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Media Watch -

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(generated from captions) and found not guilty. to work on his ranch. He is now free, and has returned and is living in Rio de Janeiro. Regivaldo has yet to face trial Sister Dorothy's murder, After a decline following is back to record levels. deforestation in the Amazon rate of over 20 square miles per day. Destruction currently occurs at a at the PDS Esperanca. Dorothy gave her life Esperanca means hope. And that's certainly very symbolic. As was the fact of her blood... running into the ground. was the fact of her blood that blood is a seed, And that's the hope, and her death is a hope and the name of the place is hope for the world. and that PDS is a hope And we believe that firmly. It has to work. THEME MUSIC Closed Captions by CSI .

This program is not subtitled CC THEME MUSIC This is Pig, dugongs in captivation worldwide... now there are only five of these is this - But the question we're all asking in captivation or not, can Pig the Dugong, give us swine flu? I'm Jonathan Holmes. Welcome to Media Watch. warned last Tuesday: Sydney's Daily Telegraph Well, as it turned out, it hadn't. Not yet, at least.

was ramping up the hysteria: The same day, the Illawarra Mercury Well, no... Has Al Qaida arrived in Wollongong? the Control Centre staff. ...while another pig examines

swine flu, But if you're serious about you gotta wear a face mask... whatever else you wear, from the middle of the action, Of course, even if you're reporting on camera - you don't actually wear a face mask you might look silly. round your neck, So you kind of hang it in case you see a flu virus coming... here in Mexico City, It's the middle of the night is eerily quiet but even so the metropolis on the streets... there's hardly anybody out normally teeming with people, ..and here in the main square, it's near empty... well, as you can see, today, But for sheer drama, wonderful live interview it was hard to beat Tracy Grimshaw's in New Zealand. with a quarantined family outside the window there OK, so we've got our sound recordist at you, with his microphone sticking up about four metres away, our cameraman is everyone's wearing face masks,

that you find yourselves in, it's an extraordinary situation

but, uh... I know it's a serious one, ..but it makes terrific pictures. Fortunately there's not much sign

are panicking, that normal Australians despite the media's best efforts. to something completely different - And now, as they say, and a good deal more complicated. FOUR CORNERS THEME MUSIC the ABC's Four Corners aired a report In April last year, a coveted Walkley Award. that went on to win for many reasons, the conviction 'The Newman Case' argued that, Phuong Ngo of Vietnamese-Australian businessman State MP John Newman was unsafe. for the 1994 murder of NSW Two months later came this news: the murder of NSW MP John Newman, 10 years after he was jailed for campaign to clear his name. Phuong Ngo has had a victory in the a judicial review of the case. The chief justice has announced the Four Corners program. That decision seemed to vindicate handed down his report two weeks ago, But when former judge David Patten Phuong Ngo's conviction should stand. he found, emphatically, that into the Four Corners program, He was not inquiring and made no direct comment about it. John Hatzistergos was scathing: But NSW Attorney-General A declaration of interest.

Debbie Whitmont, Four Corners reporter and executive producer Sue Spencer, of mine, they are close friends. are not just long-term colleagues a member of a three-person panel And in September last year I was "The Newman Case" that unanimously selected for a Walkley Award. to be one of three finalists I declared my interest at the time. the final selection. A different panel of judges made In the past two weeks again at the Four Corners program. the Media Watch team has been looking three issues that concern us. And tonight we're raising

about the alleged murder weapon, First, Four Corners raised questions almost four years after the murder a rare Beretta pistol found in south-west Sydney. in the Georges River at Voyager Point Dr Ian MacLeod, A leading corrosion expert, the gun was far too badly rusted told Four Corners that for less than four years - to have been in the river as a result of further research. an opinion that he later changed But what police objected to was this: has spent 30 years DEBBIE WHITMONT: Ian MacLeod doing searches underwater. He found it surprising instructed to look near a pylon, that when police divers were they found the gun in 20 minutes. is to go in DR IAN MACLEOD: All I can say of getting into the water and find a gun within 20 minutes is extraordinarily lucky. that he thought Dr MacLeod went on to hint been planted in the river - a pre-corroded gun might have a serious allegation. two pieces of evidence The only way in which these can stand together the gun had been deposited is that someone knew exactly where previously been corroded. and that it was a gun that had was the police find? But how 'extraordinarily lucky' The police point out searching under the footbridge that the divers had already been on the previous day. for at least an hour to search near a pylon. Nobody instructed the divers Senior Constable Ian McNab, They were briefed by then Detective who tells Media Watch: That information was available the Phuong Ngo trials. in transcripts of they responded: When we put it to Four Corners, I'd have thought. That's for the viewer to judge, the river at Voyager Point anyway, But why were the police searching nearly four years after the murder? the murder scene in Cabramatta. After all, it's over 8km from explained to Four Corners... Well, because, as the prosecutor the shooting of John Newman, MARK TEDESCHI: ..immediately after could be traced the movement of Phuong Ngo's phone going down Newbridge Road, Heathcote Road, to the Voyager Point area. Four Corners made a big point of questioning this mobile phone evidence.

