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Ngo Case Review a Necessity

Convicted political assassin granted case review

PM - Friday, 6 June , 2008

Convicted political assassin granted case review

PM - Friday, 6 June , 2008 18:45:00

Reporter: Jayne Margetts

MARK COLVIN: The shooting murder of former Cabramatta MP John Newman in 1994 was the first assassination in Australia of an elected politician. Now the man found guilty of the crime is being given a chance of reversing his conviction. The Chief Justice of the New South Wales Supreme Court has announced a review of Phuong Ngo's conviction after questions were raised about some of the evidence against him. Jayne Margetts reports. JAYNE MARGETTS: He was sentenced to life in jail, his file marked never to be released. But after spending 10 years in a high security prison for the murder of former Cabramatta MP John Newman, Phuong Ngo is being thrown a lifeline. The New South Wales Supreme Court is reviewing his conviction. Emeritus Professor Don Greig at The Australian National University has welcomed the decision. DON GREIG: Well entirely favourable. It's just a pity that none of the so-called supervisory bodies to whom I made application on those behalf, the Police Integrity Commission, ICAC, the Ombudsman or even the Attorney in New South Wales, were prepared to do anything about it and gave me the brush off. JAYNE MARGETTS: Although Ngo's supporters are happy about the review, others have greeted it with much less enthusiasm. New South Wales Police said it would be inappropriate to comment publicly but senior investigators have told the ABC they're furious. They say they have every confidence in Ngo's conviction and have answers to every question the inquiry could raise. The application for an inquiry was made by ANU legal academic Hugh Selby. HUGH SELBY: Further evidence has come to light this year which suggests that evidence used by the prosecution at Mr Ngo's three trials was not nearly as strong or as reliable as the jury was led to believe. JAYNE MARGETTS: One complaint is that police withheld vital information from the prosecution and the defence. Another is that two indemnified witnesses were not independent of one another. Peter Jackson is Ngo's solicitor. PETER JACKSON: There are currently issues about the Crime Commission works and this complaint in the Phuong Ngo matter in a sense highlights that because this seems to be quite irregular that witnesses were put together. And there is issue about how the questioning was done in the Crime Commission itself. JAYNE MARGETTS: New technical evidence has also come to light. During the trials the prosecution used mobile phone records to convince the jury that Ngo couldn't have been where he said he was on the night of the murder. Emeritus Professor Reg Coutts from the University of Adelaide has been analysing that evidence. REG COUTTS: I found that in fact he could indeed have been where he said he was, so that the inference that he was not telling the truth is not the case, or is not necessarily the case. JAYNE MARGETTS: It was alleged that Ngo was motivated by a desire for John Newman's seat in Parliament, but Terry Barnes who was general manager of Fairfield Council has always believed his colleague was innocent. TERRY BARNES: I could never see a real motive for a start. The fact that I knew him well enough to really doubt very strongly that he would be the sort of person to be involved in a murder. He's just not that type of person - he has a strong Christian belief. JAYNE MARGETTS: After one aborted trial and one hung jury, Ngo was convicted for his role as the organiser in an alleged joint criminal enterprise, but his two co-accused, David Dinh and Quang Dao, were acquitted. Today's announcement is some relief for Mr Dao. QUANG DAO: I feel very glad and very, very happy that finally something has been happening. I know for a fact that I didn't do it. JAYNE MARGETTS: How have you felt over the past 10 years, given that you were acquitted and he was convicted? QUANG DAO: It's, a great injustice has been done. When the verdict was announced and, I just couldn't believe that he was found. MARK COLVIN: Quang Dao ending Jayne Margetts's report.

1 comentário

Amy Ngo
Amy Ngo
25 de jul. de 2023

Please DO NOT LITTER our community !

Our community has enough problem ....

Releasing "Al Capone" does not help

We deserve some air to breathe

Thank you !

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