Andrew L. Urban.
The Attorney-General, the DPP and the Police Commissioner have something to say about the Sue Neill-Fraser case. We report the following in the wake of much recent public unease and lack of confidence in the guilty verdict delivered 11 years ago.
“It is true that many doubts have been raised about the safety of Sue Neill-Fraser’s murder conviction over the past decade. While I do not intend to interfere in any way with the appeal court’s current process, I wish to express my desire that justice is delivered and be seen to be delivered in the case, as is my responsibility as the State’s First Law Officer. I will do whatever it takes that is within my power to that end,” said Attorney-General Elise Archer.
No she didn’t.
“As the Director Public Prosecutions for Tasmania, I am charged with prosecuting those charged with crimes, in keeping with prosecutorial rules and mindful of seeking the truth not convictions. In the case of Sue Neill-Fraser, a number of troubling factors have come to my attention since the trial, which should be examined to ensure that the verdict of the jury can be reliably maintained. I would welcome new evidence that justifies a full independent review of the case, to ensure that an innocent person has not been convicted of murder,” said DPP Daryl Coates SC.
No he didn’t.
“I am well aware of serious criticism of the police investigation into the disappearance of Bob Chappell on Australia Day 2009 from his yacht Four Winds. While I am proud of my officers, I recognise that mistakes can be made and it is my duty to ensure that the investigation has been sound, comprehensive and without bias. To that end, I would welcome a complete examination of the investigation by independent investigators,” said the Police Commissioner.
No he didn’t.
In fact, no-one in the administration of justice in Tasmania has ever expressed such views in the 12 years since the start of the case. There was never an utterance that hinted that the wheels of justice in Tasmania sought to find the truth, to investigate what happened to Bob Chappell or to ask the searching questions of the police brief, the Crown case or the final verdict. The actual response by all concerned to the many questions raised has ranged from bluster to intimidation, weasel words and mischaracterisations. Isn’t that deeply troubling?