In the public interest.
Extract: “… Last year Justice Weinberg came to national prominence when he offered a dissenting view in the Victorian Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold George Pell’s historical child abuse convictions. …”
- Mark Weinberg QC will be the special investigator for the war crimes inquiry
- The current secretary of the Attorney-General’s department, Chris Moraitis, will be the director-general of the Office of Special Investigator
- The new office will begin examining Brereton report findings on January 4
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has announced Mark Weinberg QC, who sits on the Victorian Supreme Court, will take up the role of special investigator to examine the findings of last month’s Brereton inquiry into alleged Afghanistan war crimes.
Justice Paul Brereton found there was credible evidence Australian special forces committed up to 39 murders, with 19 current and former soldiers facing criminal prosecutions.
The current Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department, Chris Moraitis, will also move to the Office of the Special Investigator to serve as its director-general, while former Queensland Police deputy commissioner Ross Barnett will take up the role of director of investigations.
Mr Dutton said the Office of the Special Investigator would start work on January 4.
“They bring a wealth of experience to the very important work this office will do.
“Their combined wealth of experience will serve the office well in undertaking the significant task ahead.”
Mr Moraitis has been secretary of the Attorney-General’s department since 2014. He was previously a deputy secretary at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“Mr Moraitis is a highly regarded public servant with significant experience in complex policy and legal matters,” Mr Dutton said.
“He will provide strategic oversight and leadership to the operations of the Office of the Special Investigator.”
He said Mr Barnett was “one of the most distinguished officers in the Queensland Police”.
“He led the State Crime Command of that service and he has considerable criminal investigative and major case experience,” Mr Dutton said.
Last year Justice Weinberg came to national prominence when he offered a dissenting view in the Victorian Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold George Pell’s historical child abuse convictions.
“Having had regard to the whole of the evidence led at trial, and having deliberated long and hard over this matter, I find myself in the position of having a genuine doubt as to [Pell’s] guilt,” he wrote.
“My doubt is a doubt which the jury ought also to have had.”
The High Court later quashed all convictions against Cardinal Pell.