Friday, February 26, 2016

Did Victoria's police set up an innocent man?

<i>They would be capable of it and being suspected of killing a cop is not a good place to be</i>

VICTORIA’S corruption watchdog is investigating police conduct leading up to the conviction of Jason Roberts for the 1998 shooting murders of police officers Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rod Miller.

The Herald Sun can reveal that investigators from the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission have conducted a secret probe into the conduct of at least four police officers who were involved in the murder probe.

A major part of the investigation is believed to centre on the changing of a police statement that is said to have cemented the prosecution case that two gunmen were in a Hyundai the two officers stopped in Cochranes Rd, Moorabbin, on August 16, 1998.

This contradicts the evidence of an eyewitness who drove by as the shootings occurred, who told Lorimer investigators she saw only one man beside the Hyundai.

The Lorimer investigation ran for over two years and identified Bandali Debs and his daughter’s boyfriend, Roberts, as the culprits.

Lawyers for Roberts, who has always maintained his innocence, are preparing to submit a petition to Attorney-General Martin Pakula to reopen the case.

Evidence has also emerged casting doubt on Roberts’ involvement. It includes witness statements and the interpretation of material from listening devices, telephone intercepts and new information from Roberts himself, who denied being at the scene.

Roberts was the subject of a homicide re-examination of his case almost three years ago, findings of which were not made public.

Roberts was interviewed and police travelled to NSW to interview Debs over several days. Other witnesses, including Lorimer police, were also interviewed.

Lawyers for Roberts, who along with Debs is serving a life sentence for the murders, have been working for several years on what they argue are shortcomings in the evidence against him.

Prosecutor Jeremy Rapke, QC, put it to the Supreme Court trial jury that Roberts was hidden in the car and shot Sgt Silk, who was checking the passenger side registration.

The Herald Sun understands the forensic evidence of the sequence of shots is consistent with there being only a single gunman.

It is likely to be put to the Attorney-General that Debs alone shot both policemen, shooting Sen-Constable Miller before walking around the Hyundai and killing Sgt Silk, and that he then exchanged shots with Sen-Constable Miller before using a second gun to shoot Silk again.

Debs, of whose guilt there is no doubt, has refused to shed any light on what happened that night.

Police have been told that he had promised to confess and exonerate Roberts if both of them were convicted.

Roberts has spent 17 years in jail and is in a maximum-security prison.

An IBAC spokesman said: "For legal and operational reasons we cannot comment."

Victoria Police said that it was unaware of the IBAC investigation.

<a href="">SOURCE</a>

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Police sexual assault not investigated

Owner of 24 Hour Locksmiths Brisbane is siding with Tony Fitzgerald and Independent Commission Against Corruption, David Ipp, for the establishment of a federal anti-corruption agency with the powers of a standing royal commission after what he calls the most repugnant display of police abuse of powers against an employee of his 24 Hour locksmith business in Brisbane

On February 5 2015 one of our senior tradesmen locksmiths was doing a routine call to a customers home for a locksmith service. After completing the job in Keeling Street Coopers Plains, our locksmith was met by a police car screeching around the corner with lights flashing. Our locksmith was ordered to place his hands on his car and was searched.

His locksmith car was searched, but the officers on the scene were not happy at that! They called in more officers, and more officers and even more officers! They all came and searched the tradesman’s car in search of something? Our locksmith asked over and over, what they were doing and what they were looking for and got no response from Tamryn Ellingworth, the officer who appeared to be in charge. More then 7 officers were called in to search our locksmiths car!

This went on for over two hours out the front of our clients home. Our locksmith asked the police if this had anything to do with the client, which the police answered no.

The police called in a police dog and put it through our locksmith car! Our locksmith asked them not to put the dog in the car, but they didn’t listen.

The police took sensitive business records from the locksmiths car, still with no explanation. They then attempted to hack our locksmiths phone!

After this horrendous ordeal, they then called in another officer from the Mount Gravatt police station to sexually assault our locksmith! This happened in the middle of the street in suburban Coopers Plains.

