Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dear Kathy under heavy fire

If the spotlight on her is bright enough, she might have the conspiring cops charged. Their behaviour was quite clearly grossly improper but with the coverup traditions in Qld., people are right be fear that justice will not be done

THE Crime and Misconduct Commission says only the Queensland Police Commissioner can resolve perceptions of bias in a high-profile police disciplinary review. Controversy still surrounds the appointment of Deputy Commissioner Kathy Rynders to discipline six officers who investigated the 2004 death in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee.

Indigenous leaders from far north Queensland are calling for Ms Rynders to be removed, citing the fact she had previously given two of the officers bravery awards for actions during the ensuing Palm Island riots.

Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, was one to call for Ms Rynders' removal. "It's not only for the perception of justice, it's for the public to have confidence in the justice system," he said. Other indigenous leaders from far north Queensland and the lawyer for the Doomadgee family agree.

This afternoon, the CMC released a statement clarifying that only Commissioner Bob Atkinson can remove Ms Rynders. "Her appointment and the management of any perceived conflict of interest is the responsibility of the Police Commissioner," the statement read. "The CMC's role is to monitor the way the QPS progresses the disciplinary process."

But Police Minister Neil Roberts and high-ranking police have continued to stick by the embattled Deputy Commissioner. Earlier today, Mr Roberts said Ms Rynders was "of the highest integrity and professionalism". Mr Atkinson was unable to be contacted this afternoon.

The CMC has previously recommended the six officers face disciplinary action for their allegedly bungled handling of the investigation in to their colleagues.

Palm Island mayor Alf Lacey told The Courier-Mail this month the six "cannot be let off the hook". "Atkinson and the police hierarchy need to get their act together and discipline those six officers who protected their own and covered up this injustice,'' he said.


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