– Former Victorian detective Paul Dale has been found not guilty on 12 counts of giving false or misleading evidence to the Australian Crime Commission.
A Supreme Court jury had deliberated since Wednesday after a four-week trial, which heard of Mr Dale’s links with slain underworld kingpin Carl Williams.
Mr Dale smiled at his wife Ditty as he walked from the dock. He sobbed as he hug his wife and his mother.
Mr Dale had pleaded not guilty to 12 charges of lying to the commission in examinations in March 2007 and November 2008 and to one charge of discussing the examination with another person.
The former Drug Squad detective was ordered to stand trial in November 2011.
He was alleged to have lied by staying that his only contact with the gangland figure was in a professional capacity twice in 2003, in addition to a chance meeting.
He was also accused of having an ongoing secret relationship with the underworld killer, which included Mr Dale disclosing confidential police information for cash.
The charges can partly be traced back to a burglary Dale allegedly planned with career criminal Terence Hodson and another policeman, Detective Senior Constable David Miechel.
The trio allegedly intended to steal millions of dollars worth of drugs from an East Oakleigh house. Miechel was caught in the act and all were charged over the burglary.
But, in 2004, the charges against Mr Dale were withdrawn after Hodson – who had become a prosecution witness – and his wife, Christine, were shot dead in their Kew home.
Mr Dale was then charged with Hodson’s execution murder, and Williams – who was murdered in jail in 2010 – later claimed in statements to police that Dale had paid him to organise the killing. Williams claimed that the gunman who killed the Hodsons was career criminal Rodney Collins.
The murder charges against Dale and Collins were withdrawn in June 2010 after Williams was bashed to death by fellow inmate Matthew Johnson.
Mr Dale told the crime commission examiners he had met Williams only twice, in 2003 as part of his bid to be a “top-notch detective” in the Major Drug Investigation Division.
He said: “The intention was to see whether we could get any information from Carl Williams, but it didn’t pan out that way so it didn’t go any further.”
Mr Dale had denied providing Williams with details of confidential police investigations or receiving money from him in return.
The Crown case partly relied on a recording secretly made by barrister Nicola Gobbo in 2008, in which Mr Dale allegedly admitted to a secret relationship with Williams.
In the recordings, part if which were played to the jury, Mr Dale is heard telling Ms Gobbo – described as his friend and confidante – that Williams had clearly made in-depth statements against him, based on the questions put to him by the crime commission.
Carl Williams’ father, George, testified that his son and Dale had met several times at various places in Melbourne, including a public pool at Keilor.
Defence barrister Geoffrey Steward told the jury Dale could have told the commission he was an al-Qaeda terrorist, involved in The Great Bookie Robbery or had played a part in Schapelle Corby’s drug trafficking without any legal repercussions.
“Paul Dale had no reason to lie,” Mr Steward said. “He was told he could not be prosecuted about anything he said unless he told lies.” – Dan Oakes & Adam Carey


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This entry was posted in Break-and-Enter and Burglary, Corruption and Misconduct, Drug Trafficking, Manufacturing and Dealing, Homicide, Organised Crime and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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