After our locksmith had been raped, he was then privately photographed, by police and told he was put onto a list! Our locksmith believes this to be an unofficial list kept by police. Some sort of dark list of people the police are out to get.

At the end of this police threatened my locksmith and left. When returning to his locksmith car, he found all the electrics in the car not operating. The police had pulled out wiring from under the dash, making indicators and the dash board not work.

Outraged, of what happened to our employee, while on his day to day job, a complaint was made the very next day at the Mount Gravatt police station.

Now you would think that sexual assault in company by a group of armed police officers would be taken seriously. Alas, the police to our knowledge have never investigated this brutal attack by their own force. Even after making a complaint to the CMC, our employee has heard no response from the police.

It would seem the police take assault, sexual assault, deprivation of liberty, searching without reasonable suspicion,searching without a warrant, destruction of property by police, theft of business records, theft, no respect of dignity, causing maximum embarrassment, exposing our naked locksmith in a public street, not giving a reason for searching, detention on the street for over 2 hours as not serious. Whether it is that they don’t take rape of a man serious? Or whether it is because it was by a pack of police officers, we do not know?

My employee has after many months of leave, finally returned to work, although still not able to work in the same capacity he is slowly recovering. He relates his attack by police as a gang attack like you would see in a war zone in parts of Africa. A gang of thugs raping helpless civilians.  He can not be sent to any jobs where police may be present for fear of being assaulted again.  He says he can now relate to rape victims who are not taken seriously by police.

By the way.  This was all taking place at the time of a notorious car chase of a stolen car from Sunshine Coast to NSW, where the NSW police stopped the car as soon as it crossed the border.   Why couldn’t the QLD Police stop the stolen car?  Well, I would not believe the official story.  Most of the police on duty at the time were with our locksmith performing this illegal search and assault!   Mount Gravatt was the best place on the Pacific Motorway to stop the stolen car.  The lanes go from 4 to 2.  Of course they had a more serious master criminal at large, yes a locksmith performing his work!  Great work coppers!

This is why we are backing the establishment of a federal anti-corruption agency. The police are not capable of investigating, when their own officers are involved in a crime.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Prosecution of man charged under bikie laws dropped and $30,000 awarded

Queensland police withdraw charges against Glen Pitt after lawyers allege they fabricated conversations and coerced him into agreeing to a warrantless search

Another prosecution by Queensland police under controversial anti-association laws has collapsed, leading to a $30,000 costs order awarded to a man who faced up to two years’ jail for entering a mothballed bikie clubhouse.

Police withdrew charges against mine worker Glen Pitt after his lawyers, in a pre-trial hearing in the Brisbane magistrates court on Tuesday, alleged detectives had fabricated conversations with the accused Rebels motorcycle club member before he was charged 18 months ago.

Pitt’s lawyers also argued detectives had coerced and induced him into agreeing to a warrantless search by telling him they would stop him attending his daughter’s 21st birthday and that he faced only a fine for an offence bringing a minimum mandatory six months’ jail.

The case, which follows the withdrawal of charges in other high-profile prosecutions including of librarian Sally Kuether last year, marks more than two years without a single conviction under anti-association laws since their introduction in a government campaign against outlaw motorcycle gangs in 2013.

A taskforce led by former judge Alan Wilson is due next month to deliver its review of these and other laws to a Palaszczuk government that has flagged repealing and replacing them. Police and the Liberal National party opposition, which introduced laws in government in 2013, have called for them to remain.

Pitt, 44, whom police alleged was a Rebels member, was found by officers in the yard of a disused Rebels clubhouse in Virginia, in Brisbane’s north, in July 2014 after he noticed tradesmen dismantling a shed.

The property was among 43 clubhouses declared off limits to bikies, who risk a mandatory six months’ jail by setting foot in them.

Pitt was charged with attending a prescribed place while a participant in a criminal organisation.

Pitt’s barrister Ken Fleming argued in court on Tuesday that detectives had coerced the man into agreeing to a search of his home by telling him they could return with a warrant and he would then be prevented from attending his daughter’s 21st birthday party that evening.

