s obvious how much work has gone into these papers. How can the recipients of the Etter/Selby files.ignore the message contained? I’ve also writter to AG Archer to support the documents. No reply or acknowledgement. It’s strange, in my book I observed that when Peter Lorraine was taken to his ‘vantage point’ well after the trial, he pointed in completely the wrong direction to where the Four Winds had been moored. Out at about 1’oclock when it should have been 11o’clock. But the huge significance of this actually escaped me at the time and since!Its so obvious when it’s pointed out. I hope this disclosure prevents the ‘unnamed person’ from ever becoming DPP. How can he possibly represent justice on behalf of the people of Tasmania with this dark stain on his upholding of the law? I hope Sue comes to him in his sleep and pours icy cold water over him!!

    • Geraldine Allan says:

      Robin — how dare unnamed person be sooooo cruel.

      Ego & power have dictated shocking and what to my understanding is odious, villainous conduct that is reprehensible. I want to write stronger language, yet Andrew would be justified in not publishing, thus my restrained keyboard fingers are activated.

      Having read all papers since 01/08/21 in full, the behaviours as recorded in detail and strongly supported with direct evidence, are surely perverting the course of justice?

  7. owen allen says:

    Excellent work folks. I am with you all the way.

  8. Rodger Warren says:

    Keep the pressure on the Tasmanian Justice system, that is if you can mention Tasmania and Justice in the same sentence.

  9. Rosemary says:

    Looking forward to your reporting of those errors by the DPP in answers to Justice Escourt during the March 2021 appeal. ( outcome yet to come down). It was very frustrating listening to the sway on facts at the time.

    • andrew says:

      It’s Barbara & Hugh’s work…but I will indeed report

      • Geraldine Allan says:

        And wow 😯 what diligent, dedicated work the volume of August papers are. I’m continually picking my jaw up from floor as I read.
        The non-disclosure is astonishing and disgracefully shocking.
        Worse still that certain unnamed (but we can draw our own conclusions from clues/dates provided) ODPP officers know back in 2010, during trial, yet failed to disclose to SN-F then defence counsel, Gunson.

        It’s late; I could write a dissertation, yet enough for now.

        The courage from team Selby/Etter deserves hearty applause. TBTG there’s at least a few ethical citizens, who are prepared at any cost, to fight for true justice. That is – justice beyond the rhetoric; justice must (not may) be seen to be done.

        I’ll be back.
        What disdain from team “recipients”, who’ve received papers since O1/08/21.

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