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Brutality allegations investigated



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Issued by:-

The Minister for the Interior

. BRUTALITY ALLEGATIONS INVESTIGATED '

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The Government will take no further action on

allegations made by Mr. Rex John Beaver that Northern

Territory Police Officers had assaulted * two- Aborigines

who had been taken into custody at Gove on June 22.

In announcing this today, the Minister."for .

the Interior, Mr. Peter Nixon, said that a full inquiry

had been carried out by a senior officer of the Northern

Territory Police. .

(Mr. Beaver was a security officer employed at .

Gove by a private company on June 22). - .. ■

’ ‘ "In the course of the full enquiry, signed statements

have been given by sixteen people who were either involved in

the incident or had some knowledge of events which, were ·

related to this matter", Mr. Nixon said. . -

. . . · , "The Police Officers stationed at Gove, the

Aborigines concerned in the allegation's, security officers

employed in t h e Gove area, members of the Methodist. Mission -

at Yirrkala, and. other Aborigines who lived .at Yirrkala have ■

given statements-to"; the investigating . off iceN r, " · ,

’ "Following an examination of these- statements^, the ■ "

Crown, Law authorities consider that *here . is no evidence to . ^ _ - ' ' Γ " . ' '·

suppor't the specific allegations;made' by Mr. Beaver that the

Aboriginal person known as Les Wilson was punched while

outside the-Police Station'and was involved, in a 'scuffle

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inside the Police Station, and that the other Aboriginal

person concerned, Johnnie Munggali, was punched by police

outside the Police Station. The Crown -Jbaw .authorities

also, advise that they are satisfied that -the inquiries . '

had revealed all the relevant evidence in the matter."

"legal advice also haS been given to the effect

that the statement made by Mr. Beaver containing his '

allegations was not a Statutory Declaration within the

meaning of either the Commonwealth Statutory Declaration3

Act 1 959 or the New South Wales Oaths Act 1900-1962." '

Mr. Nixon said that he had been informed by the

Administrator of the Northern Territory that press reports

indicate that Mr. Beaver was considering the possibility

of initiating some legal action against the police officers

concerned. . -

It would not be appropriate to release any further

details from the report of the investigating officer until

the question of possible legal.proceedings had been determined.

CANBERRA/DARWIN

AUGUST 28, 1970.

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