Fleming argued a detective also induced Pitt by telling him he was facing a simple offence that would likely lead to a fine, where in fact a mandatory minimum six month jail term applied.

He told the court that police had made allegations about conversations – in which Pitt allegedly admitted to being a Rebels bikie and that the premises was a Rebels clubhouse – that could not have taken place.

After a short adjournment by magistrate Barry Cosgrove, police withdrew charges and Pitt obtained a $30,000 costs order against them.

Pitt’s solicitor Chris Main said after the hearing that cross-examination had revealed “some significant inconsistencies between statements sworn on oath by police officers and the evidence they gave on oath, which was considerably damning to the prosecution”.

“There were conversations alleged to have occurred between our client and police which we say did not occur and they could not have happened,” he said.

“We further say that some admissions that our client is alleged to have made did not and could not have happened.”

Dozens of charges under the anti-association laws – which also forbid bikies or “criminal organisation participants” from recruiting or gathering in public in groups of more than two – have been adjourned until after the outcome of the Wilson review.

They include the case of the Yandina Five, alleged Rebels members and associates, some of them relatives, who were charged after having dinner together at the Yandina pub north of Brisbane with their families.  Almost 50 people have been charged under the laws.

Main said his client had just returned to Brisbane from a stint working in mines when he noticed tradesmen dismantling the shed.  “He goes in to see what’s happening because he doesn’t know if it’s being robbed or what. Police show up and charge him,” he said.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Rough justice in NSW

Why can't the slime at ICAC make a public apology and offer compensation?  They just cannot admit that they got it wrong

He was once  one of the highest-ranking and most respected emergency managers in the state. He has more than 30 years' crisis and fire rescue management experience and has overseen the response to some of the biggest disasters in the state.

But Steven Pearce, highly decorated former deputy commissioner of the State Emergency Service, lost his position and had his life ruined during an investigation by the beleaguered anti-corruption watchdog ICAC - even though he has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Now he is seeking compensation and acknowledgement for the pain and suffering endured by him and his family.

"There has never been any public acknowledgement from ICAC or the government that all of the allegations of corruption made against me were intensively investigated, in four separate inquiries, and all found to be unsubstantiated," Mr Pearce told Fairfax Media.

"I also deserve a public apology that I have never done anything corrupt."

Mr Pearce was the subject of an ICAC inquiry after allegations that he had misused an SES credit card and inappropriately dealt with two contracts. The allegations were made against him by his then fellow SES deputy commissioner Tara McCarthy.

He was suspended from his position while the ICAC investigated; the ICAC eventually made no findings of corrupt conduct against Mr Pearce.

The ICAC referred the matter to the Public Service Commissioner, who cleared him of any corrupt conduct. Ms McCarthy was sacked in May 2013, sparking an ICAC investigation into then SES commissioner Murray Kear.

Mr Kear resigned after ICAC found him corrupt for sacking a whistleblower and allegedly failing to investigate corruption allegations against Mr Pearce.

Last week, he faced a committal hearing into the charges against him. Mr Kear has pleaded not guilty.

In late 2014, he quietly returned to work after an internal announcement to staff that there were no findings of corrupt conduct against him.

However, he had been back at work less than a month when he was told he would have to compete for his job, which he had held for five years, in a merit selection process.

He was then told he was unsuccessful in reapplying for his job although he was asked to stay on last year and during the NSW storm and flood crisis, and lead the management response until it was over.

It has since been deemed the biggest such response in NSW history.

Lawyer Rick Mitry said he has been instructed to proceed with a  damages claim against the government.

"He and his family have been traumatised by the events of the last couple of years,"  Mr Mitry said.

Mr Pearce said his case had been aggravated by the fact that the ICAC had named him on its website as being investigated, and it was "front page news", but it has never been reported publicly that he had been cleared.

"My family and I suffered substantial public humiliation, emotional and financial trauma," he said.

"Never did the system look after me and I was crucified publicly and professionally."

A spokeswoman for the ICAC said that the only jurisdiction the commission has was to make corrupt conduct findings.

"Further information on what the allegations were, the findings and recommendations can be found in the investigation report and associated material on the website," she said.