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Qld Government must get moving on investigating the investigators while Mulrunji manslaughter charge runs its course.

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SENATOR ANDREW BARTLETT Queensland Democrat Senator

QLD GOVERNMENT MUST GET MOVING ON INVESTIGATING THE INVESTIGATORS WHILE MULRUNJI MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE RUNS ITS COURSE Queensland Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett says that the manslaughter charge against the police officer allegedly involved in the death of Mulrunji on Palm Island should be allowed to run its course in whatever way ensure the fairest trial.

"But the Beattie government should not use this case as an excuse to delay their promised investigation into the highly flawed and widely criticised original police investigation into the death," Senator Bartlett said.

"Whilst recent attention and criticism has focused on the decision by the Director of Public Prosecution to pronounce the death an accident and to not lay charges, we must not forget the serious flaws identified in the original police investigation.

"I agree with the Member for Townsville and Parliamentary Speaker, Mike Reynolds, that the government should not delay its inquiry into the police investigative procedures that occurred in the hours following Mulrunji's death.

"The promise was made in November to investigate the investigators, and that is what should happen.

"There have clearly been a number of breaches of key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody. If they are not promptly examined, acknowledged and remedied, we are making it very likely that a similar tragedy will occur,” Senator Bartlett concluded.

Royal Commission recommendations which appear to have been breached or not implemented include:

• Investigating officers must be independent from police officers they are investigating, • Non-custodial facilities for the care and treatment of intoxicated persons be established, • The use of offensive language towards police should not be a reason for arrest, • Arrest and imprisonment should be a last resort, • That police owe a duty of care to people in custody.

Media contact - Tracee McPate - 0417 607 655

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Media Statement Wednesday 31 January 2007