It interviewed a telecommunications expert, Professor Reg Coutts: It does concern me that too much is made of too little, that really the way the evidence is presented

and not actually challenged is that it is potentially misleading. Four Corners explained: Phuong Ngo denied going anywhere near the river He said sometime after 9:30, the time of the murder, he delivered a press release to a Vietnamese newspaper But at his trial, Telstra records from calls to his car phone made Phuong Ngo's story seem impossible. About 20 minutes after the murder, one of Phuong Ngo's calls was picked up by a phone tower antenna designed to cover an arc - here coloured green - which included the river. But Phuong Ngo claimed he could only have made the call from the other side of the tower near the Vietnamese newspaper.

But Assistant Commissioner Nick Kaldas, who led the police investigative team, told Media Watch that Phuong Ngo: Well, in our view, both those statements are misleading. Phuong Ngo didn't give evidence at his third trial, the one that convicted him. But at his second trial - and again at the judicial inquiry - he admitted that that night he had travelled down Heathcote Road, missed the turn off on the left he'd intended to take, and done a U-turn at Walder Road, within range of the green arc in the Four Corners graphic. And that, he said, was where he probably made the phone call. Though the transcript of the second trial was available to Four Corners, it didn't tell the viewer, or ask Professor Coutts, about this evidence. Coutts learned of it only at the judicial inquiry. Walder Road is about 3km from the newspaper office where Phuong Ngo claimed he was going. On the other hand, it's even further from the footbridge at Voyager Point - what Mr Kaldas calls "the scene of the location of the weapon". In any case, according to the judicial inquiry's report, Phuong Ngo's admission that he was on Walder Road at the relevant time made Professor Coutts's evidence irrelevant. Four Corners says they didn't mention it because it wasn't put before the jury in the third trial. But the viewer - and experts like Professor Coutts - are surely entitled to crucial information, whenever it emerged.

There's a similar problem with the alleged confession of Fairfield councillor Albert Ranse. And you can categorically say you had nothing to do with it? Yeah, sure. Absolutely. Four Corners questioned

the way the police presented evidence about Albert Ranse in court. Ranse was drawn into the Newman case mainly as a result of an allegation by migration agent Marion Le. She is a friend of Phuong Ngo's, and a passionate believer in his innocence. In 1999 Marion Le secretly recorded hours of conversations with Albert Ranse in her car. She claimed he'd told her earlier that he killed John Newman. She was trying to get him to repeat the confession on tape. He didn't do that, but he did say this: Four Corners raised the fact that the police didn't reveal to the defence the record of one of three interviews they conducted with Ranse. The police say that Four Corners didn't reveal to its viewers some crucial facts that caused them to rule out Ranse's involvement.

Four Corners told us they were well aware of that, but that: Maybe so. But if viewers were to be shown Albert Ranse's secretly-taped rambling, didn't they have a right to know something as relevant as that? 'The Newman Case' was the kind of arduous investigation that few media organisations have the resources to undertake. And I think it's important that journalists should at times re-examine the work of the courts. In this case Mr Patten said: The Four Corners team argues that that doesn't in itself invalidate its program, as it wrote last Saturday to the Sydney Morning Herald: But at the heart of investigative programs like this one are innumerable decisions about what to leave in, and what to leave out - decisions that have to strive for fairness. I don't pretend they're easy. But I have to say, in the instances we've singled out, that in my opinion Four Corners' judgments don't stack up. For full responses from Four Corners, the police, and much more, visit our website. A rather sombre 20th anniversary program, I'm afraid. But there'll be plenty of laughs on Thursday night in our celebratory doco, 20 Years of Media Watch - Stuff Ups, Beat-ups and Barneys. Watch that, and join me again next Monday. (GENTLE MUSIC) To get Freeview with more channels, you'll need a high definition set-top box or digital TV. If you don't have one, see your nearest retailer for Freeview-endorsed products. If you do have one, you're ready to go. SONG: # The world still astounds you # Each time you look at a star... # Freeview - more for free. This Program is Captioned


Good evening. Green groups

say the Prime Minister has

given in to industry lobbying

by delaying the Emission

Trading Scheme. The

Government's now pushing for a

2011 start which falls after

the next election. It's

changed and price of carbon

emissions from $40 a tonne to

$10. It will aim for more

ambitious cuts as long as the

rest of the world follows suit.

Talk of a recession continues

to be reflected in the latest

economic figures. Capital city house prices plummeted more

than 7% for the year to March,

despite low interest rates.

They're set to slide further

when the first home buyers'

grant ends in June. A Sydney

man faces up to 25 years in a

Thai jail after pleading guilty

to drug trafficking. Andrew

Hood was caught at Bangkok

International Airport last

December, allegedly with three kilogrammes of heroin strapped

to his body. And a restaurant

delicacy has joined and

front-line of an ecological

battle. More than 600 rock

lobsters have been let loose.

Their job is to feast on a sea

urchin killing off marine

habitat.more news in 'Lateline'

at 10:30.

Neither do I. OK, as long as that's clear. Very clear. Want to do it again? I have to get to work. Let me make you breakfast. OK. Oh, shit, no, I have to go. Look, I'll, um, I'll call you, though. OK. Any sign yet? Still waiting for the flight to come in. Where have you been anyway? Wes's housemaster called. Wanted me to go down to the school. In the middle of the night? He's homesick. He needed to see his dad. Plus, I knew you'd have it covered. Looks like our target. Must be in the holdall.