David Eastman could consider defamation action over public attacks following the extraordinary recommendation to quash his conviction, a long-time advocate and lawyer says.
The report found Eastman's guilt was established using "deeply flawed" forensic analysis by Victorian-based expert Robert Collins Barnes, and identified failings by prosecutors to comply with their duty to disclose all relevant information to the defence.
Some of that information may have helped Eastman's legal team attack the credibility and reliability of Barnes.
Lawyer and long-time advocate Terry O’Donnell, who has spoken recently with Eastman, criticised “poisonous” comments made in the media since Friday.
Some of the comments, including from former police, could potentially be met with defamation action, Mr O’Donnell said.
“I think it’s time that the poison stopped,” he said.
He said Eastman was entitled to get on with his life.
“He doesn’t want to make any statement himself, he doesn’t wish to do any interviews,” he said.
“He’s now into his late 60s and he just wants to get on with his life, what’s left of it after 19 years in jail,”
The timing of any eventual release of Eastman is still unclear.
The full bench of the ACT Supreme Court still needs to consider Acting Justice Brian Martin’s 477 page report, which found a substantial miscarriage of justice had occurred.
It is still currently unknown when the full bench will deliver their judgment, but they can only consider Acting Justice Martin’s report in making their decision.
Eastman is not expected to make any bail application before the full bench hands down judgment.
Mr O’Donnell said Eastman was also entitled to a broader inquiry into the rest of the circumstantial case, looking further than the confines of the Eastman inquiry.
He said that would reveal yet further weaknesses with the case.
That is contrary to the arguments of counsel for the AFP and Director of Public Prosecutions at the Eastman inquiry.
Both argued that the residual circumstantial case, even without the forensics, was "overwhelming" against Eastman.
The AFP Association backed that position on Monday.
"We have to remember that it was mainly circumstantial evidence, so overwhelming, that convinced a jury of Eastman's guilt," AFPA chief executive Dennis Gellatly said.
"The Police Association notes [Monday's] comments by the ACT Attorney General's on behalf of the government that any pardon for Eastman will be opposed."
The ACT Supreme Court will need to decide to either quash the conviction, quash the conviction and order a re-trial, or confirm the conviction.
Acting Justice Martin urged them to quash the conviction, saying a re-trial would now be near impossible and unfair.
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