Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Unfaithful Lees admits taking drugs, court told

AUSTRALIA: NT: Key witness Joanne lees, has testified in the Northern Territory Supreme Court to smoking Marijuana on the night her boyfriend Peter Falconio went missing.

Yesterday she told the court how unfaithful she was to her boyfriend and that she'd even had an affair. But for some reason Lees wasn't a suspect in her own boyfriends killing?

Show trial

Lees has accused Bradley John Murdoch of Peter Falconio death but until the alleged strong DNA evidence appeared late in the police investigation there was probably no case at all.

DNA results that just happened to appear now place Bradley John Murdoch at the crime scene and no doubt have helped the police case against the accused.

Murdoch: Ambushed by Prosecution

DNA 'links accused to Falconio camper' ?

AUSTRALIA: NT-Through the smell of an oily rag - A FORENSIC expert allegedly has produced vital evidence ahead of the Peter Falconio murder trial linking his alleged killer to the camper van driven by the dead man and his girlfriend, Joanne Lees?


Dr Jonathan Whitaker, a British DNA expert, told a pre-trial hearing that a new testing technique had identified fragments of DNA belonging to the accused, Bradley John Murdoch, at the crime scene. It is the first time that the damning DNA evidence has been heard, because previous orthodox forensic tests by Northern Territory officers had proved inconclusive?

Crown prosecutor Rex Wild QC said DNA obtained from a blood stain on Ms Lees's t-shirt, Mr Falconio's former girlfriend, matched that of the accused Bradley John Murdoch.

But he never said the police had planted it and of course that has to be one of the leads to be followed up by the defense in the tourist industry show trial between Corporate Australia, Joanne Lees, and Bradley John Murdoch.

This means a lot for the tourist industry and the corporate giants have their hands dirty already. Ch/9 stalled the committal hearing early in the case so they could argue that court material should be heard in public and not in camera.

Stalled Falconio Committal to resume

Channel Nine have no rights whatsoever to delay the case of a person accused and in custody. Mr Bradley Murdoch should seek damages after the committal against Ch/9 to prevent further interference by corporate media giants who no doubt have a conflict of interest making news instead of reporting news and also having a corporate interest in tourism and $$$$$$$

Wild told the court that Murdoch's DNA was also identified on the gearstick of Mr Falconio's kombi van and on the hand ties that were allegedly used to bind Ms Lees on the night her boyfriend went missing.

Again no mention that the evidence could easily have been planted by police late in the investigation to help solve their case.

Forty-seven-year-old Bradley John Murdoch has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Peter Falconio and the assault and deprivation of liberty of Joanne Lees.

The court heard that Bradley Murdoch had a haircut and shave within a day of the British traveler's disappearance but most men have a shave everyday so how this is so suppose to be some type of evidence is bewildering and can only be seen as mind-set 'evidence' that men take personal care of themselves, surely. I mean I shave everyday.

Mr Wild said that a day after Mr Falconio went missing; Bradley Murdoch was driving through Central Australia to Broome. He said when Murdoch arrived in Broome; he had a shave and cut his hair.

But Joanne Lees who was stoned out of her brain on dope and who'd had a recent affair, had a better motive for the killing and could easily have committed the crime herself. So why wasn't she the main suspect?

Tall tale?

Mr Wild told the court that Mr Falconio and Ms Lees were traveling on a remote stretch of highway north of Alice Springs when the driver of a second car urged them to pull over.

He said Mr Falconio got out of the couple's kombi van to speak to the man. Mr Wild told the court that after hearing a loud bang, like a gun shot, Ms Lees was tied with cable ties by the man accused of murdering Mr Falconio.

She asked the man if he was going to rape her and if he had shot her boyfriend. The court heard Ms Lees was forced into the back of the man's van but managed to escape and run into bushes.

The prosecutor said she waited in the dark for about five hours until she felt safe enough to flag down a truck on the highway. The court has also heard evidence from Mr Falconio's brother and father.

The family members told the court they had not heard from Peter Falconio since the night he went missing more than four years ago.

But Joanne Lees was a more likely suspect even though she told the court she identified Bradley Murdoch as her attacker during last year's committal hearing and from a photo board.

Falconio beatup compromises NSW DNA laws
ABC 20 June 2002

The NSW government has used the recent media beatup surrounding DNA testing of 'a person of interest' in the Northern Territory Falconio murder investigation to neutralise protections contained in the NSW Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Act.

The Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Amendment (Corresponding Laws) Regulation 2002 takes advantage of a deliberate loophole in Section 95 of the Act which allows DNA legislation in other jurisdictions to be declared 'corresponding laws' - thereby permitting free flow of DNA database information between law enforcement agencies.

All Australian Federal, State and Territory legislation governing forensic DNA collection, analysis and use has been declared 'corresponding law' by NSW Attorney General Bob Debus - in spite of the fact that several of them contain none of the protections of the NSW Act.

Under the Northern Territory Police Administration Act people can be forced to submit to police DNA testing for summary offences such as 'failing to cease to loiter'. Once tested their DNA profile stays on the police database forever, where it is used in attempts to link the subject to unsolved offences. Volunteers and victims of crime are also liable to have their DNA used to implicate them in unsolved crime.

The Northern Territory is also the only Australian jurisdiction where police DNA testing is carried out in a laboratory which does not meet NATA accreditation standards. Its senior forensic scientist is Joy Kuhl, who first achieved notoriety for her part in the wrongful conviction of Lindy Chamberlain.

In NSW, by contrast, only those suspected or convicted of serious offences can be forced to provide DNA. If they are found innocent, have their convictions overturned or are not charged within a year their profiles and samples must be 'destroyed' (i.e. deidentified).

However the declaration of the new regulations now means that NSW police can 'launder' tainted DNA evidence through their NT colleagues.

Even when NSW police are required by law to 'destroy' a DNA profile they can rest easy in the knowledge that a shared copy remains on the NT police database and will shortly be 'shared' back to NSW. Those not liable for forced DNA testing under NSW laws might be picked up while visiting another state and forcibly tested for 'abusive language' or 'failing to cease to loiter', with results of the test relayed back to the NSW database.

The NSW government has taken advantage of the arrest of 29 year old Michael Sorrell for the stabbing murder of Michael Furlong in Smithfield on June 3 to create an artificial atmosphere of urgency and stifle debate of the new regulations.

Sorrell is described as a 'person of interest' in the shooting and presumed murder of Peter Falconio near Alice Springs in July last year, in spite of the fact that he does not match the description of eye-witness, Joanna Lees.

NSW police received DNA recovered from the crime scene in August last year and could have compared it with Sorrell's at any time without needing to alter NSW regulations (there are no restrictions in either NSW or the NT on the use of crime scene DNA).

According to a report in the [Un] Australian, Mr Sorrell has been forcibly DNA tested over 50 times since he was picked up. He is believed to have been in Queensland when Falconio was killed but a 'misinterpreted telephone conversation between territory and NSW police' resulted in him being seen as a potential suspect.

Michael Sorrell was finally cleared of involvement in the murder of Peter Falconio on June 15, when NT police announced no match between his DNA and the murder scene. But NSW citizens have now permanently lost the few protections they previously enjoyed under the Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Act.

By Amanda Mortein 18 October 05


Murdoch: Ambushed by Prosecution
AUSTRALIA: NT-Through the smell of an oily rag - A FORENSIC expert alledgedly has produced vital evidence ahead of the Peter Falconio murder trial linking his alleged killer to the camper van driven by the dead man and his girlfriend, Joanne Lees?

Day set aside for Falconio forensic evidence
More than a day has been set aside in the case of the man accused of murdering British backpacker Peter Falconio to hear evidence from a Northern Territory forensic scientist. Yesterday the Darwin Magistrates Court heard from mechanics and friends of the defendant Bradley John Murdoch.

Mr Bradley Murdoch to go on trial next year!
The alleged man is not the alleged Falconio killer in my book. He's alleged to have committed a crime but the Faloconio mystery remains a secret to be unlocked by time itself and more interestingly may never be unlocked at all.

Falconio magistrate closes court
THE hearing into the murder of British tourist Peter Falconio has been closed to the public. Magistrate Alasdair McGregor has closed the court for part of the testimony of Mr Falconio's girlfriend Joanne Lees.

Ch/9 News? Or Ch/9's Department of Public Prosecutions?
Bradley Murdoch committal, lawyer calls for fair hearing
The lawyer of the man accused of murdering British backpacker Peter Falconio has spoken to the media in Darwin.

Peter Beattie nominated as Australian of the year: Howard
Bradley Murdoch the man alleged to have murdered English tourist Peter Falconio who has been acquitted of rape and abduction charges in the South Australian District Court.

