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Police murder investigation under question

EXCLUSIVE, Colleen Egan, The West Australian June 18, 2011, 2:45 am

 

Police murder investigation under question

The West Australian

 

 

The integrity of one of WA's biggest police investigations was under question yesterday as a second high-security prisoner from an Eastern States jail alleged that bikie Sid "Snot" Reid perjured himself while enjoying special treatment by authorities.

The man, who served time with Reid in protected witness custody, claimed that the "supergrass" who murdered Don Hancock and Lou Lewis sabotaged his own evidence against bikies he had accused of being involved in two bombings.

"He said that he purposely screwed up his testimony in court so the other bikers could get off," the man wrote.

The man wrote to _The Weekend West _to corroborate claims that Reid had boasted that he got away with the 2001 murder of Anthony Tapley and set up a bikie associate, Gary White, for the crime.

"I'm saying my piece now because what Sid told me is that he did it and an innocent man is in prison," the man wrote.

White's lawyer, Gary Massey, said information the man provided about his identity appeared to match information given by the other prisoner in the Eastern States he interviewed in March.

The State Opposition yesterday called for separate inquiries by the Corruption and Crime Commission and the WA Police into the case of White, who is serving a life sentence in Casuarina Prison, and the man's claims.

Reid was given unprecedented concessions in 2002 to roll over on Gypsy Jokers members and associates after being arrested by police for planting a car bomb that killed Mr Hancock and Mr Lewis in 2001.

His sentence of 30 years jail for the murders was reduced to 19 years for agreeing to testify against his fellow bikies and then to 15 years for nominating White as a murderer and testifying against him. White has served nine years of a 22-year sentence in Casuarina Prison.

He has consistently denied killing Tapley and submitted a petition for a fresh appeal to Attorney-General Christian Porter in August 2009 which is under "consideration".

"Sid confessed to me that he killed a guy and didn't even get caught with it," the man wrote. "He told me Anthony was screaming like a bitch and that he enjoyed every bullet he put into him.

"It wasn't until (later) that I found out he had set up another fella for the murder because he didn't like him (Gary White)."

The man said Reid claimed to have deliberately messed up his evidence against Gypsy Jokers bikies, who were acquitted of the Hancock-Lewis murders and of bombing Mr Hancock's hotel at Ora Banda.

"He also bragged about killing (former CIB chief) Don Hancock and that the other guy was collateral damage," the man wrote.

"He is very worried about getting out in five years time as he will probably be on the run for the rest of his life. That's why he screwed up his testimony in court."

Legal sources said it would be almost impossible for the bikies to be retried, even if it could be proved that Reid misled the court.

They were charged because Reid had nominated them as being involved and Reid could have been lying to police in his original story, which he described at one of the trials as being "90 per cent bullshit".

Shadow attorney-general John Quigley said yesterday he planned to ask the CCC to investigate whether there was any impropriety in the way a "letter of comfort" for Reid was obtained.

Mr Quigley said the WA Police should hold a "high-level inquiry" into claims Reid perjured himself and the public informed of the result.


 

 

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