Rudd 'should answer Heiner queries'

Michael Pelly | September 25, 2007

KEVIN Rudd is one of many people who should answer questions about their role in a Queensland government decision to destroy documents in the Heiner affair, says the senior lawyer who has examined the evidence.

David Rofe QC believes there should be a full investigation into events surrounding the 1989 inquiry by retired magistrate Noel Heiner into complaints by staff against the manager of the state-run John Oxley Youth Centre.

In 1990, the new Goss Labor government accepted that the submissions to the inquiry were not privileged and ordered the documents to be shredded.

Mr Rofe examined the destruction of the documents in a 3600-page report and identified 67 possible breaches of the criminal code by Queensland cabinet ministers and public servants.

He said yesterday that the Opposition Leader, who was chief of staff for then premier Wayne Goss, had been perceived as "the man we are after".

"He is simply one of the people in this whole saga who should be able to explain what, if anything, he and a lot of other people knew and the tragedy is that they have not been asked," Mr Rofe said in his Sydney chambers. "There are a lot of people who need to be asked and to answer questions." He said those interested "would have had weeks of going though these documents".

In an adjournment speech to federal parliament last Monday night, Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce said: "Mr Rofe believes there is prima facie evidence that members of the Goss cabinet, certain of their staff and certain public officials in March 1990 illegally authorised, and/or were complicit in, causing the destruction of the Heiner documents knowing they were evidence realistically required for a judicial proceeding."

Mr Rofe said he was disappointed the Coalition did not support the push by Senator Joyce to have the report tabled in federal parliament.

Australian article at this link

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