In a cynical move before Christmas, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) released a media statement on 14 December 2006 to say the death of Mulrunji was an accident. Leanne Claire fails to explain why she adopted this view except to say her legal responsibilities are different to those of the coroner. Coroner Clements found that Snr Sgt Hurley was responsible for Mulrunji’s death.
In her 32 line statement to the media the DPP makes no mention of why Mulrunji was left to die unaided in his cell while police heard Mulrunji’s death throes on the video monitoring system.
In October 2006, the coroner made the following observations:
“There is clear evidence that this must have been able to be heard from the police station dayroom where the monitor was running.
Indeed the timing of Senior Sergeant Hurley’s visit to the cell suggests that the sounds were heard.
But the response was completely inadequate and offered no proper review of Mulrunji’s condition or call for medical attention.” (See page 26 of “Finding of Inquest”).
Yet the DPP says that her investigation is not based on the evidence. She implies that an aboriginal witness was unreliable. However the DPP makes no mention of the way in which Snr Sgt Hurley changed his testimony when a second autopsy suggested that his earlier version(s) were not plausible.
In fact no proper police investigations were made because of personal friendship between Hurley and the investigating police from Townsville CIB. No proper evidence was collected and aboriginal statements were ignored.
The coroner stated in her report:
“It was unwise and inappropriate for an officer serving on Palm Island, who was known to be a friend of Senior Sergeant Hurley to be involved in the investigation …
It was inappropriate for the officer most likely to be under investigation to be the person picking up the investigators from the airport.
It was a serious error of judgement for the investigating team, including officers from ethical standards, to be sharing a meal at the home of that officer that evening.”
The DPP stated in the 14th December 2006 media release that ‘Mr Doomadgee died from internal injuries caused by a crushing force to the front of his abdomen.’
How can a man sustain injuries of four broken ribs, a ruptured portal vein and a ‘liver cleaved in two’ from an innocent fall ? How can a man die from tripping over steps? The DPP has made no explanation except to say:
“It is clear both Mulrunji and Sergeant Hurley fell together through the open door at the police station and this fall is the only explanation for his death.”
What about the other explanations given by witnesses that Hurley punched Mulrunji?
No rational explanation from Premier for DPP decision
Beattie cannot be believed
Here are just a few comments from more than 80 people who endorsed the Mulrunji letter to the Premier:
I fully support the above letter – it’s time to see the human rights of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander …
I endorse this letter. Are we going to have a state government that embodies truth, justice and honesty or hypocrisy, …
The lack of transparency, accountability and honesty about Mulrunji’s death reveal a shocking revelation that equality, democracy and justice are …
I fully support this letter too
I fully support this message
another government lie we will follow due process? why is it such a fight to get the govenment to do the right thing…
In 1956 Michael Jorgensen was taken into police custody in Mt Isa. ‘Jorgie’, as he was known, was put in …(another death in custody)
I am an Australian Muslim and I would like to say that when we invited the Police Minister for “Iftar” … (told police minister that the muslim community would be looking at what the government does about Mulrunji)
I endorse this letter.
I really feel that your government’s failure to deal with this matter smacks of racism as aboriginal people are gaoled …
Dear Premier, Justice delayed is justice denied. Please ensure that the DPP is considering the decision about laying charges over the …
This letter raises matters of justice which should not be delayed nor denied. The rule of law is only upheld …
Despite these accusations of bias against his government, Premier Beattie still claims the contrary.