Friday, 25 July 2008

New probe called into police brutality claims

The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) has confirmed it has started a new investigation in relation to its 2005 inquiry into alleged police brutality in southern New South Wales.

Operation Whistler investigated the role of Wagga Wagga Police in the arrest of Allan Hathaway in 2003 and recommended the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) consider charges against three officers, one an Inspector.

Senior Constable Chris Jackson was arrested and accused of bashing Mr Hathaway in the face with a police baton, but he was acquitted of serious assault charges in May.

The officer remains suspended on pay until Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione decides his future.

A spokesman for the PIC says the new investigation has come about because of issues the commission's Inspector, PJ Moss QC, has raised in his annual report, which comments on complaints made to the PIC about Operation Whistler.

Inspector Moss's report mentions the Whistler complaints have been sent to the Joint Parliamentary Committee, which also oversees the PIC, for its response.

The PIC says a report on the latest inquiry will be referred to State Parliament by the end of this year and will be released publicly.

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