3 Dec 2020

Officer lied in court to protect brother during trial - IPCA

11:15 am on 3 December 2020

The police watchdog has found an officer lied in court while giving evidence in order to protect his brother who was up on an assault charge.

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(File image). Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The officer witnessed an incident in May 2018 for which his brother was later charged with assault, and gave evidence in the trial.

During the trial the judge rejected the officer's evidence and said he lied about what happened, in order to paint the other party - the victim - as the aggressor.

The officer's brother was found guilty of threatening a man and assaulting a woman, after he had already pleaded guilty to assaulting the man.

In its report today the Independent Police Conduct Authority agreed that the officer lied in his evidence to "minimise his brother's behaviour and protect him".

It also found the officer did not flag the conflict of interest, that he was giving evidence for the defence. Police only became aware of this when police prosecutors were given a copy of the defence witnesses' formal statements, including his.

The officer was also found to have used police time and a police template to write his evidence, which was being given as a private citizen.

In a statement, police acknowledged the report and said they won't comment until their own employment and criminal investigations are complete.