Update on Lex Wotton

Lex Wotton was jailed for seven years for leading community resistance to the police murder of Mulrunji on Palm Island in November 2004.His response was spontaneous as he was due to leave the island on the afternoon of 26 November 2004. That day the first coroner’s verdict was handed down. It claimed that Mulrunji died as a result of a fall at the entry to the Palm Island Watchouse on 19 November 2004. When he heard the report Lex cried out in the council square on Palms “Common people we can’t accept this!”

Lex was charged with riot. It took so long for Lex to go to trial that his sentence does not run out until January 2013.

Lex is now out on parole.

Under the terms of his parole if Lex goes into a place where there are poker machines he will be put back in jail. Lex does not gamble, drink or smoke.  If Lex speaks to the media he will be put back in jail. Or so the parole conditions stipulate.

Prior to Lex Wotton’s trial Chief Justice de Jersey pronounced Lex guilty. I read his speech in court – it was shameful to judge a man before his trial. De Jersey should have been sacked there and then by the Attorney General.

I sat through Lex’s trial.

Lex was not tried by his peers. Lex faced an non-indigenous jury.

His lawyers were not given right of reply to the prosecution case at the end of evidence.

Lex spent time in Stuart Creek Prison near Townsville working in the laundry where conditions are unhygenic and breach occupational health & safety regulations. The inmates wash the linen from Townsville hospital. The linen contains body parts, excrement and human fluids. No protective clothing or training is given to the laundry workers in Stuart Prison.

Lex Wotton should be released from his parole conditons and pardoned.

Lex stood up for his community and will have paid the price of 8 long years campaigning for justice when his jail sentence finally ends. There has been constant threat of incarceration during those years. It has disrupted the life of his family and scarred his children to see their father tasered, handcuffed, tried and put in jail for a crime he did not commit. His children were threatened at gun point by masked unidentified police.

All this has put an enormous strain on Lex and his family.

Lex should be free.

Ian Curr
3 May 2011

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