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The Case of Mr Phuong Ngo will not go away.

Superficially, justice has been done with all due legal processes scrupulously followed, with three jury trials and a judicial investigation, confirming his conviction for the murder of Mr John Newman, in the third trial.

Reservations remain for a number of reasons.

1. His conviction with a life sentence was based on the need for an extreme punishment because of its political nature, which was accepted by the jury, despite strong evidence to the contrary by two senior Labour officials in testimony.

2. The conviction of murder by joint enterprise, as the Mastermind, has allowed the freedom of the other three people allegedly involved, including one given immunity for rolling over. One of the three remained adamant that he was innocent and refused immunity. Others granted immunity included proven liars according to a judge in a different case.

3. New South Wales is the only State in Australia where long term sentencing rules, as laid down by the NSW Sentencing Commitee of 16 members, still applies, and may conflict with the UN policy, according to the legal faculty of Newcastle University.

4. A significant number of Phuong Ngo’s supporters remain convinced of his innocence, these include academics, ex-parliamentarians, and journalists.

5. This man has been in prison for over 23 years and even the sentencing judge acknowledged his good behaviour, and expressed regret at his inability to apply a long term sentence with parole, because of his interpretation of the law.

6. Horrific crimes deserve appropriate sentences, but in this case, innocent or guilty, the sentence is disproportionate and many worse cases have been released earlier.

Cabramatta was a prime area in the drug crime scene in 1984, with Vietnamese at the centre, and racial bias may have influenced the jury.

Police impartiality has been questioned in this matter, and public statements by both the police and corrective service officers give some support for this.

Reviewing this matter in context justifies the view that a Governor’s Pardon is appropriate, but no political party wishes to be considered soft on crime for electoral reasons.

Under Section 21 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedures) Act 1999 NSW, a court is to impose a life sentence for murder if the court is “satisfied that the level of culpability in the commission of the offence is so extreme that the community interest in retribution, punishment, community protection and deterrence can only be met through the imposition of that sentence”.

Was his conviction beyond reasonable doubt and was the sentence appropriate?

We believe a Governors Pardon is overdue, or a review by a Criminal Case Committee.

Dr Mac Halliday (2023)

1 Comment

Amy Ngo
Amy Ngo
Jul 25, 2023

Why the case of Phuong Ngo should R.I.P. ?

- Because Mr John Newman has long rested in peace;

- Because many of Phuong Ngo's victims had also rested in peace;

- and because Phuong Ngo's living victims want to .... live in peace.... AMEN

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