Tasmania’s legal authorities have something to say about the Sue Neill-Fraser case.

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?

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9 Responses to Tasmania’s legal authorities have something to say about the Sue Neill-Fraser case.

  1. Noeline Durovic says:

    Andrew and Geraldine importantly as you both have posted, you reflect to what should be
    ! That in the name of Justice to the known facts an innocent woman is prosecuted and punished for a hideous murder she did not act upon or carry out.
    You have proposed to us all, we the public defending the law; there are facts that armed with factual evidence from those whom represent us, there is of the law in all appearances a following down a slippery slope of cover up.
    Dishonesty looms writ large of a total inappropriate troubling unsafe prosecution,
    A prosecution of Susan Neil Fraser where in facts have emerged that her innocence is proven by many uncovered facts to her innocence and others guilt!
    Facts dishonouring of her human rights! of terrible mischief done to her; as is laid out in an evidence room (police/DPP or both). This is their form!
    Not one or two but significant copious document accounting to a wrongful prosecution of an innocent woman
    Some kept from sight by omission –
    Some said to be lost but hidden!
    Many portraying down right lies to hide such wicked truths.
    Strong evidence is afoot. Much discovery has occurred known to us all.
    Police prosecuted the wrong person!
    Police prosecuted an innocent person
    Damming Susan Neil Fraser in a massive cover up!
    Oddly the cover up emerges as they squirrel away and squirm in all ugliness falling into an abyss of deceit dishonour and treachery at great lengths damming themselves.
    As they desperately keep hiding behind a wall of untruths of worthlessness. Above all they have form and worst of all they know who murdered Bob Chappell on the “Four Winds”. “They” purporting to represent the law?

  2. Tom Cairns says:

    I have already petitioned Liam some time ago and recently Four Corners as to why they are now silent or comparatively so while Sue’s situation is so fraught with injustice and inhuman mistreatment of a gentle and innocent being. For some reason Four Corners seem to be either diffident or too busy elsewhere or preferring to sit on the fence. They have been so ground-shaking in the past and here is real grist to the mill for them.
    Liam Bartlett has also been very effective with controversial issues but he is needed now very much, just as Keith says.
    By the way, I sent Sue a book of poems about a year ago and it was returned to me. She was not even allowed an innocuous morsel of hope.

    • andrew says:

      I think attempts at engaging 4Corners on this matter are a waste of time. The program has become obsessed with political hit jobs, and their disregard for not only their own rules but the basic principle of professional journalism has destroyed their credibility in my view. 60 minutes has done better – see: the Meaghan Vass interview and the Kathleen Folbigg investigation.

  3. Keith says:

    I am speechless on finding out that SNF has been placed on solitary confinement. The cruelty of the government authorities knows no bounds. Punishment for her supporters raising her plight in parliament? We aren’t in China for God’s sake.
    Breathtaking.

  4. owen allen says:

    Excellent work Andrew and Geraldine.

  5. owen allen says:

    Great work people.

  6. Geraldine says:

    If only … the Attorney-General, the DPP and the Police Commissioner had said as your article suggests, Andrew.

    So, I write it another way, perhaps not as polite and cautiously as you.

    What the Attorney-General, Attorney-General Elise Archer, has failed to say is — 
    ‘The truth is considering the evidence provided to me, the Sue Neill-Fraser’s murder conviction has been gained by questionable means. Thus, it is unsafe and unsatisfactory. Currently, the CCA process is incomplete. It is appropriate that ASAP I take whatever action necessary and within the law, to ensure, as is my responsibility as the State’s First Law Officer, material not before the appeal court, yet what ought be, is considered prior to any decision being handed down.’

    What the DPP Daryl Coates SC., has failed to say is — 
    ‘As the Tasmanian DPP, at times specified in evidence before me, I am now aware my office has failed in its duty— with prosecuting Sue Neil-Fraser, in keeping with prosecutorial rules and mindful of seeking the truth not conviction.
    Post 2010 trial, I have failed to open-mindedly welcome and examine an abundance of “fresh” evidence that indicates to me the verdict of the jury cannot be reliably maintained. My Crown as Model Litigant duty requires me to support a full independent review of the case, to ensure that an innocent person has not been convicted of murder.’

    What the Police Commissioner has failed to say is — 
    Together, the ongoing serious criticism and, direct evidence placed before me, of the TASPOL investigation into the disappearance of Bob Chappell on Australia Day 2009 from his yacht Four Winds, indicates that I have failed in my duty to adequately and properly, lead and oversight certain processes and procedures. While I am proud of most of my officers, I readily recognise that when mistakes and wrongful processes are employed, it is my duty to ensure that the investigation has been sound, comprehensive and without bias. To that end, I welcome a complete examination of the investigation by independent investigators’.

    Yes Andrew, it is extremely “deeply troubling”

  7. Keith says:

    Surely there is enough new material for 60 minutes to do a follow up story on this case? It seems something high profile like that is needed to put some more pressure on the
    Tasmanian officialdom.
    Where is Liam Bartlett when you need him? Perhaps he could show these three people your quotes and ask them if they would like to commit to their content.

    • Tom Cairns says:

      I have already petitioned Liam some time ago and recently Four Corners as to why they are now silent or comparatively so while Sue’s situation is so fraught with injustice and inhuman mistreatment of a gentle and innocent being. For some reason Four Corners seem to be either diffident or too busy elsewhere or preferring to sit on the fence. They have been so ground-shaking in the past and here is real grist to the mill for them.
      Liam Bartlett has also been very effective with controversial issues but he is needed now very much, just as Keith says.
      By the way, I sent Sue a book of poems about a year ago and it was returned to me. She was not even allowed an innocuous morsel of hope.

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