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Hurley Not Guilty

1415 Views 30 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  isoboy
Chris Hurley has been found not guilty. Slightly old report before the news below:

Jury retires in Hurley trial

THE jury hearing the trial of police officer Chris Hurley - charged over a death in custody on Palm island - has retired to consider its verdict.

In his closing instructions to the jury, Justice Peter Dutney urged the panel to judge the case against Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley on its own merits and consider their verdict carefully.

Snr Sgt Hurley has pleaded not guilty to one count each of manslaughter and assault over Mulrunji Doomadgee's death at the Palm Island watchhouse on November 19, 2004.

Justice Dutney told the Townsville Supreme Court jury: "This trial is not concerned with police in general, it is not concerned with the riots which occurred after Mulrunji's death was published."

Yesterday, Special Prosecutor Peter Davis, in his closing address, said Senior-Sergeant Chris Hurley had admitted killing Cameron Doomadgee, now known as Mulrunji, after a violent struggle that led to a fall in the doorway of the police station.

Mr Davis told the jury it was up to them to decide if the lethal blow was "deliberate or accidental". "He told a lie," Mr Davis said.

"We know the accused has had time to stand up, pull Mulrunji out of the doorway, and, the Crown says, drop his knee into him.

"We are not trying to rebuild ancient Rome, it is simply as he gets up, he has lost his temper and bang."

Hurley, who has pleaded not guilty to unlawful assault and unlawfully killing Mulrunji, clearly did not intend to kill him, Mr Davis said.

"We don't say he intended to cleave his liver across his spine, probably all he intended to do was wind him and disable him temporarily and put him in the cell."

Mulrunji, who was arrested for swearing, died from massive internal bleeding due to his liver being virtually split in half and his portal vein ruptured by the compressive force, most likely a knee, less than an hour after being taken into custody on the morning of November 19, 2004.

His death sparked riots on the island and led to locals burning down the police station, watch house and barracks.

Mr Davis ridiculed Hurley's claims he was mistaken in his evidence to investigators and the whole incident was a grey area.

"He can't help you with the booming question of this case: How could he so badly injure this indigenous man without noticing?

"What he said was a part of a body must have touched him, well, that must be an understatement when you look at the medical evidence."

Defence barrister Bob Mulholland, QC, told the jury the death was a tragedy and to convict Hurley would be "a double-tragedy".

"Mr Hurley will never forget that he was the accidental instrument of another man dying, that is the cross he will carry for the rest of his life despite what happens here."
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From today's Townsville Bulletin:

Union attacks


CONJURING up images of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, the Queensland Police Union (QPU) yesterday launched a series of radio advertisements attacking the State Government over political interference in the case of Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley.

Sen-Sgt Hurley was found not guilty in the Townsville Supreme Court on Wednesday of the manslaughter and assault of 36-year-old Mulrunji Doomadgee at the Palm Island police watchhouse in November 2004.

Sen-Sgt Hurley, who has declined to comment since being cleared, has been reinstated and is on leave before he takes up a role at the Gold Coast police headquarters.

The police union is concerned that the prosecution only went ahead because the Government sought a second opinion on whether to charge Sen-Sgt Hurley over the death.

It followed public outcry after Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions Leanne Clare decided not to go ahead with charges, declaring the death a `tragic accident'.

One of the union radio advertisements, which aired yesterday, compares Queensland with the troubled African nation of Zimbabwe.

"Zimbabwe is a good example of what could happen where politicians override the laws to suit themselves," the ad says.

Several other ads accuse Premier Peter Beattie of interfering in the justice system and Parliamentary Speaker and Townsville MP Mike Reynolds of lobbying for the prosecution.

QPU president Gary Wilkinson said the decision to charge Sen-Sgt Hurley had been political.

"Politicians should not get involved in the legal system – there's something called the separation of powers that Peter Beattie doesn't understand," Mr Wilkinson said.

But he denied the union was trying to rub salt in the wounds of the Doomadgee family.

"We have a lot of sympathy for the community and the Doomadgee family," he said.

Mr Beattie said the union misunderstood the law.

"I'm not going to be intimidated by the police union ... the ads about (sic) the police union are not true," Mr Beattie told reporters in Melbourne.

Mr Beattie said the Government was not liable for Mulrunji's death and would defend any civil case brought against Queensland police by the dead man's family.

Aboriginal activist and academic Gracelyn Smallwood said she was offended by the ads.

Ms Smallwood said there was a `culture in the police force of thuggery and misuse of power' and the ads would `add fuel to the fire'.

"I pay union fees as a midwife and a registered nurse. If the president of my union behaved like the president of the police union I would not be paying my fees," she said.

"I'm calling on all police officers who say there's no thuggery to not pay the union."

Ms Smallwood said the family of Mulrunji were `horrified' that the ads were released.

"They are absolutely horrified that they called for calm and then there was the arrogance of the police union in putting those out today," she said.

"I see a positive side in all of this, it's gone all around the world.

"Many white mothers have said they're horrified, worried that next time it might be their white son."

Attorney-General Kerry Shine also defended his part in the case, saying the decision to bring a prosecution was purely based on legal advice. Mr Shine also denied that his decision to exercise his independent powers as attorney-general was at odds with the separation of powers.

"Indeed, it is an exercise of the separation of powers for a matter to go to the court and left for the court to decide, free of any interference," Mr Shine said.

"The attorney-general's power to bring an indictment is a power at law and does not infringe on the independence of the DPP."

Lawyer for the Doomadgee family Andrew Boe said there appeared to be grounds for a civil action.
The second Coroner, Christine Clemants, claimed that the injury that led to Mulrunji's death was inflicted by a human blow and it was very likely sustained during custody, and it led towards charges against Hurley, whilst a month later, They had someone to do an inquest into the events and concluded that there wasn't enough evidence and then the DPP said that a trial or even place charges against Snr Sgt Hurley was due to that conclusion. Thats when the March for Justice was held in Cairns, Townsville, Brisbane and even Sydney, and i participated in the Townsville one, They placed Sir Laurence Street to review the case, and he concluded that there was enough evidence for a trial, and then thats when the trial came about, and now he has been found not guilty.

Isoboy, even though you are trying to get your point across, i would very much appreciate it if you didnt use an ethnic slur to describe someone or something, you could use black man or aboriginal which are more appropriate than b***g.
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