Ministers for former premier Wayne Goss will not stand trial to explain why they allowed industrial dispute evidence – sought by an Ipswich lawyer 24 years ago – to be shredded.
That lawyer was Ian Berry, now the LNP’s Ipswich MP and the chair of its Legal Affairs committee.
The decision not to bring the former ministers to trial spells the end of what became known as the Heiner Affair.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has ruled there was no likely prospect of a conviction of the ministers, despite new chief justice Tim Carmody last year finding that there were “prima facie” grounds for a trial.
The evidence was gathered by retired magistrate Noel Heiner during a 1989 inquiry into the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre at Wacol and shredded by the incoming Labor Goss Government in March 1990.
The search for the reason why the documents were allowed to be shredded has taken more than two decades to be resolved.
The Heiner Affair was debated at several Senate Inquiries before it was investigated by Mr Carmody last year.
Mr Carmody investigated the Heiner Inquiry allegations as a secondary part of his inquiry into child protection services in Queensland.
While Mr Carmody found no evidence of sexual abuse at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre, he found sufficient evidence to refer Goss Government cabinet ministers to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on allegations they ordered the documents be shredded, despite knowing they were being sought by a lawyer.
Mr Carmody referred the allegations to the Office of the Department of Public Prosecutions on July 1, last year.
“The available evidence is legally sufficient, as it stands, for a jury to find that in resolving to hand the Heiner documents over to the state archivist for destruction, the premier and each participating cabinet minister meant to ensure that they could not be used in evidence if required in an anticipated judicial proceeding,” he wrote.
He asked the Office of the DPP to investigate whether there was a likelihood of a successful prosecution.
Then on Wednesday afternoon Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie decided not to investigate further.
READ MORE: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/no-heiner-trial-for-goss-ministers-bleijie-20140702-zstrm.html
Ministers involved in shredding of ‘Heiner Affair’ papers may be guilty of criminal offence: http://tottnews.com/2013/07/05/cabinet-ministers-involved-in-shredding-of-heiner-affair-papers-may-be-guilty-of-criminal-offence/