DUGGAN STANDS DOWN – Tuesday July 23 2013

– The ACT government is expected to appoint a new head to the probe into David Harold Eastman’s 1995 murder conviction within days.
The replacement will take over from previous head, acting Justice Kevin Duggan, after he disqualified himself from the inquiry at a special hearing on Monday.
Justice Duggan told the court he recently viewed documents, subpoenaed by the inquiry, relating to inquiries into the alleged involvement of Italian organised crime in the 1989 murder of Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner Colin Winchester. The judge said the documents contained a reference to a person he had previously acted for as counsel on three occasions.
“I had no inkling before that discovery that there was a reference to [my former client] in the document…or that he would have any connection with this inquiry,” he said.
“In my view this fact, coupled with the context in which the man’s name is mentioned and the fact that evidence will be led as to the activities of various people mentioned in the police material, led to the conclusion that it would be inappropriate for me to preside over the inquiry.”
But Justice Duggan said his withdrawal would not affect the scheduled inquiry start date in November.
ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell said the judge had notified the government of his decision late last week and the search for a replacement had already begun – Michael Inman


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

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