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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Former drug cop says his lies sent over 150 to jail

Cannabis Blog - New Zealand

Police have hired one of the country's top lawyers to investigate a former officer's stunning confession that he lied in court - and wrongfully sent at least 150 people to prison. Patrick O'Brien wrote to Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias admitting to perjury, saying he was racked with guilt after carrying a "dreadful secret" for more than 30 years. Now nearly 60, O'Brien was an undercover agent in covert drugs operations in the 1970s, immersed in a dark, criminal underworld, and the star Crown witness in the resulting court trials. [...] In his confession, O'Brien told Dame Sian he answered to the "grey men" who trained him, on whose orders he lied to obtain the convictions at any cost. "They called it Doomsday work and instructed me to take this dreadful secret to the grave," O'Brien wrote. "In every case I lied to the courts and I lied to the juries to obtain convictions against my targets. "Telling lies was easy - 'policemen don't tell lies' - and my targets never stood a chance." Tampering with evidence was also common, he said. Often the exhibit before the court was not the drugs that he bought from the target.

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