Remember Robert Xie, another murder by the prosecution

Andrew L. Urban.

ANNIVERSARY OF SHAME: On February 4, 2015, nine years ago this weekend, the third trial began of Robert Xie for the brutal murder of five members of his wife’s family. Eleven months later, it became the longest criminal trial in NSW history involving a single ­accused, with more than 160 days of ‘evidence’ and at least $1 million of taxpayers’ money spent on running the case. It ended on December 2, 2015, with a hung jury. By then, Xie had spent four years and seven months in jail without a conviction. 

 The murders of which Xie was accused occurred overnight on July 17 & 18, 2005. Police had no leads, no persons of interest, no forensic clues …and eventually arrested Xie two years later, despite his wife supporting his alibi: they were both asleep in bed at the time of the slaughter. The post mortem images (especially of the faces) show exceptional brutality, a factor that should have sown doubt about his guilt in the jury, who had been told what a loving family they all were. Uncle Xie would never inflict such injuries on his young nephews … (hence we don’t publish them). Evidence of forensic pathologist Dr Rebecca Irvine concerning the physical injuries of the victims was so extensive, it took seven days to deliver.

This is our 23rd post on Robert Xie’s case (see menu on right). Readers will find a jaw-dropping litany of reasons why we believe Xie has been wrongly convicted and his appeal erroneously dismissed. (And there is more we haven’t yet published…) We are as determined to keep the spotlight on Robert Xie’s wrongful conviction as then DPP Mark Tedeschi KC, was determined to hunt him down for a conviction.

And it was not over. A fourth trial began on June 29, 2016, which ran until December that year. The most the jury could do was an 11-1 majority guilty verdict. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Xie, “his face impassive, rose to his feet in the dock and said: “I did not murder the Lin family, I am innocent.” His wife, supported by a chaplain and dressed neatly in a purple cardigan, sobbed quietly in court with her head bowed after the verdict was delivered.

“He’s innocent!” she cried after her husband’s outburst.

Kathy Lin and Robert Xie outside court

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15 Responses to Remember Robert Xie, another murder by the prosecution

  1. Dee Harris says:

    I am wondering if the defence Barristers listed on Mr Xie’s case have any ongoing concerns about how the case was decided?
    I wonder how much responsibility Defence has in this case notwithstanding the obvious anomalies and inconsistencies in the DPP and Police narratives?

    • Peter Gill says:

      Yes they do, is my response to your first question. The barristers Graham Turnbull and Lester Fernandez did an amazing job for the first three trials. The starting point is that the prosecutor had won all (or virtually) all his jury trials in about 30 years of prosecuting – this feat is a bit like Bobby Fischer or Magnus Carlsen winning every chess game. So the opposition to Graham and Lester was fearsome, almost unbeatable. Their strong performance for two years ended with the hung jury at the third trial – if you want to know more about that, read

      Xie had no money left for the fourth trial. I believe the top lawyers at Forbes Chambers are not allowed to work for nothing, so out go the two good guys.

      The Mentions between the third and fourth trials were staggering. A “Mention” is a gathering of the relevant people to plan the next trial, with courtwatchers like me allowed to be present, though I didn’t see any media people at this particular Mention.

      No barrister, no legal aid, no money – the odds were truly stacked against the defendant Xie whose English was limited. My recollection is that when the Judge suggested that Xie defend himself, his amazing loyal solicitor Kara Greiner (whose famous parents are wonderful people but not in my opinion as wonderful as their daughter) offered to represent Xie for nothing, in the interests of justice.

      My recollection is that the Judge responded by dismissing Kara from the case, or at least trying to sack Kara. Kara then made the most memorable speech I’ve ever seen in court, about how the portals to Legal Aid had clammed up, how Kara had via people like Terracini tried her hardest to open closed doors to achieve justice. I sat there, spellbound. No human being could not be affected by Kara’s spirit for justice, hard work ethic and indomitable spirit. The Judge responded positively by saying that the Judge would ring the Chief Justice to see if he could do anything to resolve the mess.

      In due course the fourth trial did start, with a new barrister having very limited time to prepare. The barrister battle was like Australia’s 30th best chess player taking on Magnus Carlsen with not much time to prepare – a foregone conclusion. Sadly. The first three trials were incredible to watch, in a mind-boggling sort of way. Those jurors quoted in the above link didn’t see the dramatic parts that the jury members weren’t allowed to see. It was a weird third trial, with so many of us courtwatchers realising that Xie was 100.00% innocent and hoping unsuccessfully that enough of the jury got it. I didn’t bother to go to the fourth trial, except for one eye-opening day.

      Does that answer your question adequately?

  2. Dee Harris says:

    Mr Xie has no doubt been treated unfairly.
    It is like anyone without big bucks and new to the NSW legal system are at the mercy of the DPP and police narratives. Unfortunately the media in Aus pile on and further disadvantage the person accused. Every negative detail is screamed out in headlines often before the case can be tried. By the time some people get to court it is a miracle if they can find a jury who hasn’t heard of the person beforehand. There us certain enough doubt in my mind from your analysis to question the system.

    • Robert Greenshields says:

      Yes, and given a NSW Coroners Inquiry just yesterday halted proceedings and sent a case involving a NSW policing officer and the death of another young aboriginal person, to the DPP for further investigation, is ongoing probable confirmation that much is still amiss within our nations long term culturally complicit policing and judicial administrations, as consistent media releases highlights the inadequacy across all states.
      Fundamentally circumstances have reached the stage where no policing officer, irrespective of badges, in house rank and perceived authority can ever be trusted to act lawfully, impartially, or honesty. Remember the certified and distributed statements following the tasering of a 90 year old lady. Fair dinkum “the diseased stock squad” is alive and well within every aspect of policing forces operational within our nation.
      The platationing of hereditary criminality through long term affiliation to the ongoing cultural aspects of colonial brutality along with the never eroded, never ending senses of entitlement, seemingly still reign supreme.

