Deal­ing with Mul­runji case facts

Townsville Bulletin - - Letters -

RE Co­ralie Cas­sady’s let­ter and the edi­to­rial (TB, De­cem­ber 16), I would point out the fol­low­ing: • Find­ings into the death of Mul­runji, page 33 of 35 states that ‘‘an inquest is no longer part of the crim­i­nal law process un­der the new Coro­ners act. An inquest does not en­com­pass charg­ing any per­son with a crim­i­nal of­fence or a com­mit­tal to an­other court for trial or sen­tence. That is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the pros­e­cut­ing author­ity ac­cord­ing to rel­e­vant test.’’ • The ‘find­ings’ were re­ferred to the rel­e­vant author­ity and sub­jected to ‘test’ and were ev­i­dently found want­ing. This does not con­sti­tute a diminu­tion of jus­tice, rather the con­trary. • The find­ings of the inquest had more holes than a colan­der and I am not sur­prised that this was recog­nised . The ‘opin­ions’ of the Deputy Coro­ner could not be sub­stan­ti­ated un­der law. Those who con­sider that jus­tice has not been served ig­nore the fact that ‘jus­tice’ is blind and is a weigh­ing of fact against opin­ion and per­cep­tion un­der strict rules of ev­i­dence which are there to guard against prej­u­dice and emo­tion. • If there was any in­jus­tice in this mat­ter it falls upon act­ing coro­ner Chris­tine Cle­ments, who by her ill founded and (seem­ingly) un­sup­port­able (in law) de­ci­sion of Sen- Sgt Hur­ley’s guilt, gave rise to false hope and ju­bi­la­tion within Mul­runji sup­port­ers. The act­ing Coro­ner was re­miss in stat­ing her opin­ion cat­e­gor­i­cally that Sen-Sgt Hur­ley caused the death of Mul­runji. A proper find­ing may have been that in her opin­ion there was some ev­i­dence to in­di­cate that Sen-Sgt Hur­ley was neg­li­gent in his duty of care to the de­ceased and by his ac­tions may have con­trib­uted per­son­ally to the in­juries sus­tained by the de­ceased. Even so , I do not be­lieve that on the ba­sis of ev­i­dence pro­vided that th­ese as­ser­tions could have sup­port un­der law . Put sim­ply, the DPP has acted cor­rectly to rec­tify the er­rors in­her­ent in the botched up inquest, which de­gen­er­ated into a kan­ga­roo court. • My opin­ion only, of course! J.R. GREEN­WOOD,


C h i e f p r o s e c u t o r

Leanne Clare

D e p u t y C o r o n e r

Chris­tine Cle­ments

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