Theophanous pushes the legal envelope and we all may lose….

January 25, 2009 |

The Age has a full page interview in today’s Age and an exclusive splash in the Herald Sun.  It is a clever enough piece in that it skirts sub judice restrictions.  Theophanous is now hinting at police impropriety (not illegality) and bias (again not illegal).  The reported comments in the Age on Friday was far more strident.   Today’s story seems to serve to smooth the sharp edges to Theophanous’ character.  That he makes admissions about not being a saint and hints about what might be discovered in his texts suggests that might pose a problem for him.

All of this is disturbing.  Scratch that.  It is is appalling.  Why wouldn’t this influence the jury pool. This is a real shift to the more aggressive style of American defence model. It is appallling.  In the US the prosecutors have responded to this approach by being even more aggressive.  It is a terrible development.  The benefit of our system is that the prosecutors are not motivated to win at all costs.  There is no political pressure to prosecute and get high profile scalps.  Do we want to have the OPP develop strategies to deal with aggressive defence strategies and with the inevitable drift to sharpish practice.  The State won’t stand still.

What really sticks in my gut is that Theophanous has reportedly sued his accuser in Greece. That is disgusting. Why Greece? The alleged facts upon which the suit is presumably based occured in Autralia.  So issue here and serve the defendant in Greece.  It is hardly new law.  But if he issued in Australia the first thing a court would have done is stay the proceeding pending the outcome of the criminal trial. But why sue now.  This person is the key witness.  Rape trials are almost invariably about 2 witnesses the victim and the accused.  The victim has to give evidence.  The accussed sometimes does.  Usually the balance of the witnesses are relevant only to medical evidence, credit, admissions and alibi. In rape trials the victims evidence is usually the lynch pin.  So now Theophanous sues the victim for $10 million.  No pressure on her!

It stinks to high heaven.  He should be ashamed as should the Age.  The Herald Sun couldn’t care less one way or another so no point scolding it.  I was sympathetic about his treatment in the press and by the cops.  But not anymore.

Lets see if the OPP has a look at this development and applies for a gag order.

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