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Wednesday, 4 December 1985
Page: 2899

Senator PETER BAUME —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Attorney-General. I refer the Minister to the comment by the Leader of the Government in the Senate last week which, in effect, criticised the Premier of New South Wales, Mr Wran, for publicly asserting the innocence of Mr Justice Lionel Murphy, who is now awaiting retrial. Those comments were a clear and deliberate attempt to influence the course of justice. I refer also to the Minister's admission this week, in response to a question from Senator Durack, that he did not know whether the Government was considering action against Mr Wran. Does the Minister yet know? Has he read Press reports that the Director of Public Prosecutions is undertaking investigations into Mr Wran's remarks? When does the Government expect to receive advice from Mr Temby on the nature of the action he will be taking or recommending, in keeping with the proper conventions, against Mr Wran?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I have been advised by the Attorney-General that he in turn has been advised by the Director of Public Prosecutions that he is considering, as is his statutory duty to do, the remarks made by Premier Wran. I have no advice or information as to when that response will be received from the Director of Public Prosecutions. I make the point, as I did yesterday in answer to a question from Senator Puplick, that the Director of Public Prosecutions is an independent officer who exercises with robust independence all the functions that are part of his role.