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Are we all to be "guilty" until we prove ourselves "innocent"?
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 08 October 2006

08.10.06

Well, what a dangerous precedent has now been made with the police officer alleged to have been responsible in some way for the death of an Aboriginal man in custody on Palm Island standing aside.    From media reports the decision was not made willingly but only after a considerable amount of media pressure.

Irrespective of  the decision of the Assistant Coroner in her recent findings on the matter there is one rule of law that we all take for granted and should protect with vigour.    That is the rule that "one" is innocent until proven guilty.

Mostly, we as individuals do not know what went on that night in the Palm Island watch house.   The evidence was rightly taken in due course by the Assistant Coroner and she has made a proper decision and that decision should not be questioned by anyone, including the Queensland Police Union.

From there there is a set procedure to follow.   That procedure is that the evidence should be put before the Department of Public Prosecutions and they should then prepare a brief of evidence and if there is sufficient evidence the “suspect” should be charged with the appropriate charge.

The Commissioner of Police in this instance followed the correct procedure in not suspending the officer involved as that officer had not even been charged at that time.    Don’t we all expect that we are innocent until proved guilty by a court of law.

For the prospective Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and lawyers for the victims family and civil liberties to come out and demand that the officer be stood down at this time is not only hypocritical  but it creates a dangerous precedent.

By speaking out as they did the Speaker of Parliament and the lawyers have created a situation whereby the police officer involved can now lay claim to not getting a fair trial as this trial is now well off and running in the media.

Would not the proper course of action be for the Department of Prosecutions to take their considered action in the most efficient manner and bring the matter to a Court of Law as quickly as possible thus bringing the matter to a head?    Should not the proper actions involving the police officer  THEN be taken as dictated by the findings of a proper trial and jury decision?

Nobody, not even a police officer should expect to have less rights when it comes to the point of law then what the rest of us expect for ourselves.    Are we all now to be considered “guilty” until we prove ourselves  “innocent”?

For the prospective Speaker of Parliament to have voiced his opinion in this matter shows to what length a politician is prepared to go to promote a political career.    Perhaps consideration should be given to investigating whether the Speaker in this instance is a suitable person to hold that important parliamentary position.




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Last Updated ( Saturday, 02 January 2010 )
 
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