I agree with Ronald. This IS an exceptional case. It is bloody exceptional to convict for murder when there is no body, no motive, no witnesses, unidentified DNA, to name a few.Posted by John Biggs on 23/11/13 at 07:40 AM
Will the Attorney General please stand up and tell the Tasmanian community he is not afraid of the fallout from the holding of a Coronial Inquiry or a properly empowered Tasmanian Integrity Commission inquiry into this case?
The Attorney General has baulked at the request by the Tasmanian Integrity Commission this week for more powers.
In the ABC News Report this week here:
It believes its investigations have been hindered because it does not have the power to access information from Tasmania Police or listen to intercepted phone calls.
Attorney General - what is it then?Posted by Isla MacGregor on 23/11/13 at 08:04 AM
I’ve argued that a miscarriage of justice occurred in the case, basing my opinion on the homeless girl’s DNA, and the ‘homeless’ people on the beach. [ comments: http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/justice-system-would-be-a-laughing-stock/ ] Having read Ronald Lee’s article, while still not having seen Eve Ash’s doco, I am ‘even more’ convinced that there should be an inquiry into this matter.Posted by Garry Stannus on 23/11/13 at 12:26 PM
Appeals courts are supposed to be fastidiously impartial. ... In my experience, Tasmanian courts are very prone to edit evidence to support their judgments.
The star prosecution witness who testified that Neill- Fraser had previously attempted to solicit the murder of another person in almost exactly the same manner as alleged in this case seemed way too good to be true, particularly in the Tassie ethical context .
There is also the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard, which known Mafiosi often manage to win on, and which doesn’t seem to be much examined here. This one seems to come from the same place as John Howard’s “instincts” on climate change.
John HaywardPosted by john hayward on 23/11/13 at 04:12 PM
Also exceptional is that Sue had no criminal record and when I was making the film SHADOW OF DOUBT I interviewed her first husband who was never interviewed by police to find out if she had a history of aggression or violence. In fact there was a rumour Sue had killed him and was a ‘black widow’. And an informant with a police history, who ‘lied in the past’ is believed as a credible witness?
How can the theory that Sue murdered Bob be conclusive?
- How could it have been Sue in her dinghy headed out towards the yacht 11.30pm - midnight, when the witness Hughes only saw what he thought was the shape of a woman, couldn’t describe the dinghy, said the person was seated ‘in the dinghy’ not on the side (BUT THERE IS NO CENTRAL SEAT - you have to be seated on the side of the Four Winds dinghy), and he didn’t remember whether he was in his car or outside the car when he saw it, he originally said it was heading to Battery Point but at court said towards the Eastern shore (direction of the yacht) and I was told by a man who refused to be filmed that he was often out on a dinghy at that time of night as he lived on a boat, is slender with longer hair and could have been the ‘woman’ seen
- she supposedly winched the body up two sets of stairs (she couldn’t even winch the sail up by herself - testimony of the delivery crew who helped bring the yacht to Tasmania a month before, and she had previous documented back and arm injuries)
- she supposedly weighted the body with a fire extinguisher (two witnesses didn’t see that same decommissioned old extinguisher on board, one the day before, the other days before, and it was never proved it could have weighed down a body in water)
- be out dumping the body of Bob Chappell in the Derwent when insufficient fuel was used from the Four Winds dinghy
- and around the same time she was somehow driving in Sandy Bay Rd – her car (allegedly, by police inference) a smudgy image from an ATM machine CCTV camera at 12.25am?
- and all the while swimmers on a ‘calm night’ at the end of the Derwent Rd jetty 11.30pm to midnight, heard nothing.
Sue Neill-Fraser was in shock and was given valium. Are her confusion and ‘lies’ the best evidence of guilt?
One motive was supposedly to have the yacht to herself - was she testing to see if it could be a submarine by sinking it?
Why not simply push him overboard whilst out sailing? Far more cool and calculating as she was said to be, and keep the pristine yacht.
They postulated she wanted Bob’s money - but she was independently wealthy with property and assets, and had been with Bob for almost 2 decades, so could have simply split up and settled.
When I was interviewed by Charles Wooley for the 60 Minutes story he asked me what I thought had really happened to Bob Chappell. The problem is there are several plausible scenarios. We do not know what happened ... and we are nearing 5 years since Bob disappeared.
This is a case, with a VOLUME of exceptional circumstances, recognised by leading legal experts to be desperately in need of an Inquiry.
Meanwhile Sue Neill-Fraser approaches her 4th Christmas in jail, missing caring for her aging mother and not sharing the lives of her girls and new grandchildren.
This is in the hands of one man - Brian Wightman, the Attorney General of Tasmania. He has an education background and was even involved in improvements in schools, which I felt would actually make him more open to learning about the problems, human rights issues and lack of facts in this case.
I have been writing to Brian Wightman since July 2013. I wrote to him nearly a month ago outlining many of these issues and am still waiting on a full response beyond acknowledgment of receipt. I wrote again 2 weeks ago and sent a copy to the Premier Lara Giddings.
