Friday, May 08, 2009

Corrupt West Australian cops still refusing to admit that they did any wrong

ANDREW Mallard - awarded $3.25m over his wrongful murder conviction - is not satisfied with the payment and is talking to his lawyers. Mr Mallard told reporters: "I am extremely disappointed and I will be conferring with my lawyers." He would not be drawn into comments on the desired amount for the payout, describing it as a "very delicate situation".

Mr Mallard was yesterday offered $3.25m compensation for serving more than 12 years in jail for the a 1994 murder he didn't commit. He was wrongly convicted of murdering Mosman Park jeweller Pamela Lawrence, but later acquitted by the High Court.

Attorney General Christian Porter announced the compensation offer to Mr Mallard, the highest of its kind in the State’s history.

Mr Mallard served 12 years of a 20-year jail sentence before his conviction was quashed by the High Court in 2005. He walked free from jail in 2006. The murder investigation and his wrongful conviction was the subject of a Corruption and Crime Commission inquiry into whether police officers had engaged in misconduct. Two assistant police commissioners, Mal Shervill and David Caporn, were forced to step down from their top jobs in the wake of the CCC's findings.

Mr Mallard had demanded $7.5 million on advice from his lawyers and on the weekend Opposition legal spokesman John Quigley claimed Mr Mallard was injected with drugs as part of efforts to make him confess to the crime.

Labor MP and friend John Quigley, who has championed Mr Mallard's case and lobbied for his release, said he knew the final settlement would be ``miserable''.... ``There is no way Premier Colin Barnett or Attorney-General Christian Porter would accept $3.25 million for 12 years imprisonment and the destruction of their lives. ``There is no way they would accept that as proper compensation. ``In fact the sum being given to Andrew is about the same amount that Mr Barnett will receive from his superannuation scheme when he retires.’’ Mr Quigley revealed last week that Mr Mallard was seeking a $7.5 million payout.

Mr Quigley re-iterated that Mr Mallard would sue police in light of the $4.25 million shortfall. ``The government should have offered the $7.5 million straight up, or they should have appointed an independent assessor,'' he said. ``I would have thought the police union won’t be happy with this. ``Too right, Andrew will sue.’’

WA Police Union president Mike Dean wouldn’t be drawn into comments by Labor MP John Quigley that Mr Mallard would now sue police. Mr Dean said he stood by the officers, including Mr Shervill and Mr Caporn, and believed the $3.25m amount offered by the State Government was sufficient. “I’m sure the Government would have liked to have settled all issues, (but) the officers are extremely confident on their legal position,” he said. He said he did not believe the offer had left the officers exposed to personal litigation.

“I don’t believe there’s any legal exposure for these officers whatsoever – they still stand by their position that they have not acted inappropriately in any way,” he said. “If (Mr Mallard) wishes to pursue the civil writs, then they will be defended.”

Original report here. (Via Australian Politics)

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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