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‘There are further informants’ for Lawyer X royal commission: Victoria Police
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‘There are further informants’ for Lawyer X royal commission: Victoria Police

Melbourne

The Terms of Reference for the Victorian Royal Commission Management of Police Informants are to be amended, in light of new information from Victoria Police of additional informants who held obligations of confidentiality, leading to the resignation of one commissioner for potential conflicts.

The royal commission has advised the Andrews government that information willingly disclosed to it by Victoria Police indicates that the informant at the centre of this matter was first registered in 1995 and that there are further informants who held obligations of confidentiality, who may be relevant to the royal commission.

“When the royal commission was established, it was understood that the informant was first registered with Victoria Police in 2005. Therefore, the Terms of Reference are being amended to remove any doubt that the commission is empowered to consider these matters,” the state government said in a statement.

As a result of the new disclosures, former South Australian Police Commissioner Malcolm Hyde has resigned as a commissioner, due to the potential for overlap between the matters of interest and Mr Hyde’s time at Victoria Police.

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While Mr Hyde has indicated that he is satisfied there are no direct conflicts of interest, I understand that Mr Hyde has made this decision to remove any adverse perceptions about the royal commission’s impartiality,” Victoria Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said.

“I want to thank Mr Hyde for accepting the government’s request to serve as commissioner and for his contribution to date.”

To ensure that the commission continues to have access to appropriate policing expertise, it will be open to the commission to utilise one or more expert advisers as the commission may require, Ms Hennessy said.

“As the disclosure has been made to the royal commission, and relates to matters that are the subject of legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on the nature of the disclosure.”

“It is now for the royal commission to inquire into those matters and report in due course.” 

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