Saturday, August 19, 2017

Susan Neill-Fraser: (Australia): More extraordinary developments; (Reported by The Mercury): High profile Queen's Counsel calls on state government to launch an independent inquiry - and revelation that one of Neill-Fraser's previous defence lawyers Hobart lawyer (Jeffrey Ian Thomson) has been charged with perverting justice in relation to the case..."A police spokeswoman said that during an unrelated investigation in early February, police were given information alleging a possible conspiracy to pervert justice by falsifying evidence in support of Neill-Fraser’s appeal, which is currently before the court. The word from inside the force is there will more charges to follow. Outside court after Mr Thompson’s appearance on Wednesday, Neill-Fraser’s daughter Sarah Bowles said her mother would be “shocked and in disbelief with regard to this latest development”. Renowned barrister Tom Percy QC, who is representing Neill-Fraser pro bono, declined to comment on developments this week, saying he “might have more to say” on Wednesday when the case heads to the Supreme Court in Hobart for a mention. Melbourne criminal law specialist Paul Galbally has confirmed he is still on the defence team but declined to comment further. Legal reform activist Bob Moles — who runs a project investigating alleged wrongful convictions in South Australia — believed the appeal could go ahead despite the charges. “I’m of the view that the Neill-Fraser appeal could and would be successful if the appeal court was informed of the errors which had occurred at trial,” he said. “They have nothing whatever to do with the current events.” Dr Moles highlighted the court’s decision to allow evidence about luminol — a screening test for blood but not a conclusive one — to be heard at the trial. But former Tasmanian DPP Tim Ellis SC, who prosecuted Neill-Fraser, said the defence claims surrounding luminol were baseless. “I never claimed it was blood in there. I said it was tested with luminol but then it was examined for blood ... our witness said that she couldn’t say it was blood. The jury was never addressed on the basis it was blood in there, it’s a complete non-issue,” he said."

STORY: "High-profile Queen’s Counsel Robert Richter met with Premier Will Hodgman over murder case," by reporter Patrick Bill...