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Mulrunji Doomadgee: reverberations « Previous | |Next »
January 26, 2007

This is very good news on Australia Day. Queensland Attorney-General Kerry Shine has said he would pursue charges against Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley over Mulrunji Doomadgee's death in the island's watchhouse in November 2004.This judgement is based on a report by former NSW chief justice Sir Laurence Street found there was enough evidence to charge the officer with manslaughter - and to warrant a conviction. Sir Laurence was asked to consider whether sufficient admissible evidence existed to support the criminal proceedings against any person with respect to the death of Mulrunji; and whether there was a reasonable prospect of a conviction before a jury if prosecution was brought against any person.

I'd always thought that the earlier ruling by Queensland's Director of Public Prosecutions Leanne Clare last year, that there was not enough evidence to warrant any charges, was suspect; an indication of the legal system in Queensland stumbling badly. Something was wrong when there were no charges over an indigenous death in police custody.

There should now be an investigation into the initial police probe into Mulrunji's death, which the coroner found had lacked objectivity and independence.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:49 PM |