Jack Johnston seeks permanent stay ofproceedings

25/05/2018 Posted by admin

Jack JohnstonLAWYERS for suspended Tasmania Police Commissioner Jack Johnston have sought a permanent stay of proceedings in the criminal case against him. Mr Johnston, who is charged with two counts of disclosing official secrets, appeared in the Supreme Court in Hobart yesterday. Details of the substance of Mr Johnston’s application for a permanent stay cannot be published for legal reasons, with Justice Alan Blow yesterday warning the media to tread carefully in what they reported. The Crown sought to have the matter return to court late next month, but one of Mr Johnston’s lawyers, Peter Tree, SC, urged Justice Blow to ensure the arguments over a permanent stay were heard sooner. “This is a matter of public importance,” Mr Tree told the court. “There is no need for any additional delay for what is a technical argument. “My instructions are to press for the earliest resolution of the matter.” Crown prosecutor Daryl Coates, SC, said he was “astounded” by the push for an earlier hearing date, given that the Crown had earlier indicated that a trial was likely to start during the next set of court sittings, beginning on July 20. If Mr Johnston’s application for a permanent stay is successful, the charges against him would not proceed any further. The Crown alleges that on two occasions in April last year, Mr Johnston passed on confidential information to then-premier Paul Lennon and police minister Jim Cox regarding an ongoing police investigation involving Government MPs. It is alleged that Mr Johnston told Mr Lennon that police were investigating allegations from a staffer to then-deputy premier Steve Kons involving impropriety in the appointment of the Solicitor-General. The matter is due to return to court for a directions hearing on July 1.
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