Tourist dollar drives set-up for crime
The man alleged to have murdered English tourist Peter Falconio has been acquitted of rape and abduction charges in the South Australian District Court. Bradley John Murdoch, 45, was charged with two counts of rape, two counts of false imprisonment and two counts of indecent assault after an alleged incident in South Australia's Riverland in August last year.

Supreme Court rejects Nine appeal
CHANNEL Nine lost a Supreme Court appeal today to have a suppression order on details of the case of missing backpacker Peter Falconio lifted. The Full Bench of the NT Supreme Court today ruled Magistrate Alasdair McGregor had the power to make the order banning from publication some details of the case.

Falconio magistrate closes court
THE hearing into the murder of British tourist Peter Falconio has been closed to the public. Magistrate Alasdair McGregor has closed the court for part of the testimony of Mr Falconio's girlfriend Joanne Lees.

Innocent until proven guilty? Not in Australia's outback!
There is no way that Bradley John Murdoch can get a fair trial in the Northern Territory. The entire jury pool is already contaminated, the general public have accepted the verdict of the Northern Territory News and the NT Police State has turned on the cone of silence. Maybe some of the reporters might want to ask Director of Public Prosecutions Rex Wilde QC just how he is going to secure a conviction when a body has not been found. Surely the NT bureaucracy learnt from the Lindy Chamberlain case that it is not a good idea to jail someone for murder when you haven't got a body. Maybe they have the same people working on the case. The NT Police forensic team certainly do.

Taken "A Dingo Took My Baby!"
They were the words that Lindy Chamberlain had screamed out into the blackness of the cold night in a camping ground close to Ayers Rock, Central Australia, on the night of August 17, when she discovered that her nearly ten-week-old baby, Azaria had been taken by a dingo.

Man Says He Shot Dingo That Snatched Baby SYDNEY, Australia (July 5) - A distraught mother's scream 24 years ago that a dingo snatched her baby from a camp site near Ayers Rock in the Australian Outback ignited one of Australia's most enduring mysteries. An elderly man's claim that he retrieved the infant's bloodied body from the jaws of the wild dog has revived the case and - if true - could finally lead to the discovery of Azaria Chamberlain's body.

Australia to see the light on tourism
A total of $120 million has been earmarked for the campaign's international marketing, which tops up the Australian Tourist Commission's annual budget of $90 million. The inbound and domestic tourism industry contributes $70 billion to the economy and employs 500,000.

Ten reports $76.9 million profit
The Ten television network has reported a full-year profit of $76.9 million. Even if it were down by half on the previous year they're still greedy self-interested people who care little about the real damage done, not just in Australia but the world. That profit is obviously on top of wages and expenses yet they're still greedy enough to turn the news upside down to suit the Howard government's investment in advertising.

DNA Links:

The ABC for good or evil?
He had a suspect that he wanted to find guilty based on the chances of a spouse killing a spouse which were greater in anycase, at least more likely than that of a stranger.

First Grabs To Control Our DNA
A small company in Australia has been subjected to gross denials of rights after DNA database technology was stolen from it's company. This one year saga has spawned them to form a new approach to projects of importance to all people.

Worries over DNA and racial profiling
UK: Black men are four times more likely than White men to be on the national DNA database and there is growing concern about racial profiling in criminal investigations.

Lab's Errors Force Review of 150 Virginia DNA Cases
US: WASHINGTON, - A sharply critical independent audit found that Virginia's nationally recognized central crime laboratory had botched DNA tests in a leading capital murder case. The findings prompted Gov. Mark Warner to order a review of the lab's handling of testing in 150 other cases as well.

Witch-hunt targets scientists
QLD: SCIENTISTS at the John Tonge Centre are being threatened with jail in the wake of a government hunt for the source of leaks highlighting serious problems in the forensic laboratories.

Fresh swipe at DNA labs
Scientist Kris Bentley, whose departure yesterday follows that of forensic biologist Deanna Belzer after concerns about "inaccurate" DNA results and unvalidated equipment, issued a scathing resignation letter leaked to The Courier-Mail.

DNA leads 'CSI' cold-case squad to first arrest?
Frozen case? I don't really know what to say about them until they come up with their case. They say it involves DNA evidence but that's the only stuff we know.

Criminal's DNA filed under relative's name
The New South Wales Opposition is calling for an investigation into claims that police have entered DNA data for serious offenders under incorrect names.

DNA fingerprinting 'no longer foolproof'...
The genetic profiles held by police for criminal investigations are not sophisticated enough to prevent false identifications, according to the father of DNA fingerprinting.

