It is apparent that the authorities* knew that Snr Sgt Hurley killed Mulrunji.
For if they did not know why did they withhold so much information that showed that Hurley is guilty. For example they witheld 66 audio tapes of interviews (incld. with Hurley and police witnesses) collected by the CMC
The authorities (police and their ministers) have defended Hurley throughout to make continued control of Palm Island possible and, more generally, for the government to maintain control of indigenous affairs. The government does this in order that those police who are not guilty will continue to work in remote areas. They have valued Mulrunji’s life as expendable.
It is ironic that in the legal system a coroner can find Hurley responsible for Mulrunji’s death but a jury can acquit. Hurley received a fair trial while Aboriginal people involved in the disturbance on Palm Island did not. Lex Wotton remains behind bars.
Companies of Death
It is equally likely that authorities know about the neglect of aboriginal prisoners at the Arthur Gorrie Prison.
Once again they are distancing themselves from it by saying it is a privately run facility. The outsourcing of prisons is another method of escaping liability. This is done because the state does not delegate its duty of care to private companies like the one that runs Arthur Gorrie — GEO (formerly ACM). This is a nortorious company which had a hand in the illegal detention of children of refugees during the Howard years.
Another example of this is a private security company G4S (these companies love impenetrable neumonics like ACM, GEO, G4S but they all mean Abu Ghraib Prison) in October 2009 began a five-year contract, despite the West Australian coroner finding it had contributed to the ”wholly unnecessary and avoidable” death of a 46-year-old Aboriginal man in its custody in January 2008. Yet the Victorian government gave a multimillion-dollar prison transport contract to the same company (G4S) in Victoria — see http://www.theage.com.au/national/uproar-over-new-prison-contract-20091003-ghbp.html ]
So few media reports like this one have focussed on this ongoing cause of death in custody.
* authotities = senior police, senior government ministers, senior counsel for police and police union, senior media editors, senior medical officers, coroners, senior counsel involved in trials and inquests, senior judges.
Two Train Singers