Victoria Police knowingly and wilfully broke the law creating a ridiculous miscarriage of justice. They then used over $4.5m of taxpayers money in order to keep their mess a secret and solve a situation that they themselves knowingly and wilfully created.
Victoria Police has revealed it spent $4.52 million on a legal fight to keep the use of a criminal defence barrister as an informer during Melbourne’s gangland war a secret.
Now that this horrendous travesty of justice has been made public do you think that Victoria Police will admit to their wrongdoing and show any kind of contrition? Anyone in a leadership position willing to put their hand up and acknowledge their mistakes?
Surely you jest!
Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton has stated that he was fully aware of the situation and said he had done nothing wrong and would not stand down from the top job.
“I am very confident in my own knowledge and role that I’ve done nothing wrong in this,” he said.”
Oh. Well. As long as YOU think you did nothing wrong I guess everything is fine. It does make you wonder though; if old mate actually believes that both he and Victoria Police acted appropriately, why did they spent $4.5m of taxpayer money to keep their actions secret?
The spin they’re attempting off pull of in regards to that very question is that they were/are concerned about the safety of the informant/criminal defence lawyer in question.
Victoria Police issued a statement echoing that very sentiment…
“We are duty bound to do all we can to keep people safe.”
However, by illegally using the defendant’s own defence lawyer as an informant (a decision that is completely mind-blowing) the actions of Victoria Police are precisely what placed her in danger in the first place. Making all repudiations of “duty” ring completely hollow.
Even the High Court called bullshit and stated that Victoria Police’s use of the defence lawyer was…
“reprehensible conduct” which involved sanctioning “atrocious breaches of the sworn duty of every police officer”.
But you keep spruiking that duty line!
I also have very little sympathy for the informant/defence lawyer in question. She willingly entered into this illegal pact that further erodes the value of the criminal justice system. I’m quite confident that her university would have covered “informing on your clients is a no-no” at some point during her law degree.
Maybe she was sick that day.
Again the High Court calls bullshit finding that…
“the defence lawyer had engaged in a “fundamental and appalling breach” of her obligations as a barrister.”
Perhaps, she was coerced into it by members of Victoria Police. Which, if that is the case, is completely insidious. But that is pure conjecture.
The wider ramification of this mess, beyond the aforementioned degradation of the sanctity of the legal system, is this:
How often does this go on and the wider community are not made aware of it? That this instance of police corruption has been exposed is surely enough to posit the idea that this particular style of malfeasance may be common practice within Victoria Police.
It’s ah, it’s not a good look.