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Eastman win civil action against ACT govt

David Eastman.

David Eastman. Photo: Andrew Taylor

Convicted murderer David Harold Eastman will be considered for release from prison on licence after a judge found the ACT Government failed to follow proper procedure.

Eastman on Monday brought a civil action against the government, claiming it did not properly consider his June 2012 application to be released from prison on licence.

ACT Supreme Court Acting Justice Steven Rares on Monday found in Eastman's favour and ordered the government reconsider the prisoners bid for freedom.

Eastman is serving a life sentence for the murder of assistant police commissioner Colin Winchester has to-date served 17 years for the slaying.

He has maintained his innocence, and lodged a number of appeals against the conviction.

Under ACT law there can be no minimum term attached to a life sentence.

But a prisoner may ask the Attorney-General for release on licence after serving 10 years.

Eastman's lawyer told the court that ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell had failed to follow procedural fairness when he did not refer Eastman's application to the sentence administration board.

But ACT Government lawyers argued Mr Corbell exercised his lawful prerogative to not refer the matter.

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