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….