Sunday, June 21, 2020

Robert Xie: Sydney, Australia. Andrew L Urban (author, journalist, blogger, and a keen observer of Australia's criminal justice system) reports that Xie's appeal against five 2017 murder convictions in relation to the deaths of members of his wife's family - loaded with complex DNA related issues- is about to begin. (Monday June 22)..."Whatever the outcome of the appeal, it is destined to be a historic legal milestone – and we will be reporting on the proceedings."

GIST:  "Chief Justice of NSW Tom Bathurst QC will be one of the judges (along with Justices Hulme and Beech-Jones) to hear the appeal by Lian Bin (Robert) Xie against his five 2017 murder convictions, starting on Monday, June 22, 2020, in the spacious Banco Court of the Law Courts Building in Queens Square, Sydney. The convictions, we believe, are collectively unsafe; see below. Whatever the outcome of the appeal, it is destined to be a historic legal milestone – and we will be reporting on the proceedings. 
In our earlier report on this case, we argued that there was no direct evidence that Robert Xie viciously murdered five members of his wife’s family in 2009, nor any credible circumstantial evidence. This was based on the information in the public domain and subsequent enquiries, including with several participants in the proceedings.
Extracts from the timeline of the case: May 5, 2011
Robert Xie is arrested and charged with five counts of murder. Police tell the media that he emerged as their prime suspect about six months after the killings. Xie is held on remand. It’s almost two years since the murders.
April 5, 2012
Justice Derek Price denies Xie bail, but acknowledges a jury may find there is not enough evidence to convict Xie.
August 20, 2012
Xie faces a committal hearing in Central Local Court.
December 19, 2012
Xie is committed to stand trial for the murders, and his lawyer again applies for bail.
December 20, 2012
Xie is granted bail by local court magistrate John Andrews, who says the Crown case is not strong.
Andrews had noted that the prosecution had described the murder of Xie’s brother-in-law, Min ”Norman” Lin and four members of his family, bludgeoned and strangled in their beds, as a crime of extreme violence and personal hatred but was unable to establish a clear motive for the crimes.
”It was effectively conceded by the prosecutor that there was no evidence of motive. On the contrary, the evidence indicates a very close relationship between the families.”
He also noted that there were weaknesses in the DNA evidence from what may have been a spot of blood found on Xie’s garage floor.
The prosecution said it contained a mix of at least three different kinds of blood, at least one of which had virtually identical characteristics to one of the victims.
But the court has heard that the female DNA contained within the sample may not have matched the two female victims of the murders.
”There is no doubt that the total exclusion of Lily [Lin] and Irene [Lin] as major contributors puts the prosecution case based on DNA evidence in a different light, and makes it a weaker prosecution case,” Andrews had said.
The Crown prosecutor, Mark Tedeschi, conceded that the prosecution case ”may not be an overwhelming one.""
The entire post can be read at: 

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic"  section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:  Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;
FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;