Probe launched into why Rebels were made to leave court

POLICE have launched a full internal investigation by the Ethical Standards Committee following a formal complaint about the behaviour of a police officer in Maroochydore Courthouse late last year.

Member for Nicklin Peter Wellington wrote to Police Minister Jack Dempsey on December 19 after he received a number of complaints about the officer’s behaviour.

Three members of the Rebels Motorcycle Club, who were attending as witnesses, were ordered out of the court on November 13 by the officer, threatening them with breach of Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment legislation.

The agitated manner in which the police officer ordered the men from the courthouse’s second floor was witnessed by several people, including their lawyers.

An internal police investigation at the time of the incident found the police officer did nothing wrong.

However, those involved say neither they, nor the lawyers who represented them and witnessed the incident, were interviewed.

A police spokesman on November 19 declared the officer had done nothing wrong.

“Police did not provide a direction to disperse from the courthouse which would inhibit any opportunity to provide evidence,” the spokesman said.

At the time, Tony Jardine, one of the Rebels involved, wrote to the minister saying the action was intimidation of witnesses and had perverted the course of justice.

In turn, Mr Dempsey declared he had “total confidence the Queensland Police Service is carrying out its duties with professionalism and integrity”.

A spokesman for acting Police Minister John McVeigh said that Mr Wellington’s letter to the minister’s officer regarding the matter had been received just before Christmas.

“A full internal investigation by the Ethical Standards Committee started after an official complaint was received by the Queensland Police Service,” he said.

“As the investigation is under way it would be inappropriate to comment.”

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