Australian Federal Police

Justice delayed is justice denied. Alleged cop killer David Eastman waits 23 years for a retrial

David Eastman’s re-trial started this week for allegedly killing former Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester in 1989. Eastman has already spent 19 years in jail for the murder from 1995 until 2014 when he was released as it was found he had not received a fair trial.

The new trail is expected to last 6 months and the prosecution has finished their opening submissions (Click here to read) and the defence started their opening submissions today. (Click here to read)

The thing that I find most interesting from the first 3 days of the trial is:

They raised the spectre of Mafia involvement in the killing, in a move that again caused the trial to be briefly closed to the public.” So, why was it closed to the public?

The old sayingJustice delayed is justice deniedrings loud when thinking of this case. I have written about this matter 3 times before in 2014 and 2015 which has included my personal experience in court with the original prosecutor in the Eastman matter, Michael Adams, who is now a corrupt judge of the NSW Supreme Court. (Click here, here and here to read the articles)

Justice Michael Adams who was the prosecutor in the David Eastman case in 1995

Justice Michael Adams sued Fairfax Media in 2013, and settled in 2015, because he says they defamed him when it was implied that he had acted corruptly as prosecutor of the David Eastman case. (Click here to read more)

Eastman had previously appealed and there was a judicial review and an enquiry, but it was not until a new enquiry in 2012 that the truth started to come to light.

David Eastman on the right

Wikipedia says:

A new inquiry relating to his conviction was announced in August 2012 and headed by Acting Justice Brian Martin, who reported to the Supreme Court that:

A substantial miscarriage of justice occurred in the applicant’s trial. The applicant did not receive a fair trial according to law. He was denied a fair chance of acquittal. The issue of guilt was determined on the basis of deeply flawed forensic evidence in circumstances where the applicant was denied procedural fairness in respect of a fundamental feature of the trial process concerned with disclosure by the prosecution of all relevant material. As a consequence of the substantial miscarriage of justice, the applicant has been in custody for almost 19 years. The miscarriage of justice was such that in ordinary circumstances a court of criminal appeal hearing an appeal against conviction soon after the conviction would allow the appeal and order a retrial. A retrial is not feasible and would not be fair. While I am fairly certain the applicant is guilty of the murder of the deceased, a nagging doubt remains. The case against the applicant based on the admissible and properly tested evidence is not overwhelming; it is properly described as a strong circumstantial case. There is also material pointing to an alternative hypothesis consistent with innocence, the strength of which is unknown. Regardless of my view of the case and the applicant’s guilt, the substantial miscarriage of justice suffered by the applicant should not be allowed to stand uncorrected. To allow such a miscarriage of justice to stand uncorrected would be contrary to the fundamental principles that guide the administration of justice in Australia and would bring the administration of justice into disrepute. Allowing such a miscarriage of justice to stand uncorrected would severely undermine public confidence in the administration of justice. In view of the nature of the miscarriage of justice that has occurred and the period the applicant has spent in custody, and in view of the powers conferred on the Full Court, I do not recommend that the Court confirm the conviction and recommend that the Executive grant a pardon. I recommend that the applicant’s conviction on 3 November 1995 for the murder of Colin Stanley Winchester be quashed.

— Martin J (Acting), “Report of the Board of Inquiry.” Inquiry into the Conviction of David Harold Eastman for the Murder of Colin Stanley Winchester, 29 May 2014. (Click here to read more)

The “material pointing to an alternative hypothesis consistent with innocence” that Justice Martin talks about above is that the Australian Mafia killed Colin Winchester.

David Eastman being arrested in 1992


I wrote in December 2014:

David Eastman is facing a retrial for his 1995 conviction of the killing of federal police officer Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester in 1989. Mr Eastman’s original conviction was quashed in August and he was released from jail. This is happening even though a lot of the evidence that convicted Eastman has disappeared or has since been found to be highly questionable. Authorities are also sitting on a large file suggesting that the mafia killed Mr Winchester.

Even the Italians believe that the Mafia killed Winchester – linked to 2 other murders

It has been suggested for many years that the mafia were involved in Colin Winchester’s murder as well as the murders of Donald Mackay and federal police officer Geoffrey Bowen. The Australian reported last year in an article titled “Mafia ‘certainly’ killed AFP assistant commissioner Colin Winchester”:

“Vincenzo Macri, former deputy chief of the National Anti-Mafia Directorate in Italy, said he believed Winchester was “certainly” murdered by the Calabrian organised crime group known as the ‘Ndrangheta, adding that he based his belief mainly on Australian police sources.”

“He said he based his belief largely on police sources from Operation Cerberus, a joint state-federal taskforce that targeted Italian organised crime in the early 1990s.”

“Asked his opinion of Eastman’s conviction, he declined to answer. But he said he believed the Winchester murder was carried out by the same organisation that murdered Griffith anti-drug campaigner Donald Mackay in 1977 and federal police officer Geoffrey Bowen in 1994. Bowen was involved in Operation Cerberus when he was killed by a letter-bomb at the NCA’s Adelaide office, a crime that remains unsolved despite a coronial finding that it was organised by convicted criminal Dominic Perre.”

“Mr Macri said Australian authorities should conduct an inquiry encompassing all three murders.” (Click here to read more)

The federal police have a file with evidence pointing to the mafia being responsible for killing Colin Winchester and that file should be made public. The ACT DPP has viewed the file but it is time everyone knew what was in it otherwise we will continue to have a case that has some similarities to the JFK conspiracy and cover-upjust on a smaller scale and in Australia. (Click here to read the full article)

The trial raises a lot of questions. The first is, will David Eastman get a fair trial? And if David Eastman wasn’t the murderer why was he stitched-up? And why does the judge close the court to the public and media when the court hears evidence that the mafia killed Colin Winchester?

The hearing is scheduled to go for another 6 months so there will be a lot of twists and turns so I’ll keep following the trial.

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4 replies »

  1. I am aware that the AFP at the time of Winchester’s death conducted their own separate inquiry into his murder.Winchester was at the time widely spoken about within the AFP as a corrupt cop.I can’t believe that all these years later that report has not been released.It is also bizarre that the court was closed however briefly in this current trial.Who is making these decisions and why

  2. This case always reflected a distinct stench of coverup and collusion expected from AFP and judicial corruption – Let us not forget government whitewashing. Your coverage of the judiciary watching is a credit to you yet your evidence to the flaws are dismissed with monotonous regularity expected from our establishment forming a circle when challenged by facts destroying their fictional Peter Pan world of fairy dust….Harry

  3. We of knowledge are continually ‘bemused’ at the twisted, back-to-front, inside-out ‘illegal’ legal system of ‘law and order in Australia.
    Pettyfoggery judges wasting thousands of dollars to take Shane down, for instance because he operates in an honest way.

  4. Interestingly at the time one of my clients was interviewed in my presence by two very polite federal police detectives who were convinced it was a mafia hit. My client was cleared of any involvement and we heard nothing further. John W.B.

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