    • moni says:

      Well said Dee! The blind, dumb, copy paste journalists are also part of the problem.

    • Peter Gill says:

      Dee wrote: “ It is like anyone without big bucks and new to the NSW legal system are at the mercy of the DPP and police narratives.”

      Wow, you hit the nail on its head.

      Having introduced myself to Kathy Lin towards the end of the third trial, I asked her if she knew what a hung jury was. Being new to the legal system, even after two trials, she didn’t. I explained to my new acquaintance, telling her why this third trial was inexorably heading towards a hung jury.

      Later, Kathy explained to me the whole experience. Robert and Kathy had moved from China to Australia, loving their new country, working hard, doing well. Being law-abiding quiet citizens, they didn’t have any interaction with the police, but they naïvely believed that the police and other institutions in Australia would be like the wonderful Aussies whom they had met – caring, fair and trustworthy, so much better than in China. A great place to bring up their son, with Robert enjoying many badminton games with his beloved nephews.

      Then one day after a family dinner with their friends the Lin family, the dreadful day happened when they found the bodies. Life went on, but much later Kathy was ordered to go to the NSW Crime Commission, where she was told – entrapment style – that Robert wore the same type of sneakers that the murderer did. I’m pretty sure I can prove that that assertion is false, but that’s beside the point. Kathy and Robert were new to the NSW legal system, knowing nothing about the policing here. The well-worn phrase that you don’t say anything to the NSW police was not something they’d ever heard.

      That fateful night, to be continued tomorrow … (bedtime for me)

      • Peter Gill says:

        That fateful night after she got home from the NSW Crime Commission, Kathy told Robert that it seemed that the police were trying to frame them. The police had broken into their house to bug their house with both audio and video, but Kathy and Robert had no idea they were being watched. The police or prosecutors have now put video and audio online of what is supposed to be Robert cutting up an ASICS shoebox and flushing it down the toilet that night, but even that is weird – like everything in this case is weird – the SMH video and the Daily Mail video of that bear no resemblance to each other, as you can see for yourself online. And there’s no evidence that it’s an ASICS shoebox, though the prosecution contended otherwise. That’s all irrelevant really – the main point is that if you think you’re being framed, it would be normal to dispose of a potentially incriminating shoebox, if that’s what happened.

        Law enforcers and jurors (due to their lack of training of how humans behave) both frequently get muddled over what innocent people might do, and what constitutes “consciousness of guilt”. Tedeschi used this weakness of jurors in regard to the shoebox incident, like he did in some of his other cases.

        Another point arising from that night’s events is that it shows that Kathy and Robert didn’t know they were being watched at home, which is significant, given that the hundreds or thousands of hours of taped conservations produced nothing suspicious at all, but produced huge masses of conversations discussing in Chinese how the police seemed to be framing them. Evidence of innocence, not guilt, I’d say.

        Having arrested Robert, the police and prosecution went about trying tipo create a case against him. For example, they didn’t like the Sydney lab’s DNA findings, so they sent what was left of the tiny amount of irrelevant DNA to New Zealand top DNA lab. When they didn’t like that lab’s results, they tried using a dodgy USA DNA guy who is banned from courts in some States of USA and some countries because nobody can tell if his results are real or false. Then they found a locksmith who’d say what they wanted even though every locksmith I’ve asked says the opposite. Then they created footprint evidence, changing it from one trial to the next,p – “evidence” that I’m confident I can prove to be wrong. And on and on it went.

        Yes, Kathy and Robert now realise that they were babes in the wood, happy to talk to and cooperate with the police, not realising what the consequences would be. It’s a familiar story.

  3. moni says:

    Thank you Andrew for remembering this Anniversary of Shame!

    Correct me if I’m wrong, I believe one of the Prosecution’s made up storyline tags (without evidence) is ….. Robert had a personal vendetta against the family….
    If Robert was indeed planning to massacre the family because of a personal vendetta why didn’t he wait for the niece to be home? Because he cared for her? If that is the case, then it doesn’t hold up that he is the violent psychopathic murderer he has been painted to be.
    Look at his loving and beautiful relationship with his wife. I don’t believe anyone from their friends / family or community have testified that he displayed any tendencies that would be red flags. It is screamingly obvious that the wrong man is in jail.

    What a disgraceful miscarriage of justice!!!

    • andrew says:

      That is just one of the many elements screaming out against the conviction. There was no evidence to link Xie to gthe crime. His wife, whose family were the victims, supports him, and provided confirmation of his alibi … and on it goes. A despicable blot on justice.

  4. Brian Johnston says:

    Andrew. Please forward your email address. I will forward to you a Canadian story.
    The problems are world wide.

  5. Tony brownlee says:

    It has been said over and over again: how does a majority verdict NOT evidence reasonable doubt!

  6. Brian Johnston says:

    Andrew the only way to really help some of these people is not to concentrate on the unsafe conviction, rather, to go after Tedeschi who must surely be a psychopath. Take him down problem solved. Before you ask, I did not say it would be easy.
    If I remember correctly Tedeschi did Milat.
    He did a number of dodgy convictions.

  7. Brian Johnston says:

    I recall the case. A complete screw up.

    Ivan Milat may have been framed. Stitched up.
    The area in the forest where a body was found contained cigarette butts.
    Milat was a non smoker.
    The media portrayed Milat as a lowlife not worth bothering about.

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