Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Justice not yet exemplary

The timely release of the Independent Police Conduct Authority report into Clint Rickards' complaints about the "shambles" he says was Operation Austin does at least remove the usual objection of justice delayed being justice denied, but while justice may well have been done with this report -- and let's hope it has been -- we have the problem once again that justice hasn't been seen to be done.

The review into Operation Austin was carried out by former commissioner Richard MacDonald and former acting deputy commissioner and acting assistant Commissioner Roger Carson, and was released yesterday by IPCA chairwoman Justice Lowell Goddard.  On the conclusion that Operation Austin was "exemplary," we have only have the judgement of Goddard, Carson and MacDonald on which to rely -- we have to take their word rather than have the opportunity to see the evidence of being exemplary for ourselves.  Goddard says, for example:

There was "no evidence at all" to support Mr Rickards' statement that Operation Austin had been a shambles.... "In fact, the opposite."

That's good.  But since the inquiry was held behind closed doors, we don't know this for ourselves.  This is justice neither to the police nor to the original complainants -- nor to Rickards.  Justice must be done, and it must be seen to be done.

It's good that the Police Complaints Authority is now independent -- at least nominally -- perhaps the next step should be that it is open, and truly independent.  It's what a mature democracy should require, and what confidence in the police demands.


  1. I am surprised that no one has taken a private prosecution against Louise Nicolas for perjury (yes it is a well-known fact that she committed perjury). I damn hope that someone out there will take up a private prosecution against her.

  2. It's not so well known that I'm aware of it. Can you point us to some evidence for this "well known" claim?

  3. PC

    A well thought out and written post. Congratulatyions on having the courage to publish it.

    Dora M Craig

  4. It has been mentioned repeatedly on national TV and newsprint media during the trial, about how this Louise woman (who Rickards correctly pointed out yesterday - she needs help) has made false allegations in the past and were found to be bullshit. She made a rape allegation against a group of maoris in the early 1990s, but the cops found out that such group never existed. There have been too many inconsistencies from this woman to take anything from her seriously.

    From this web site, former detective Dewar is pursuing Louise for perjury. Here is a cut & paste from there.

    Before Friday’s sentencing, Dewar filed a complaint of perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice against Nicholas with Police Commissioner Howard Broad. Dewar wants a full police investigation into his claims with a view to proving there is sufficient evidence for police to mount a case against Nicholas.

    He also claims his complaint will highlight alleged inconsistencies in Nicholas’ statements.

    Nicholas maintains there is no substance to either the appeal or the perjury complaint.

    Dewar believed if the complaint was handled independently and without interference from the Operation Austin team it would be upheld and Nicholas would eventually go to trial.

    He described Nicholas as a “scorpion”, and said he was still upset by the way she had betrayed him when he tried to act in her best interests.

  5. FF, that's evidence of a complaint that she committed perjury -- but evidence of a complaint she committed perjury is not evidence she committed perjury.

    And Dewar is hardly impartial, since a court found that her evidence was sufficiently reliable to convict him for perverting the course of justice.

  6. You know what would be even better than an independent PCA? Giving people back the right of self defence, relaxing gun laws, strengthening the laws around citizens arrest... and abolishing the police! :oP

  7. Yes, a good post, Peter.

    I have always been in two minds about the whole affair.

    I still am unable to decide whom I 'believe', and am relieved I was not on any of the Juries!

    I listen to Louise What'shername and think "Biggest load of old cobblers I have ever heard" ...then I hear Rickards and think "Biggest load of old cobblers I have ever heard"

    So yes, gosh...a difficult one.

  8. Ex-flatmate doesn't exactly have a great memory, does she: ""It is possible Louise and I then swapped partners," says the ex-flatmate, "but I have no specific memory of it."

    Looks like once again this is not evidence she committed perjury, but evidence someone claims she lied.

    I'm sure you're aware of the difference.


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