The shocking footage, the ‘botched’ inquiry and why police must take their hands off it
THE state’s powerful corruption fighting agency will be asked to take over the “botched” investigation of the cop accused of exposing other officers for brutally bashing an innocent and handcuffed man.
Three years after The Courier-Mail revealed the bloody outrage in the basement of a Gold Coast police station, anti-corruption lawyer Terry O’Gorman said the handling of the case – in which the police perpetrators escaped punishment and the accused whistleblower faces jail time – was a “throwback to the pre-Fitzgerald days”.
Sergeant Rick Flori faces criminal charges, with police accusing him of leaking the footage showing the officers beating the chef before washing away his blood. As The Courier-Mail revealed last week, the other police officers escaped serious sanction – with two still on the beat.
Mr O’Gorman, who will today present a submission to the Crime and Corruption Commission on the case, said: “You cannot have police investigating other police.”
A LEADING human rights lawyer has called on the Crime and Corruption Commission to take over the investigation into a Gold Coast police officer accused of leaking explosive footage of a police bashing.
Sergeant Rick Flori has been charged with misconduct amid allegations he supplied a video of four colleagues assaulting a handcuffed prisoner in the basement of Surfers Paradise police station.
This comes three years after The Courier-Mail exclusively revealed shocking video of uniformed officers bashing 21-year-old chef Noa Begic in the basement of the busy Gold Coast lock up.
Australian Council for Civil Liberties president Terry O’Gorman, who has no personal connection to the case, will today present a submission to the CCC imploring them to take over the investigation.
While two of the four officers involved in the incident were disciplined through an internal affairs investigation, Sgt Flori faces criminal charges and could be jailed for seven years if found guilty.
Senior Sergeant David Joachim and Senior Constable Ben Lamb were stood down on full pay during the Ethical Standards Command investigation.
Sen Const Lamb has since returned to active duty while Sen Sgt Joachim retired.
Mr O’Gorman said the situation was untenable.
“This whole matter has been botched from the start,” he said.
I am calling on the CCC to launch a total review of the police investigation.
“You cannot have police investigating other police. It is a throwback to the pre-Fitzgerald days.”
Mr O’Gorman said he would also write to Police Commissioner Ian Stewart expressing his view.
“He has just been re-elected and come out with an agenda of issues to tackle, but this should be added to the top of the list.”
Mr Stewart has already hit out at critics of the charges against Sgt Flori, telling his Twitter followers he had faith in the justice system.
“The facts will be interesting for all,” he wrote. “Let’s wait until then.” Sgt Flori (right) will face court again next month.