The convictions of a man imprisoned for life for killing two Melbourne policemen for the « reprehensible » behavior of investigating officers have been revoked.
Jason Roberts was convicted of murdering Sergeant Gary Silk and First Police Officer Rodney Miller in 1998, after two decades in prison
His attorneys have informed of plans to file a request for his release on bail after he ordered three senior judges in the state to remain behind bars before his retrial
A jury convicted Roberts and Bandale Debs in 2002 and sentenced them to life in prison behind bars.
Roberts served a 20-year minimum prison sentence of 35 years, which has now been canceled
The appeals judges said, after careful consideration, that they had determined that the long-undisclosed misconduct of a particular officer had marred Roberts’ initial trial « to the point of poisoning it to its root. »
Senior Officer Glenn Bolin destroyed his original statement about the murders and replaced an old statement containing statements of Sen Kunst Miller’s death, indicating the presence of two perpetrators
Pauline subsequently committed perjury by lying about the second statement, and failed to reveal his existence, which the court found amounted to « gross and fundamental corruption in the trial process »
Other cases included initial and potential related data by four officers that had not been preserved (now missing), only revised data that was included in the evidence summary and a senior investigator initially asks officers not to include Miller’s notes in their statements. / p>
The judges concluded that it would not be unfair or unjust for Roberts to face a new trial.
Although they are not convinced that conviction is inevitable, they note that the Crown case has remained strong.
“Although the lack of disclosure did not result from an innocent error and reflected the reprehensible conduct of police officers, we do not accept that the need to deter a recurrence of such behavior is sufficient in itself to justify an acquittal”
“The annulment of the appellant’s convictions and the fact of a retrial will have a deterrent effect.”
He always maintained his innocence in the case while confessing to being involved in the thefts the officers were investigating that night, he claimed he was with his girlfriend Nicole – Debs’ daughter – when the officers were killed
IBAC investigated allegations that police used evasive methods of gathering evidence and failed to disclose vital information in Roberts’ trial
IBAC Commissioner, Robert Redlish, said some officers have historically received inappropriate practices at Victoria Police Academy
“Because Victoria Police never called and stopped such improper practices, IBAC has found that there is a real risk that these practices will continue to be used by some police today,”
The murders of Cop Silk Miller, Gary Michael Silk, Motion To Smash, Rodney James Miller, Police Officer
World News – African Union – A double cop killing conviction has been dramatically dropped, around 20 years after the original trial
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