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VIC Accessing Police Evidence - Under the Freedom of Information Act?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by eric kendall, 8 September 2015.

  1. eric kendall

    eric kendall Active Member

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    Hi Guys, First time here. Just have a question regarding getting access to police evidence in a murder case. Would this be available through the Freedom of Information Act? If so, what is the process involved?

    Thanks for any info. I'll go into specifics if required.
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Eric,

    is this an old case that has already been decided or a case in progress?
     
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  3. eric kendall

    eric kendall Active Member

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    Hi Sophea, thanks for the reply. Yes it's an old murder case that went to court about two years ago. It's forensic data that I'm interested in accessing. Not so much the police evidence, although I'd imagine that forensic data becomes police evidence. Would this be correct?
    Thanks again.
     
  4. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Eric,

    Apparently, you can request any documents (except exempt documents) held by the Australian Crime Commission under the FOI Act. Here is some info on how: Freedom of Information process | Australian Crime Commission

    I'm actually not too sure about whether it would be the correct method of obtaining police forensic data in a case that didn't involve you. Perhaps you could write to your state police department and ask them?
     
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  5. eric kendall

    eric kendall Active Member

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    Hello Sophea, Thanks again for the reply. I'll submit an application through the ACC and see how we go. I may have to contact the forensics department prior to doing this to get some type of reference, but it's worth a try. Having this data may well get my friend a re trial.
     
  6. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    If it is for your friend, perhaps an FOI application in his name may get you further? As you are generally able to access most records which relate to you. If the evidenced was produced at his trial, then he may also be able to access his court file. The evidence should have been provided to his defence lawyer too, have you requested copies a copy of their file on the matter?
     
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  7. eric kendall

    eric kendall Active Member

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    Hello Sophea, I'm in the process of getting power of attorney so that I don't have the third party problems of authority. Apparently the evidence was produced at the trial, but it seems to obtain the court transcripts is quite expensive (even for the defendant). I do have all the statements and documentation from his defense lawyer, but this information was not included. I can't get him to follow up because he is no longer his representative.
    Thanks again.
     
  8. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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  9. eric kendall

    eric kendall Active Member

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    That could be a great help Sophea. Thanks a lot for all the help.
     
  10. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    Is it your idea that this missing evidence might be exculpatory and therefore make the conviction unsafe?
     
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