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Crime File: The Alleged Canberra Cop Killer

‘I am fairly certain that the applicant is guilty of the murder of the deceased, but a nagging doubt remains,’ Chief Justice Brian Martin said in court in 2018 as he quashed the conviction of David Eastman over the 1989 murder of Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner Colin Winchester, after a long running independent inquiry.

‘The verdict was reached in circumstances where significant material was not disclosed by the prosecution, critical evidence was seriously flawed and evidence of a threat to kill was not properly tested’, Justice Martin said in the 477-page report. On the strength of it, Eastman was released immediately after 19 years in jail. Most people, including police, believe he should be left there to rot. You make up your own minds.

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John Stanley
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