One hundred and twenty seven Crown witnesses. Forty one more police statements and previous transcripts of evidence from people who had died or could no longer come to court. Twelve sets of agreed facts. Fifty eight days of court. Three thousand eight hundred and sixty two pages of transcript. Two hundred and fifty two Crown exhibits. And 80 documents marked for identification.
Prosecutor Murugan Thangaraj SC began on Monday what is expected to be days of closing arguments in the Crown case against David Harold Eastman for the murder of Colin Winchester on January 10, 1989.
Mr Eastman, 73, has pleaded not guilty.
The prosecutor lined up the Crown case against the former treasury official into 10 topics: The cartridge cases; history of the Klarenbeek Ruger 10/22; Eastman buys the murder weapon; January 8, 9, and 10 at Lawley Street, Deakin; the murder of Mr Winchester; the crime scene; the mafia; Eastman’s motive; opportunity; and admissions to murder.
Mr Thangaraj said the massive police investigation into the murder of Mr Winchester was possibly unprecedented in Australia in its size and scope.
There were Australian experts called in, overseas experts and for months police sent around Australia and overseas, motivated by the murder of their police chief.
“What the investigation shows, what the evidence shows,” Mr Thangaraj said, “[is] there are too many coincidences in this case for someone other than Mr Eastman to have murdered Mr Winchester.”
Mr Thangaraj said the Crown would also address what the defence said was a reasonable possibility, that the mafia or someone else killed Mr Winchester.
The prosecutor raised the “very large body of evidence” pointing to Mr Eastman, and said the possibility of the mafia was not reasonable.
Mr Eastman had a motive, Mr Thangaraj went on. The former public servant was desperately seeking reinstatement to the public service following what he saw as unfair treatment.
He became enraged when police he believed to be biased failed to properly investigate an incident with a neighbour, Andrew Russo, over Mr Russo's mother parking in his car spot, and instead charged him with assault.
Mr Eastman did not contain his anger, Mr Thangaraj said, when he called police corrupt.
Just as he blamed his neighbour Mr Russo for his mother's behaviour, Mr Eastman blamed Mr Winchester for the behaviour of corrupt police, the prosecutor said.
Mr Thangaraj said the Crown case was essentially circumstantial, except for one direct piece of evidence, what the Crown said were confessions made by Mr Eastman and recorded by police bugs.
Gun seller lied, Crown says
Mr Thangaraj said there was overwhelming evidence that cartridge cases collected from the crime scene matched those from the Ruger 10/22 sold by Queanbeyan man Louis Klarenbeek, and those fired from the same Ruger by one of its previous owners in Woodside in Victoria.
Investigators spared no expense to ensure the cartridges matched, he said.
He also said there was no link from the murder weapon to anyone connected to the mafia.
Mr Thangaraj said the gun seller Mr Klarenbeek lied to police and to the Coroner when he claimed he did not recognise the man who bought the Ruger on a photo board shown to him by police.
He said Mr Eastman was on that photo board, and that Mr Klarenbeek later admitted the truth when speaking privately to his wife.
Lying was understandable, he said, because Mr Klarenbeek was scared, and did not want to betray his buyer.
He said that after buying and looking at several guns in the year before Mr Winchester was killed, Mr Eastman made no attempt to buy another after purchasing the Ruger from Mr Klarenbeek on January 1.
He pointed to another coincidence, that Mr Eastman, who did not have a lot of money, withdrew $200 from an ATM on the same day the Ruger was sold for $250.
The Klarenbeek Ruger was the murder weapon, Mr Thangaraj said, and Mr Eastman bought it.
The trial continues.