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WA Publication of Witness Statement in a Criminal Investigation -Legal?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Ethel, 11 August 2015.

  1. Ethel

    Ethel Member

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    Is a journalist allowed to publish details from a witness statement I provided in a criminal investigation, even though it was not used in court and I was not called to give evidence at trial?
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    The first question you might want to ask is - how did the journo get it?
     
  3. Ethel

    Ethel Member

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    I would guess that a journalist is not going to disclose that to me.
    This is why I want to know if it is allowed. I'm not sure if there is any point in following this up if she has legally been allowed access to it and that she can legally disclose highly personal details about me to the public because I allowed it to be included in my statement. I was not given a copy of the statement (printer wasn't working on the day) and as far as I was aware it was only available to the police and lawyers involved in the case.
     
  4. Ethel

    Ethel Member

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    Found my answer. When you make a witness statement, no matter what police tell you, that statement will become a public document and anyone can access it and use the information in it for whatever purpose they wish.
    I need to stop trusting people!
     
  5. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Interesting. Who says that?
     
  6. Ethel

    Ethel Member

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    I spoke with Legal Aid.
    I understood that the Principle of Open Justice means that my statement would now be a public document.. Police don't get to decide that. It is available to the public but would have my full name and full address removed. (The media already had my name and address anyway.) Once it's out in the public there's nothing to stop it from being used in books, movies, etc. There is no law in Australia regarding invasion of privacy.
    I have anxiety issues so it's very possible I misunderstood what they told me.
     

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