They had better do some scenario planning around the possibility they are wrong to delay any action.
Tasmania is such a small place with so many interconnected people and relationships. I wonder if it was a former school teacher from Brian’s staff, a colleague’s mother, a relative or friend in Risdon Prison, would he be more open to the need for a rigorous review of this case?
Please Brian Wightman step up and open this case to scrutiny not only for justice for Sue Neill-Fraser and to right any wrongs, but for the improvement and best practice of police investigations and legal processes in Tasmania, given the absence in Australia of a Criminal Case Review Commission and no further right to Appeal in Tasmania. Only you have that power.
Shadow of Doubt - outlining many of the problems in the case - has been chosen for screening in Canberra on 10 December 2013 for the 20th anniversary of Human Rights Day 2013. The focus on this case is growing and will not stop.Posted by Eve Ash on 24/11/13 at 04:10 AM
One of the greatest hurdles that Eve and Neill-Fraser face is that the general public, with no experience of the Tas justice system, presume a modicum of professional integrity and conscience in that system.
If only they knew.
John HaywardPosted by john hayward on 24/11/13 at 08:35 AM
People in Canberra can see a special screening of the film Shadow of Doubt on Tuesday 10 Dec 2013, 6–8.30pm, at the Coombs Theatre on the ANU campus.
Documentary producer-director Eve Ash and pro bono lawyer Barbara Etter will engage in Q&As; with the audience, along with CLA CEO Bill Rowlings (the screening is in honour of the 10th anniversary of the founding of CLA, and is on world Human Rights Day).Posted by Dr Kristine Klugman on 24/11/13 at 10:51 AM
John Hayward…in my opinion, if anyone presumes a modicum of professional integrity in the Tassie justice system, they would definitely be dreaming. This has to be the ‘State of corruption’, although nothing can be proved at this stage because we are’nt allowed the privilege of having a body of totally independent people overseeing or investigating the injustices that seem to be happening all too frequently.
IMO the longer they delay an appeal the more we have to wonder about who knew what, why or how Bob Chappell disappeared. To me, iIt definitely points out how weak our AG is when he doesn’t have the courage to respond to correspondence or to make sure the system is run fairly for all, or is he just a spokesman when given the authority??.Posted by TV Resident on 24/11/13 at 05:04 PM
Ms Ash, you note that Sue Neill-Fraser’s fate is ‘in the hands of one man - Brian Wightman, the Attorney General of Tasmania’. This may be true, but, if it is, then her fate is in the hands of a 37-year old former school teacher with only one term in parliament under his belt and NO legal qualifications.
Mr Wightman relies on his Department of Justice advisers to feed him responses to the state’s legal issues, and every scrap of advice from the faceless departmental hacks would be telling him to keep fobbing this matter off, until it finally goes away.
The department, and the judiciary in this state, will not countenance ANY enquiry into Ms Neill-Fraser’s conviction, and our Attorney-General is their compliant puppet – a man who neither understands, nor cares to understand, the legal complexities inherent in a patently unsafe conviction. Mr Wightman probably sleeps soundly at night, safely trusting the hypothetical crime scene scenario, and the acceptance of same by both judges and jury.
The only hope for a review of Ms Neill-Fraser’s conviction is relentless, personal pressure on Mr Wightman, to the point that he is forced to break ranks with the real powers-that-be in the Justice Department. Or, perhaps, identify the likely Attorney-General in an incoming Liberal government and start lobbying them NOW.
Maybe it’s time to give Vanessa Goodwin a call.Posted by Barbara Mitchell on 26/11/13 at 10:21 AM
#9 I totally agree Barbara ...Posted by Isla MacGregor on 26/11/13 at 03:47 PM
Imagine how much closer to finding the real killer Tasmania police could have been if Susan Neill-Fraser had not told lies to the investigators! Eve Ash you could do a film called Web of Lies that shows how an innocent person can torpedo an investigation and incriminate themselves as a result if they choose to actively lie to police!Posted by John on 13/12/13 at 06:47 PM
I will attend only if and when experts are called to give opinion on any one of the following three areas of my scientific interest:
(i) MV’s DNA (as it relates to the VPFSD report);
(ii) visual perception (as it relates to the “grey dinghy” issue);
(iii) memory (as it relates to the failure of Neill-Fraser’s memory for what I have identified to be the ctritcal 5 hour period: 4 pm - 9 pm; or the reliability of eye witness’ memory on what they saw on the afternoon of 26th when they went past the Four Winds yacht).
The above three points are what I have mainly commented on since April last year. Until then I will depend on what is reported in The Mercury. I trust the accuracy of reporter from The Mercury.
Irrelevant material was submitted by the defence team in April and then again recently! I wonder why.
There are times that I agree with SN-F supporters regardless of their name. I am a scientist not a politician or a lawyer or someone with a tunnel and biased vision or understanding.Posted by Dr Peter Lozo on 09/11/16 at 07:35 PM