Australia: Police officers accused of assaulting teenager have charges stayed after investigation bungle - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaPolice officers accused of assaulting teenager have charges stayed after investigation bungle

13:25  12 february  2019
13:25  12 february  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Serious assault charges laid against two police officers will not proceed because police bungled an internal investigation, a court has heard.

Magistrate Brett Dixon today decided to permanently place the case on hold, because the investigation SA Police conducted was tainted by evidence "obtained and used contrary to the law and legal rights".

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In December that year, the SA Police Internal Investigation Section asked the two police officers to provide affidavits outliningtheir version of events.

Those affidavits were ultimately provided to prosecutors and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), which denied the policemen their privilege against self-incrimination.

Mr Dixon said the ICAC could have instead either obtained an affidavit from the policemen, or used its powers to require the two men to attend an examination and answer questions.

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Neither of those occurred.

"… I am concerned by the manner in which the affidavits were obtained," Mr Dixon said.

"To place the defendants in the position where they are asked to make statements about their involvement in an incident that could lead to criminal charges against them, under threat of disciplinary proceedings if they refuse, is unfair."

He said providing the affidavits to the ICAC breached the secrecy provisions contained in laws that covered the internal investigation of South Australian police officers.

The court also found that the affidavits could also have been used to overcome the problem of a key witness to the assault giving a contradictory description of one of the police officers.

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