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New review of Stafford case

Graham Stafford
Graham Stafford

GRAHAM Stafford has welcomed the announcement a former judge has been appointed to review the case against him.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie announced yesterday former Supreme Court Judge Mr Kenneth Mackenzie QC would independently review the case.

On Tuesday, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) confirmed his decision on public interest grounds not to re-prosecute Mr Stafford.

That came at the end of a two-and-a-half year police re-investigation it said supported the initial case against Mr Stafford.

In 1992, Graham Stafford was convicted of the murder of Leanne Holland and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Mr Stafford's conviction was set aside in December 2009 after the matter was referred to the Queensland Court of Appeal.

Mr Bleijie said he respected the decision made by the DPP but he wanted to be satisfied he should not order a re-trial.

"As I have the power to order the re-trial of Graham Stafford independent of the DPP, I have decided to seek independent advice on the strength of the evidence," Mr Bleijie said.

"Mr Mackenzie will consider whether there are reasonable prospects of obtaining a conviction should the matter proceed to re-trial and if a re-trial is in the public interest. I anticipate the advice will be settled early in the new year."

Mr Stafford welcomed yesterday's announcement particularly after doubts about whether a report into the police re-investigation would be made public.

"There have been a lot of questions raised about the case and how the investigation was run so let's have it out in open court," he said.

"Admittedly I would have preferred a Commission of Inquiry and we could still go in that direction but if they want to go for a re-trial, we're very happy to entertain that.

"That's where we've been for some time, trying to push it back into the courts and get the chance to be completely exonerated.

"It's good that they're going to have to divulge what they claim to have hidden away there and the report will have to come out."

Topics:  attorney-general, director of public prosecutions, graham stafford, leanne holland


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