NT ICAC launches Rolfe survey | The standard

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The Northern Territory’s anti-corruption watchdog will investigate the decision to prosecute a police officer for murder after he fatally shot an Aboriginal teenager. Chief Minister Michael Gunner previously denied political interference in the process before officer Zachary Rolfe was charged in the 2019 shooting death of Kumanjayi Walker. Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Michael Riches confirmed on Tuesday that he would review allegations of improper conduct related to Constable Rolfe’s arrest. and the process that led to the laying of the murder charge. “My investigation will focus on the period between the incident of the shooting and the presentation of Mr. Rolfe for arraignment,” Mr. Riches said Tuesday. Constable Rolfe, 30, was found not guilty earlier in the month of the murder of Mr Walker, 19, in a failed backcountry arrest on November 9, 2019 in Yuendumu, 290km away northwest of Alice Springs. His five-week trial in Darwin divided the community and caused outrage among many members of the Northern Territories Police. After his acquittal, the NT Police Association, opposition politicians and Constable Rolfe’s legal team alleged that political interference may have affected the decision to prosecute the constable. They say the Chief Minister should not have told the Yuendumu community that ‘consequences will flow’ in a speech three days after Const Rolfe shot Mr Walker. Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker also denied the allegation, saying he did not attend a meeting with Mr Gunner and the Crown before Const Rolfe was charged the following day. Mr Gunner has previously said his speech to mourners on November 12 referred to an upcoming coroner’s inquest into Mr Walker’s death and that there would be findings, conclusions and recommendations from that. . A transcript of his statement read: “I know the coroner will listen to you. The coroner will seek to answer these questions that you have, these questions that I have. What happened that night and why, so that justice is done. I can promise you this investigation will be independent and the consequences will follow.” The commissioner said he could hold a public inquiry to hear from certain witnesses. Australian Associated Press

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