David Eastman will face a new trial over the 1989 killing of Australian Federal Police (AFP) Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester, the ABC reports.
The ACT Court of Appeal has thrown out Eastman’s most recent appeal and a new trial is scheduled to start in July next year.
The former public servant had served 19 years in prison after being convicted in 1995 for the murder of Winchester. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole after being found guilty of shooting Winchester twice in the head at point blank range in the driveway of Winchester’s home in Deakin on January 10, 1989.
In 2014, a judicial inquiry recommended the sentence should be quashed and Eastman pardoned due to a “substantial miscarriage of justice”, with Justice Brian Ross Martin arguing forensic evidence on which the conviction was based was “deeply flawed”. Eastman was freed.
On August 22 of that year, the Supreme Court ordered a retrial despite Justice Martin’s view that a retrial would be unfair and unfeasible.
The ACT Government allocated more than $5 million for the retrial of Eastman and related proceedings in 2016-17 according to the ACT Budget papers.
For the Justice and Community Safety Directorate’s expenses in relation to the retrial a total of $3,371,000 was allocated, to be divided between ACT Courts costs and those of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The Budget allocated $1,707,000 for the Legal Aid Commission to cover its expenses in relation to the matter.