Convicted murderer Jason Roberts will be able to argue to overturn his jailing over the 1998 shooting of two police officers after the Court of Appeal accepted his legal challenge.
- Roberts is serving a life sentence for killing Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller
- An anti-corruption hearing last year found officers altered documents during the investigation into their deaths
- The Court of Appeal found there was “fresh and compelling evidence” to justify an appeal
In a brief hearing today, the three justices unanimously granted leave for him to appeal.
In 2002, he was sentenced to life in prison, with a non-parole period of 35 years, for the murders of Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller in Moorabbin in 1998.
Another man, Bandali Debs, is also in prison over the murders.
His lawyers will now be able to argue there has been a miscarriage of justice.
It is not clear when the hearing will happen because court operations are being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
As part of an investigation into a spate of armed robberies, Sergeant Silk and Senior Constable Miller had pulled over a car outside the Silky Emperor Restaurant on Cochranes Road, Moorabbin, just after midnight on August 16, 1998.
They were shot and killed.
Roberts lost an appeal in 2005.
But a new law introduced in November allows for a second chance.
“We have come to the conclusion in the present case that there is fresh and compelling evidence that should be considered on appeal in the interests of justice,” the full judgment reads.
At the heart of the appeal will be a statement made by Constable Glenn Pullin which at the time of the trial in 2002 was believed to have been written in the four hours after the murders.
But last year’s IBAC hearing established it had in fact had been written 10 months later.
In the document, Constable Pullin said Constable Miller had referred to two killers, as he lay dying.
“A number of other police officers who were present alongside Senior Constable Miller did not hear him say words referring to two offenders and at least one of them heard him refer to a single offender,” the 41-page judgment reads.
“As a result of evidence given by way of private and public examinations to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (‘IBAC’), the applicant can now adduce evidence that an officer or officers of Victoria Police fabricated evidence relating to statements made by Senior Constable Miller.”
Roberts appeared by videolink for the ruling.