• SATURDAY: Andrew Wilkie challenged Brian Wightman and Lara Giddings to call an immediate Commission of Inquiry in front of a large concerned crowd of 300 people at the protest for Sue Neill Fraser today. Andrew Wilkie said no-one should be convicted when there is any doubt, and said many Tasmanians had expressed their concern to him.
The Coroner has released his report into the death of Bob Chappell, but we are no closer to a resolution in the Sue Neill-Fraser matter.
As the Coroner himself says repeatedly in the report, the Coroners Act does not allow him to make a finding contrary to the decision of an associated criminal trial.
Moreover he states quite clearly that he was presented with evidence that is not within his jurisdiction. As such he suggested that such evidence is more appropriately raised in an appeal of the conviction rather than in connection with the inquest.
Everyone who reads the report should be careful to take the comments in context and appreciate the limitations imposed on the Coroner by law.
I have no view on Sue Neill-Fraser’s guilt or innocence. But I do know that many members of the community have concerns about this matter. Their confidence in the justice system would be restored if the Government was to organise a Commission of Inquiry to revisit it and to deal with the still unanswered questions about Bob Chappell’s disappearance.