Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rough justice for 'whistleblower' cop in Surfers Paradise police station bashing

A POLICE sergeant accused of leaking video footage of fellow officers bashing a prisoner has been charged with misconduct - while the ­alleged perpetrators are yet to face action 20 months on.

Chef Noa Begic was allegedly bashed by a group of officers in the basement of Surfers Paradise police station in January 2012.

Video footage obtained exclusively by The Courier-Mail captured the shocking attack in full, but while two officers have been stood down over the incident awaiting an internal affairs investigation, the alleged whistleblower has been charged with police misconduct and will face a disciplinary hearing headed by Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski.

After an investigation by ethical standards, police will allege Sergeant Rick Flori "inappropriately obtained" official and confidential surveillance footage from the CCTV room of the Surfers Paradise police station and supplied it to the newspaper.

Sgt Flori's house was raided by police a few weeks later and he was transferred from the Surfers Paradise station.

He has now been charged with improper conduct and will face a hearing at a date to be fixed when he could face action including demotion.

In stark contrast, the two officers stood down over their alleged involvement in the shocking attack are yet to face any serious disciplinary action.

They were pulled from the front line after the newspaper broke the story and stood down from duty several months later, but they have not been formally charged.

The Courier-Mail yesterday asked the office of Police Commissioner Ian Stewart for comment on why the investigation into their conduct had dragged on so long, but only received a brief statement in response.

The statement says disciplinary allegations were "being considered by the Deputy Commissioner".

Mr Begic was enjoying a few drinks after work when he was arrested by a group of officers in the heart of the Surfers Paradise nightclub strip in January 2012.

He was charged with public nuisance and obstructing police, but the charges were eventually dropped.

Mr Begic has now engaged lawyers and plans to sue the Queensland Police Service.