Saturday, August 31, 2013

Catch-up following seasonal break: Susan Neill-Fraser; Tasmania; Her lawyer is seeking a public inquiry; Cites new and fresh evidence about Robert Chappell's murder relating to the expert testimony and forensic evidence in the case; ABC News.

STORY: "QC calls for inquiry into Susan Neill-Fraser's conviction for murdering Bob Chappell," published by ABC News on August 17, 2013.

GIST: "Tasmania's Attorney General is being asked to hold a Commission of Inquiry into the murder conviction of Hobart woman, Susan Neill-Fraser. Neill-Fraser is serving a 23-year prison sentence for the murder of her partner Bob Chappell who was last seen on his yacht on the River Derwent on Australia Day four years ago. Barrister Robert Richter QC has written to Attorney-General Brian Wightman saying new and fresh information about Mr Chappell's murder raises doubt about Neill-Fraser's guilt. He is calling for an inquiry to report to the Government into the safety or otherwise of the conviction. Neil-Fraser's solicitor Barbara Etter says the murder investigation resulted in an entirely circumstantial case. Ms Etter says there was no body, no weapon, no plausible motive, no direct eyewitnesses, no admissions or confession and no forensic evidence linking Sue Neill-Fraser to the crime scene.  Ms Etter says a seven-page attachment to barrister Robert Richter’s letter to the Attorney-General outlines new and fresh evidence. She says his letter provides details of key witnesses and numerous documents, many subsequently obtained under Right to Information legislation, that were never drawn to the attention of the court. Ms Etter says the attachment also outlines various significant issues relating to the forensic science and expert evidence in the case. Issues outlined include photos of a dinghy shown to the jury and what they were told or not told, explanations and the state of some blood samples found in the yacht, and the possibility of false blood reaction results. Ms Etter believes there are issues with the forensic science including how it was used, leading the jury to believe there was blood in the yacht's dinghy."
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