Monthly Archives: August 2017

West Australian police officers suffer setback in Fremantle Taser damages appeal

Three WA policemen who Tasered a couple during an arrest and were ordered to pay damages have had an appeal setback, with their union not paying security on a crucial court costs bill.

Robert Cunningham and Catherine Atoms were outside the Esplanade Hotel in the early hours of November 2, 2008 when they saw a group of men falling into a garden bed and tried to help.

But police believed they were causing a disturbance and the couple were Tasered during a scuffle.

The University of WA associate professor of law and Ms Atoms sued the state and the three officers involved, Peter Clark, Simon Traynor and Glenn Caldwell, and were awarded $1.1 million in damages.

The 2015 trial judge found the officers were liable for battery, misfeasance in public office, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

She also found the conduct caused the couple to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and a back injury to Ms Atoms.

The officers challenged, arguing on 24 grounds, but were ordered by Justice Robert Mitchell last month to pay $90,000 security on a court costs bill – already estimated to have reached at least $900,000 – by August 23 or the appeal would be dismissed.

On Wednesday, the full bench of the Court of Appeal dismissed an application to review Justice Mitchell’s order.

The court heard the union decided not to provide the security payment, and the judges said “the appeal is arguable, but we … would not put it any higher than that”.

But the officers have applied for a 48-hour extension to make the payment and will find out later on Wednesday if it has been allowed.

In his recent provisional assessment of the appeal, Justice Mitchell said the arguments advanced in support of grounds one to 19 were “far from strong”.

He also noted the officers’ liability for damages and trial costs already exceeded their assets.

Traynor’s wages have been suspended as he is on continued sick leave while Caldwell is unemployed and receives a disability pension but Clark continues to work in the police force.

AAP

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Henry Sapiecha

Australia’s most wanted fugitives named by police in these pics

Police launch Operation Roam in the hope of getting the community to assist with catching 18 individuals on the run from the law.

The country’s most wanted offenders are currently at large and possibly hiding in plain sight in communities across the nation, according to Crime Stoppers Australia.

Operation Roam: Rogue Radar kicks off today (August 21-27), in an attempt to catch Australia’s most wanted.

“The individuals named in this year’s Operation Roam are responsible for a range of offences, including murder and armed robbery,” Chairman of Crime Stoppers Australia, Trevor O’Hara said.

“These criminals could be working alongside you in your community. It might be a new person you’ve noticed in your area or a more familiar face such as a neighbour, work colleague, friend or even a family member.”

Last year 19 persons of interest were named as part of the campaign. Of those police were able to locate and arrest 11 offenders.

This year four fugitives are wanted in New South Wales, six in Queensland, six in Victoria, three in South Australia and one in the Northern Territory.

“We urge members of the public to visit http://www.rogueradar.com.au to see if they recognise any of these faces and report anything they know about these individuals.

“Many of these people are wanted for a range of serious offences so we advise members of the public to put them on your radar but do not approach them under any circumstances.”

If you have any information on anyone on the Rogue Radar list, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Source: CrimeStoppers

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Henry Sapiecha

 

 

 

Lebanese police helped foil alleged Sydney airport terrorist plot, Australian interior minister states

Brother of two Australians charged with terrorism offences ‘was an Isis commander tracked by Lebanese intelligence’

Police at Sydney airport in July after a counter-terrorism raid uncovered an alleged plot to blow up an Emirati passenger plane.

Lebanon’s interior minister has said the country’s police intelligence played a major role in foiling an alleged plot to bring down an Emirati passenger plane flying from Sydney to Abu Dhabi.

Nohad Machnouk told reporters on Monday that four Lebanese-Australian brothers, including one who is in detention in Lebanon, had planned to blow up the plane with bombs hidden inside a large Barbie doll and a meat grinder.

He said the bombs had not made it on to the plane because the handbag they were in was 7kg above the weight permitted by the airline.

Two Sydney men charged over alleged terrorism bomb plot

Machnouk said the bombs had been sent back to the would-be attacker’s home in Australia. He said the attacker had tried to bring two explosives on the plane in case one of them did not work. The second was to be detonated by one of the brothers who was supposed to be the suicide attacker. It was not immediately clear how authorities uncovered the alleged plot.

Australian authorities said late last month that they had thwarted a credible terrorist plot to down an airplane by smuggling a device on board but provided few details, including the precise nature of the threat or any airlines involved.

On Tuesday Australia’s transport minister, Darren Chester, who has primary responsibility for airports, was reluctant to confirm the statements by the Lebanese interior minister.

“The bottom line is we work very closely with our security partners around the world,” Chester told Sky News.

“It’s a team effort in the sense that we do need to share information, because the threat of terrorism crosses international boundaries.

The United Arab Emirates’ national airline said it was working with Australian police in the investigation. But Etihad Airways, the smallest of three long-haul Gulf carriers that fly to Australia, refused to confirm if it had been targeted.

This month Australian police said two men had been charged with terrorism offences in Australia in connection with an alleged plot to bring down the airplane. It was not immediately clear if they were two of the four brothers.

Four Lebanese-Australian men have been arrested by police, who also reportedly seized a meat grinder that investigators thought may be the basis of a bomb. One of the four was released later without charge.

Machnouk said two of the brothers, Khaled and Mahmoud Khayyat, were being held in Australia, while another, Tarek, was a senior member of the Islamic State group based in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa.

He added that the fourth brother, Amer, was supposed to be on board the plane, working to bring it down 20 minutes after takeoff, but was arrested in Lebanon after he arrived in mid-July from Australia.

Machnouk said the alleged plot had been “foiled because of the extra weight”.

“Intelligence branch followed on the case and found that Amer was involved in this act and it appears that he was supposed to carry it out,” he said.

The minister said Lebanese police had been tracking Tarek Khayyat’s brothers since he moved to Raqqa and became an Isis commander.Machnouk said Amer Khayyat had travelled between Australia and Lebanon several times under pretexts such as coming to get engaged or get married.

He said about 400 passengers had been on the plane, including 120 Lebanese and that the four brothers wanted to punish the UAE and Australia for being part of the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State.

“When four Lebanese brothers in Australia decide to blow up an Emirati jet this means that the whole world should work together to fight terrorism,” Machnouk said. “Coordination should be 24 hours a day between all security agencies to stop such attacks.”

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