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Author Topic: Former Gold Coast police officer Rick Flori ‘not guilty’ of misconduct  (Read 38 times)

Prickle

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Former Gold Coast police officer Rick Flori ‘not guilty’ of misconduct

SUPPORTERS of former policeman turned whistleblower Rick Flori have openly wept as a jury declared him not guilty of misconduct.

It took more than eight hours for the jury to reach a majority verdict of 11 to one.

“Yes,” one supporter yelled, after the verdict was read out.

Another declared “justice”.

Mr Flori had been accused of leaking a tape of four officers allegedly beating Noa Begic in the Surfers Paradise Police station car park in January 2012.

It showed a handcuffed young chef, Noa Begic, being repeatedly punched and kneed by one officer.

A senior officer is then shown washing Begic’s blood away with a bucket of water.

It was alleged he leaked the tape for personal gain.

EARLIER: THE jury in the misconduct trial against former police officer Rick Flori is deadlock.

Judge David Kent issued a black direction asking the jurors to carefully reconsider the evidence.

The jury has retired once more to consider their verdict.

They have been deliberating for about seven hours in total.

Flori has pleaded in the Southport District Court not guilty to one count of misconduct for releasing footage of “police brutality” in the Surfers Paradise carpark in January 2012.

The footage shows four officers struggling with Noa Begic during which Senior Constable Benjamin Lamb knees and punches Mr Begic.

The district duty officer Senior Sergeant David Joachim is seen in the footage throwing a bucket of water on blood in the carpark floor.

The jury must decide if Flori leaked the footage in order to cause detriment to Mr Joachim

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/crime-court/jury-in-case-of-former-gold-coast-police-officer-rick-flori-remains-deadlocked/news-story/84ea4e049a62f2a885b751b5df95e3ab
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Prickle

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Re: Former Gold Coast police officer Rick Flori ‘not guilty’ of misconduct
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2018, 05:15:27 PM »

Former cop cleared after leaking video of handcuffed man being bashed in Sufers Paradise

Former Gold Coast sergeant Rick Flori has been found not guilty of misconduct after admitting he leaked CCTV footage showing fellow officers bashing a handcuffed man in custody.

Noah Begic was arrested by police during a night out in Surfers Paradise on January 29, 2012.

The 21-year-old chef was handcuffed and driven into the basement of the Surfers Paradise Police Station car park.

The footage shows one officer drop a knee into Mr Begic's shoulder as he lay on the concrete floor, and then the chef was punched to the head twice.

The CCTV then shows officers placing Mr Begic into the back of a police wagon where he is punched four more times in the head.

The court heard Mr Flori wasn't working on the night of the incident, but he later downloaded the footage and gave it to a journalist.

The sergeant, who resigned from the service last year, pleaded not guilty to two charges of misconduct in public office when the trial began eight days ago, but one of the charges was discontinued yesterday.

To find Mr Flori guilty, jurors were told that they had to be satisfied that he was a member of public office, that he accessed and released the footage, and that he did so to dishonestly cause a detriment to a fellow officer.
Flori wasn't promoted

The senior officer on duty the night of the bashing was Senior Sergeant David Joachim, and the footage shows him washing Mr Begic's blood from the floor of the car park after the incident.

Jurors heard Mr Joachim was promoted to a senior position ahead of Mr Flori.

During the trial, Mr Joachim, who retired from the police service in 2013, testified that he and Mr Flori did not get along.

"He was not a friend," he said.

"I found him rather officious since I was a DDO [District Duty Officer]." he added.

During the Crown's final address to the jury, Prosecutor Todd Fuller said Mr Flori released the CCTV to discredit the senior officer after being overlooked for the promotion.

"This is a course of conduct against David Joachim," he said.

"He knew he wasn't entitled to release it [the footage]," added the prosecutor.
Flori a whistleblower, Defence says

Mr Flori's barrister Saul Holt, QC, told the jury that his client did not have a vendetta against Mr Joachim.

    "This is an act of whistleblowing and not an act of vendetta," he said.

Mr Holt said his client wanted to expose police misconduct which was a problem among some Gold Coast-based officers at the time.

"Sunlight is the best disinfectant," he said.

"Those who blow the whistle do so at a massive personal risk."

During his final address to jurors, Mr Holt said that his client did not dispute that he leaked the footage, which was a breach of police protocols.

"Sometimes the rules must give way to public interest," he said.

"We have to have a police service in which we trust," added the barrister.
'I'd do it again'

Leaving court Mr Flori said he felt vindicated.

"I was very happy that it was going to a jury of my peers and the end result is the way it should be I believe," Mr Flori said.

"I don't regret a minute of it and I'd do the same thing again. Over and over again.

"I'd take a job [in the police force] but the only one would be the commissioner's job."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-14/rick-flori-cleared-misconduct-leaking-video-of-bashing/9440610
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