Friday, November 23, 2012

Australia: State Crime Commission broke the law

This has long been alleged

The police watchdog has found misconduct and illegal practices within the New South Wales Crime Commission.  The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) has found the Crime Commission has grossly misapplied the law for more than a decade.

The PIC says the crime fighting body illegally funded about 15 per cent of its budget using cash seized from suspected criminals.

The report says grossly-excessive sums of money were handed back to defendants for their legal fees.

The solicitor girlfriend of a former senior officer received more than $300,000 for four cases alone.

The PIC has recommended the former officer Lou Novakovic be charged with misconduct for favours to his girlfriend, Salina Sadiq, and for giving false or misleading evidence.

The Crime Commission's former commissioner and directors have escaped adverse findings, with the report concluding they were ignorant of the law.

The New South Wales Crime Commission was set up in 1985 to investigate major drug trafficking and organised crime.

The PIC has conducted a four-year investigation into the organisation, after a series of scandals.

In 2011, former assistant director, Mark Standen, was jailed for 22 years on drug importation charges.

A separate special commission of inquiry found no ongoing corruption within the body but problems with its accountability.

In September, veteran barrister Peter Hastings QC was announced as the new Crime Commissioner.

Original report here. (Via Australian police news)

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