PROFESSOR BARRY BOETTCHER: Now, there should be a law enacted within Queensland so that when cases come up like this they can be brought to attention and if an appropriate authority such as a judge of your Supreme Court considers that it merits further inquiry, an inquiry be ordered.

'Rape' officer clears his name
UK: A former policeman has been cleared of rape after protesting his innocence for 15 years. Judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh ruled that Brian Kelly, 47, had suffered a miscarriage of justice over crucial DNA evidence.

New unit investigates unsolved deaths?
A new police unit has been established to investigate more than 360 unsolved deaths in New South Wales, with many of the deaths dating back more than 30 years.

Prisoner's bid for review denied
Prisoner Roger Cheney has lost a Supreme Court action to have a judicial review of his 1993 convictions an 30-year jail sentence. Justice Shaw said he was concerned about the prisoner's claim that DNA evidence held by the police could prove his innocence. Although Cheney had requested the results of the DNA tests, he had been denied access to the forensic analysis.

QLD Prisoners DNA Bid THE curious case of Queensland's "cat lady" murder is set to test the state's legal authorities again, with the man convicted of the killing asking the Attorney-General to take the unprecedented step of releasing blood samples for DNA retesting.

Database clears up crimes?
NSW Police Minister John Watkins said at the launch of a Sydney conference of international forensic experts meeting to mark 100 years of fingerprinting in NSW. He said the collection of DNA from prisoners and suspects in NSW during the past two years had led to more than 5,400 matches on the forensic database.

A Question of Innocence
Katrina Bolton: The promise of DNA freeing the innocent as well as convicting the guilty has been repeated by politicians across Australia, usually while DNA laws are being expanded. The promise was made as a national DNA database, ‘Crimtrac’ was created, and it was made as NSW introduced legislation giving unprecedented powers to take DNA samples from prisoners, by force if necessary.

Weak Carr Government suspends Innocence Panel
It's a callous disregard for justice! The panel takes applications from convicted prisoners for DNA evidence to be analysed a move that may help in a future court appeal.

JUST BEAT IT! Govt lauds crime-solving technology?
The New South Wales Government says advances in crime solving technology are helping the progress of hundreds of police investigations.

DNA testing causes debate in murder case
The use of voluntary DNA testing in the investigation of a murder case in New South Wales has been applauded by victim support groups who are ill informed about the process said Justice Action's spokesperson Gregory Kable.

Abolition of double jeopardy law a political stunt: NSW Opp
Why draconian laws? What about the re-trial by media that goes along with it? Twice shy?

The NSW government has finally appointed somebody (Justice John Nader) to head up its Innocence Panel and has produced leaflets and forms for people convicted of serious crimes (eg murder) to apply for DNA testing if they believe it may help prove their innocence. You can get the info by phoning 1300 881 717 or writing to the panel at GPO Box 45 Sydney NSW 2001.

Is the Westminster System flawed?
Most people would say Lady Di got the boot and NSW has so much trouble getting the Innocence Panel moving. I said hey, what's going on!

Murder charge first for DNA data bank link, but not the same as solving the murder Mass DNA testing of prisoners has led to the first NSW case of a person being charged with a previously unsolved murder as a result of a controversial gene-matching data bank. The Herald reported 25 Nov 02 "a DNA saliva swab led to the charging of a former prisoner with the bashing murder of a woman. Police had been unable to find any witnesses or suspects following the murder in Sydney's inner city two years ago. Detectives had admitted they faced a tough job finding the killer."

Prisoners can prove innocence for $20
Les Kennedy Daily Telegraph reported today that" Prisoners who believe that DNA will prove they were wrongly convicted will have the chance to prove their innocence for a mere $20 administration fee. The move comes 20 months after NSW inmates were asked to provide DNA for comparison with a databank of DNA from unsolved crime scenes for possible convictions.

DNA yours or mine?
Now they have isolated two genes that they say tells you if you're more likely to be depressed. What does that mean? It could mean that you should stay in jail because you are more likely than not to continue your offending behaviour according to a Department of Corrective Services Forensic Psychiatrist.

DNA = Do Not Assume - DNA Controversies!
The national DNA database of all known offenders proposed by Prime Minister Tony Blair could mean that innocent people will be accused of crimes they did not commit.

DNA Evidence of Bipartisanship
Last week the U.S. Congress passed the Justice for All Act, which includes provisions of the Innocence Protection Act. As of this posting, the legislation has not yet been signed by President Bush. Attached is an analysis of the legislation prepared by the Justice Project.