Saturday, February 18, 2012

Qld. cops to investigate their own toothless watchdog

QUEENSLAND police have been told to investigate the state's corruption body for failing to interview a decorated former homicide detective named in the Dangerous Liaisons report.

Dangerous Liaisons - released in July 2009 by the Crime and Misconduct Commission - detailed various allegations against 25 police officers.

Former homicide detective Darren Hall said the CMC did not interview him during its five-year investigation. No charges were laid against any of the 25 officers.

Yesterday, the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee, which oversees the CMC, informed Mr Hall the matter had been referred back to police. "The committee has resolved to ask the police service to investigate your complaints and provide a report on the matters to the committee," a letter addressed to Mr Hall said. "The committee will be in further contact with you once it has received and considered the report from the Queensland Police Service."

Mr Hall said he only wanted justice to be served properly after the report ruined his career. "I suppose hopefully it will mean it will be investigated," he told The Courier-Mail. "And that they will be brought to justice for what they haven't done during those five years - which is interview me and give me a chance to defend myself."

The order for police to investigate the CMC provides another twist to their rocky relationship which was heavily damaged during the investigation into the 2004 death of Mulrunji on Palm Island.

The latest development follows a push from Independent MP Rob Messenger for an inquiry. "This matter casts serious doubt over the integrity of the CMC both past and present," Mr Messenger said. "I have grave doubts that the Queensland police force is up to the task of investigating it and I believe the only solution is for an independent inquiry and I'd hope and demand that (LNP leader) Campbell Newman will support me with my call - and I won't waste my breath with (Anna) Bligh or Labor."

Lawyer Greg Williams, who has supported Mr Hall in his fight, said he believed it was a "world first" for a police force to investigate its own corruption body.

"Even the CMC is not immune to scrutiny - and they shouldn't be," he said. "I believe they have failed miserably by not giving Darren an opportunity to respond to allegations made in their report."


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