Com­mu­nity happy to hear about re­view Fam­ily wants fully in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Townsville Bulletin - - Just Briefly - By RACHELLE CHAP­MAN

VIC­TORY dances erupted and cries of joy broke out among the Townsville in­dige­nous com­mu­nity yes­ter­day.

The com­mu­nity wel­comed At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Kerry Shine’s an­nounce­ment that he would com­mis­sion a re­view of the de­ci­sion by the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Prose­cu­tions, Leanne Clare, not to charge a po­lice­man over the death of Mul­runji Doomadgee on Palm Is­land in 2004.

But they said this was only the first step, and vowed to fight for jus­tice to the end.

Palm Is­land Abo­rig­i­nal Shire Coun­cil Mayor De­lena Oui-Fos­ter said the com­mu­nity was still not sat­is­fied.

‘‘We won’t be truly sat­is­fied un­til we see jus­tice,’’ she said.

Se­nior Sergeant Chris Hur­ley needed to be brought be­fore a judge and jury in a court of law over the watch­house death of Mul­runji, Cr Oui-Fos­ter said.

Deputy State coro­ner Chris­tine Cle­ments ruled in Septem­ber that Sen-Sgt Hur­ley caused Mul­runji’s death.

Ms Clare said on Thurs­day night she was aware of the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing her de­ci­sion but in­sisted ‘the evi- IT’S been an emo­tional roller­coaster of a week for the Doomadgee fam­ily.

Speak­ing through their so­lic­i­tor Fred­eric Cas­sis yes­ter­day, the Doomadgee fam­ily said they wanted the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Kerry Shine’s com­mis­sioned re­view to be con­ducted out­side and com­pletely in­de­pen­dent of Queens­land.

‘‘We would call for the ap­point­ment of a for­mer High Court Judge (who has no ties to Queens­land) to head the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,’’ Mr Cas­sis said.

‘‘The whole way through this there have been prob­lems with the Queens­land in­ves­ti­ga­tion.’’

He said Mr Shine’s an­nounce­ment was a pos­i­tive first step.

‘‘There is some re­newed op­ti­mism,’’ Mr Cas­sis said.

Fur­ther­more, Mr Cas­sis said the dence does not sup­port a pros­e­cu­tion’.

But Mr Shine said yes­ter­day Ms Clare had agreed to pro­vide him with her file on the case — al­low­ing him to com­mis­sion an in­de­pen­dent re­view.

‘‘Once I have re­ceived the file, I will re­fer it to the Crown So­lic­i­tor to com­mis­sion an in­de­pen­dent re­view of the ma­te­rial pro­vided by the DPP, in the pub­lic in­ter­est,’’ Mr Shine said.

He said Ms Clare also pro­vided a sum­mary of the file. Doomadgee fam­ily called for the en­tire inquest to be re­opened, in light of ‘new ev­i­dence’ Ms Clare had re­ferred to.

It was re­cently re­vealed Ms Clare had taken into ac­count new ev­i­dence be­fore ar­riv­ing at her de­ci­sion not to pros­e­cute Se­nior Sergeant Chris Hur­ley.

The ev­i­dence has not been pub­licly dis­closed.

‘‘Why wasn’t (the

‘‘I have asked Ms Clare to con­sider re­leas­ing, to the great­est ex­tent pos­si­ble, the con­tents of that sum­mary in the pub­lic in­ter­est,’’ Mr Shine said.

‘‘I be­lieve the in­for­ma­tion should be pro­vided to the f a m i l y o f M u l r u n j i Doomadgee dur­ing a sec­ond meet­ing with the DPP, which Ms Clare has agreed to.

‘‘The DPP’s of­fer to pro­vide the file of­fers an op­por­tu­nity for an in­de­pen­dent re­view of the mat­ter, but I ev­i­dence) part of the inquest?’’ Mr Cas­sis asked.

‘‘We would call for the inquest to be re­opened and to have the ad­di­tional ev­i­dence in­cluded.’’

On Palm Is­land, the Doomadgee fam­ily was strug­gling to keep it to­gether, ac­cord­ing to their so­lic­i­tor.

‘‘They are very tired and very up­set with this whole process — they just want jus­tice,’’ he said. would urge ev­ery­one to let the process run its course.’’

Ms Clare said yes­ter­day her po­si­tion on the mat­ter had not changed.

‘‘I briefed the At­tor­ney Gen­eral (on Thurs­day) on the case so that he might be bet­ter in­formed about it,’’ she said.

‘‘At his re­quest, I warded the file to him.

‘‘There is no ev­i­dence to pros­e­cute. I do not pro­pose to com­ment on the At­tor­neyGen­eral’s de­ci­sion to take the mat­ter else­where.’’


A c t i v i s t G r a c e l y n Small­wood, in tears yes­ter­day, said Mr Shine’s an­nounce­ment was a vic­tory for all Aus­tralians.

‘‘If I had a choice for Christ­mas of a bil­lion dol­lars or this de­ci­sion I would take this de­ci­sion, it’s been the best Christ­mas present, not only for me but for all of us,’’ Ms Small­wood said.

She said the com­mu­nity had achieved so much by com­ing to­gether in a non­vi­o­lent way, stick­ing to the topic and let­ting politi­cians know the peo­ple were in power.

But she said now the peo­ple needed out­comes.

Fel­low Abo­rig­i­nal ac­tivist Florence Onus said this was only the be­gin­ning.

‘‘The Doomadgee fam­ily, Palm Is­land and the rest of the com­mu­nity will not rest un­til Sen-Sgt Hur­ley is charged with the mur­der of Mul­runji Doomadgee,’’ she said.

‘‘We want to see the full cir­cle of jus­tice come our way.’’

Late last night, Mr Shine an­nounced that he had ap­pointed two se­nior le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tives to con­duct the re­view of the file pre­pared by the DPP.

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