Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Australia: Did Victoria's police set up an innocent man?
They would be capable of it and being suspected of killing a cop is not a good place to be
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.
Original report here
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Posted by bussorah at 2:45 AM