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Judge's blood sample missing -

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Judge's blood sample missing

Reporter: Adrian Raschella

TONY JONES: Well, the NSW State Opposition is furious over what it says is one of the biggest legal
bungles in the state's history.

A blood sample taken from Supreme Court Judge and former state Labor Attorney-General Jeff Shaw
after a car accident has gone missing.

The Opposition has also questioned the timing of the announcement on a day when most of the media
and public were focused on the Melbourne Cup.

Adrian Raschella reports.

ADRIAN RASCHELLA: Deputy Police Commissioner Dave Madden delivered the astounding news.

DAVID MADDEN, NSW DEPUTY POLICE COMMISSIONER: I can now advise that that blood sample was not
received, I repeat - not received at Traffics Services Group.

ADRIAN RASCHELLA: The blood was from Justice Jeff Shaw, who crashed his car near his Birchgrove
home last month.

He was taken to RPA Hospital for a head injury and gave a mandatory blood sample.

The samples have to be placed in a sealed box, which is picked up by police.

The doctor who treated Justice Shaw says he clearly remembers placing the sample in the police

DAVID MADDEN: At this stage I can't rule out that the sample was not placed in the box, nor can I
rule out that it was placed in the box and did not, for whatever reason, arrive at the blood
sampling unit.

ANDREW TINK, NSW SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL: It's one of the biggest bungles I've ever seen in my life
in the administration of the laws of New South Wales.

ADRIAN RASCHELLA: The Deputy Commissioner says police have known since Friday that the blood sample
was missing but the Opposition has questioned the timing of today's announcement.

DAVID MADDEN: Why is it today that an hour before the Melbourne Cup's run, that the Deputy Police
Commissioner is sent out to make an announcement?

Where's the Police Minister?

ADRIAN RASCHELLA: John Watkins was unavailable today.

His spokeswoman said he's extremely concerned but confident the police can handle the situation.

That's not good enough for the Opposition - it's demanding the Chief Justice, ICAC and Police
Integrity Commission form an urgent inquiry or risk public confidence in the legal system.

Police take 20,000 blood samples every year, and say it's extremely rare for one to go missing.

DAVID MADDEN: Yes, it is embarrassing in the sense that there are so many of these dealt with that
this particular one involving such a high-profile member of the legal profession should be the one
that in fact goes missing.

ADRIAN RASCHELLA: Justice Shaw, who was Attorney-General for five years under Bob Carr, has a
second sample of blood taken that night.

While police will encourage him to hand it over, Deputy Commissioner Madden says he has no legal
nor moral obligation to comply.

Late today, the Supreme Court announced Justice Shaw is now on sick leave and he's acknowledged
that he has a medical problem and is having treatment.

Adrian Raschella, Lateline.