Mulrunji’s new inquest

Debate between lawyers in the pre-hearing conference went on in hushed tones.

Before I knew it, my ageing diary was full. Andrew Boe stepped back from the bar table.

A gaggle of fifteen or more clerks, journos and lawyers filed out of the pre-hearing of Mulrunji’s third inquest.

Two hours had passed.

Boe had been there at the second inquest and most proceedings since. He knows all about ‘due process’.

Hurley’s lawyer Steve Zillman and police union boss, Dennis Fitzpatrick, were sitting beside each other at the bar table.

Coroner Brian Hine showed little expression. When he did, it seemed to say ‘what a thankless task this is’.

Two issues remain unresolved from the morning’s work.

Lawyers discussed whether similar conduct in the manner of arresting people could be admitted into a coronial inquest. There was much discussion of a long-awaited CMC investigation into Mulrunji’s death.

Can a third inquest lead to justice?

If not, will the parliament act?

If the parliament refuses, what will bring justice for Mulrunji?

When the courts and parliament have failed, are we are back on the streets singing that familiar refrain:

“No More Black Deaths in Custody”?

Ian Curr
February 2010

References
Conference held today ahead of new Mulrunji inquest on National Indigenous Radio – Friday, 19 February 2010 12:54

Second Inquest  into the death of Mulrunji

Black Deaths in Custody — what have Australian governments ever done?

CMC report savages police over handling of Mulrunji death

Mulrunji’s third inquest

Posted on by Workers http://solidgoldcreativity.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/palmwindow_wideweb__430x337.jpg?w=258&h=337&h=202

“Steve Zillman (Hurley’s lawyer) stood up and asked for a brief meeting with his client.

The rest of us sat waiting in the courtroom, suspended in the moment that Hurley reversed thirty metres to arrest (Mulrunji).

One man had seen a black drunk, the other a white demon.”— from the description of Hurley’s trial in ‘The Tall Man’ by Chloe Hooper

Two important issues of evidence were raised at the third inquest into Mulrunji’s death today.

  • Interviews of Hurley by the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC)
  • Similar conduct by Hurley during previous arrests

Debate between lawyers in the pre-hearing conference went on for nearly one and a half hours about admissibility of evidence. The two issues remain unresolved.

Lawyer discussed whether similar conduct in the manner of arresting people could be admitted into a coronial inquest.

Mulrunji’s third inquest will begin on 8th March 2010 on Palm Island where the fatal incident occurred.

There was even more discussion of a long-awaited CMC report into events that caused Mulrunji’s death.

A question remains whether a third inquest can lead to justice.

If justice cannot be obtained in the legal system will the parliament act?

And if the parliament refuses to act what form of organisation is necessary?

We are back on the streets singing that familiar refrain:

“Is it lawful for a police officer to kill an Aboriginal person in Queensland?”

Ian Curr
February 2010

References

Conference held today ahead of new Mulrunji inquest on National Indigenous Radio – Friday, 19 February 2010 12:54

Second Inquest  into the death of Mulrunji

2 responses to “Mulrunji’s new inquest

  1. URGENT MURRI COMMUNITY NOTICE

    RALLY AT PARLIAMENT HOUSE

    AT 11AM ON THURSDAY 11TH OF MARCH 2010

    STOP ABORIGINAL DEATHS IN CUSTODY

    ANOTHER YOUNG ABORIGINAL MAN HAS DIED IN CUSTODY IN A BRISBANE JAIL

    ANOTHER ABORIGINAL FAMILY HAS BURIED A SON

    THIS IS ANOTHER DEATH THAT SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED

    THIS YOUNG MAN ASKED FOR MEDICAL HELP BUT HE WAS REFUSED

    HE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN A JAIL

    DEMAND THAT THE PRISON SUPERINTENDANT BE SACKED

    DEMAND AN URGENT CORONIAL INQUEST IN THIS DEATH

    DEMAND THAT THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE BE CHARGED

    NO MORE DEATHS IN CUSTODY

    COME TO THE RALLY AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

    ( CONTACT SAM WATSON, REVERAND ALEX GATOR )

    ( MOBILE – 0401 227 443 )

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  2. Hearing Dates for Mulrunji's Inquest

    Further hearing scheduled for 26/02/2010 at 9.30am in Court 17 at Brisbane for the purposes of coroner deliver decision about access to documents.

    Further pre-inquest conference scheduled for 03/03/2010 at 9.30am in Court 17 at Brisbane.

    Inquest scheduled for 08-09/03/2010 at 9.30am at Palm Island.

    10-12/03/2010 (15-16/03/2010 standby days) at 9.30am in Supreme Court 2 in Townsville.

    from http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/Coroners_Court/OngoingInquestsMonthlyReport.pdf

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