Some extraordinary extracts from the Independent Newspaper (University
of Queensland) - ask yourself where were The Courier-Mail?
NOTE: Prof Bruce Grundy, head of the School of Journalism at the Universoty of Queensland, lost his job as a result of carrying these reports
Fifteen years after the event the Police are now saying that they "might" re-visit the case of the shredding of the Heiner documents by order of the Goss Cabinet.
In reply to a letter from Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg, Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) Chair Bob Needham said the Police Commisioner has accepted that legal advice previously provided in Queensland which claimed evidence needed for a court action could be destroyed if no such action had actually commended ... may have to be revisited.
For over a decade the Criminal Justice Commission and subsequently the CMC has held the strenuously contested view that s129 of the Criminal Code (Destruction of Evidence) did not apply if no legal action related to the evidence had actually commenced.
In his reply on July 5, Mr Needham said decisions about whether to prosecute a matter did not always turn on legal issues. He said the DPPs guidelines provided that public interest factors had to be taken into account, including the staleness of the offence.
Mr Needham said ... in this case the Commission considers that further investigation of the matter would not be a justifiable use of resources.
Mr Needham said the decision was based on: the age of the matter; previous consideration of the matter by the DPP; other inquiries undertaken; and the lack of utility in proceeding so long after the events in question.
On the second, according to a press release from the then-Premier Rob Borbidge, the DPP had advised: Very considerable time has been expended by a good many people in pursuit of the truth regarding the Heiner Matter. One has to wonder whether the public interest requires further exploration or whether it is now time to put the matter to rest.
On the day before the press release was issued the then-DPP prosecuted a man in the District Court for either stealing or having in his possession at some time during the previous 20 years, goods the trial judge described as probably worthless. See story this page.Editor]...
Mr Springborg (National Party Parliamentary Leader) went on: There can be no doubt the shredding of the Heiner Inquiry documents was and remains a major issue of public administration and political controversy in Queensland.
He went on to say that the shredding had been an act by executive government designed to cover up major areas of maladministration in the administration of a juvenile institution and major accusations of sexual mistreatment and other sexual offences.
To draw a conclusion that the Director of Public Prosecutions has apparently drawn, and which your Commission has apparently compounded, that these are not matters of public importance going to the very heart of the administration of our Criminal Justice System, is difficult to comprehend, Mr Springborg said.
Justice Gleeson said one of the features of the rule of law was that it applied to the governors as well as the governed.
He said: The first two of the three aspects of the rule of law regularity as opposed to arbitrariness or unconfined discretion, and equal subjection of all, the governors as well as the governed, to law, also reflect a view of the nature of law.
Judgments in the High Court of Australia contain numerous assertions of practical conclusions said to be required by the principle of the rule of law, Judge Gleeson said.
They include the following: that citizens are equal before the law; and that the criminal law should operate uniformly in circumstances which are not materially different.
Justice de Jersey has spoken previously about the vital importance of the judiciary where the rule of law is concerned, writing in a newspaper article that judges comprise the courts which maintain the rule of law so fundamental to our free and democratic society.
A former appeal Court Judge... went on to warn that those who authorised the shredding of the Heiner Affair documents could still be charged with criminal offences.
BUT it won't happen in Queensland because this is "Animal Farm" where the pigs are above the law and the fourth estate, The Courier-Mail (Murdoch's mouthpiece), has been muzzled by political expediency. This is great Australian journalism in action... remember this when you have the unfortunate experience of meeting a reporter.