STORY: "Inquiry into David Eastman' conviction for Colin Winchester's murder is winding up," by Jack Waterford, Editor-at-large  of the Canberra Times, on March 26, 2014.

GIST: "Making any sort of forecast of the outcome is made even more difficult by the fact that the inquiry will soon move into secret session, in which Eastman and his legal team are not allowed to be represented. They and the public will be allowed to know only what, if anything, Martin chooses to tell them. Martin sees nothing particularly strange about such a procedure. ''There are plenty of examples of judges making decisions when public interest immunity is claimed, the judge sees information, relies on it but cannot tell the parties about it,'' he remarked on Friday.........The inquiry has heard much evidence criticising the investigation, harassment of Eastman and suggestions of efforts to bait him in the hope that he might do something that was conclusive proof of guilt. There has been minute examination of the forensic evidence, with doubt cast on the personality, qualifications, scientific method and conclusions of the main witness. The judge has been interested in whether police told prosecutors all they should know about their case, and whether the DPP fulfilled the obligation to disclose material to Eastman. He has also foreshadowed criticism of the trial judge, Ken Carruthers, over his possession of psychiatric reports on Eastman at a time when he (the judge) seemed to believe that Eastman was just faking mental illness in an effort to force the trial to abort. Martin has much to criticise, and his record, and his behaviour, suggests he will not shrink from it. But it is harder to judge just where he will end up in part because of procedures adopted rather than forced on the inquiry. Spectators have only a limited idea of what is occurring. Judge and counsel mostly speak in shorthand, and make reference to statements, transcripts and exhibits on computer screens. All counsel can see them, but they are unreadable from the public gallery.The pace is glacial. Transcripts, on a good day, are available to the public on the night of the day after. No doubt justice is being done, but, despite the millions spent on lawyers, and $100,000 spent on what was said to be a purpose-built hearing room, it is scarcely being seen or heard to be done."

The entire story can be found at: