‘RECKLESS CLAIMS’ ANGER COPS
Sue NeillFraser case
POLICE union boss Colin Riley slammed what he described as “rumour, innuendo and gossip” surrounding the Sue Neill-Fraser murder case and subsequent appeal.
Speaking in the wake of similar ire from Police Commissioner Darren Hine, Mr Riley said allegations made about the police investigation in the case are “baseless and vexatious”.
“The Police Association has largely remained silent on this issue. However, recent public discussion of unsubstantiated material is reckless, unwarranted and attention-seeking,” he writes in Monday’s Mercury.
“I am extremely sensitive to the fact there is a current appeal decision pending. Obviously, I make no comment regarding the ultimate outcome of that appeal, which the Police Association is confident will be just and correct, whatever the outcome.”
But Mr Riley said he could no longer remain silent over “unfounded allegations” made about members of the force.
“The latest allegations against individual investigators and the investigation team are what we considered baseless and vexatious,” he said. “Tasmania Police investigators have conducted themselves with professionalism and integrity throughout the 10 years of the Sue Neill-Fraser matter.”
Meanwhile, a letter written about “a day in the life” of a female prisoner is understood to be the reason Neill-Fraser has been sent to solitary confinement.
The letter, which details Neill-Fraser’s daily experiences at the Mary Hutchinson Women’s Prison, was published on a supporter’s website on Thursday.
Former premier Lara Giddings, who has publicly stepped forward as a NeillFraser supporter in the past week and as a key agitator behind calls to reopen her murder appeal, said she understood the letter had been seen as a “security breach”.
Ms Giddings also said the disciplinary action could be connected to the fact independent Mersey MLC Mike Gaffney last week raised the case in the Legislative Council.
Mr Gaffney threw his weight behind calls to provide the Court of Criminal Appeal with evidence supporters claim prove Neill-Fraser’s innocence.
“The coincidence of the timing of all this is extraordinary. It is absolute bullying,” Ms Giddings told the Mercury.
Neill-Fraser’s letter describes her routines, exercise and medication dispensation, her role as a prison peer mentor and her views on mental health issues, lockdowns and Covid restrictions behind bars.
According to her family, she has been placed in solitary confinement for five days, not allowed phone calls for 21 days and had privileges taken away.