Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Australia: Civil liberties boss Terry O’Gorman calls for inquiry in to Surfers Paradise police basement bashing
CIVIL liberties crusader Terry O’Gorman will ask the Crime and Corruption Commission launch a complete inquiry into the infamous basement bashing at Surfers Paradise police station.
Mr O’Gorman implored the peak watchdog to review the case last year but now wants a complete reinvestigation after details emerged of Police Commissioner Ian Stewart’s personal relationship with one of the officers involved who escaped sanction.
Mr Stewart has confirmed he is related through marriage to former senior sergeant Dave Joachim, who was seen in video footage washing away a pool of blood during the 2012 bashing of chef Noa Begic.
Mr Stewart said he was distantly related to Mr Joachim and had removed himself from the investigation to ensure impartiality.
The Courier-Mail does not suggest Mr Stewart acted improperly or used any influence to affect the outcome of the investigation into Mr Joachim and three other officers involved in the scandal.
Mr O’Gorman, president of the Australian Council of Civil Liberties, wants the CCC to investigate whether Mr Stewart played any role in the investigation or the decision to press charges against Sergeant Rick Flori, who now stands accused of leaking the video to The Courier-Mail. “It adds yet another nail in the coffin to the whole handling of this matter,” he said.
Mr O’Gorman said he would write to the CCC with his request as early as this week.
Meanwhile, Police Minister Bill Byrne said yesterday he was “confident” Mr Stewart had handled the matter correctly. “I have been advised that the Commissioner, who was Deputy Commissioner at the time, excluded himself from the investigation,” he said.
Mr Joachim retired before findings in the investigation were released and his file was closed with no further action.
Last week Sgt Flori was committed to stand trial on charges of misconduct in office.
Original report here
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Posted by bussorah at 9:02 AM