Tuesday, November 11, 2003

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.

The jury was told Murdoch was behaving in a paranoid way because he believed police were closing in on him for the suspected murder of Falconio in the Northern Territory a year earlier.

The jury heard evidence from a 12-year-old girl and her mother who claimed the child was raped and both of them abducted by Murdoch.

After deliberating for four-and-a-half-hours, the jury returned not guilty verdicts on all counts.

Outside the court, Murdoch's lawyer Grant Algie delivered a statement on behalf of his client. "He wants the media and the public to know the verdict of the jury is a confirmation of his innocence of these offences," Mr Algie said.

"As you know, his defence has always been he was falsely accused and set up with respect of these offences and he believes that the jury verdict is a clear confirmation of that."

Murdoch emerged from court handcuffed and flanked by police, who had served a Northern Territory arrest warrant on him.

He will appear in the Adelaide Magistrates court today for an extradition hearing to the Northern Territory over the murder of English tourist Peter Falconio and the unlawful detention of Joanne Lees.

The couple were driving along the Stuart Highway, north of Alice Springs, in 2001 when they were allegedly pulled over by a gunman. Mr Falconio was allegedly shot and Ms Lees held captive before she escaped into the bush. Mr Falconio's body has never been found.

By Framed 11 November 03


Could it be the 19 billion a year tourist dollar? Similarity? Azaria Chamberlain, Lindy Chamberlain, Michael Chamberlain, dingo, dingoes, Australia, Ayres Rock, Alice Springs, infanticide, filicide, dingoes killed Azaria. Who ate the baby really?