Former police officer found not guilty of misconduct after leaking footage
The vindictive prosecution of a whistleblower who should in fact have been praised casts a dark shadow over the reputation of the QPS. It shows the police as having no morality at all. They were furious that Fiori revealed the ugly truth about them and desperately wanted to get back at him.
Now that their prosecution has failed, it is surely time to ask some very challenging questions of Ian Stewart, the Queensland police chief.
The prosecution was undoubtedly stressful for Fiori -- as would have been intended -- but there was a silver lining to his dark cloud. After her own victory over a crooked cop and his QPS defenders, Renee Eaves has done a lot to help other innocent victims of the police. So she flew to Fiori's side when his prosecution was announced and has given him support ever since. And as well as a her strength of character and iron will, Renee is absolutely gorgeous. A former bikini beauty, she is a dream walking. Having her nearby would soothe most troubled male souls.
You see her walking beside Fiori below. I had the great privilege to help her once when she badly needed it
A FORMER Queensland police sergeant who leaked footage of officers bashing a handcuffed man in a Gold Coast station basement has been found not guilty of misconduct.
Rick Flori, 47, was acquitted of the charge by a majority 11-1 verdict by a jury on Wednesday following a six-day trial at the Southport District Court.
Flori, who has since resigned from the Queensland Police Service, says he released the footage of the January 2012 arrest to cast a spotlight on illegal practices within the force.
Flori released footage of police at the Surfers Paradise station bashing a handcuffed man, Noa Begic, in a basement car park in January 2012.
Once the footage was run by The Courier-Mail, an internal investigation lead to a search of Flori’s home where the footage was located on an SD card.
Flori told investigators he’d acquired the footage for “training purposes” and denied knowing anything about the email address used to arrange the leak with a journalist.
Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller said Flori was upset at being overlooked for a promotion to senior sergeant in 2011.
Once he realised the footage included the man who had been given the promotion at his expense, Senior Sergeant David Joachim, he’d set about leaking it to discredit his rival, Mr Fuller argued.
Mr Fuller said in the email sent to the journalist, Flori failed to mention any of the other officers involved except for Sen Sgt Joachim, despite Senior Constable Ben Lamb being the man who kneed and punched Mr Begic.
“The email doesn’t even mention Constable Lamb,” Mr Fuller said. “His attack is on David Joachim. Rank. Name. Position.”
Mr Lamb was later disciplined for his actions, receiving a suspended dismissal from the police service.
Flori’s barrister, Saul Holt QC, labelled the accusation of a vendetta by his client against Sen Sgt Joachim as nonsense.
Mr Holt said Flori had made complaints about several other officers during his career and his behaviour towards Sen Sgt Joachim wasn’t exceptional.
“Rick Flori is happy to complain about anybody if the complaint is valid,” Mr Holt said.
“David Joachim is no more than a mild irritant in Rick Flori’s history of making complaints.” Mr Holt said Flori’s motivation to leak the footage was “pure” and intended to ensure those responsible for the violent arrest were exposed.
“This incident is astonishing ... the fact we know about it through the leak is a good thing.”