Former Northern Territory police commissioner John McRoberts has been found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
After deliberating for nine hours, a jury found McRoberts tried to “frustrate” or “deflect” a travel agent fraud investigation known as Operation Subutai between May and November 2014.
Throughout this period, McRoberts failed to disclose he had been in a sexual relationship with the investigation’s priority target, former Darwin travel agent and CrimeStoppers NT chairwoman Alexandra “Xana” Kamitsis.
Kamitsis had become a “test case” for the investigation, which was looking into 27 travel agents suspected of defrauding the NT Health Department’s pensioner travel concession scheme.
Text messages found on Kamitsis’ phone after her arrest in November 2014 exposed the pair’s close relationship to investigators, but when confronted at the time McRoberts denied the relationship was anything more than “social”.
The jury found McRoberts knew it was “improper” to involve himself in the investigation but that he did it anyway, because he wanted to stop the relationship being exposed in a search warrant executed against Kamitsis.
The prosecution alleged McRoberts’ criminal course of conduct began in May 2014, when he raised the idea of an alternative civil approach to Operation Subutai, which was then further developed with oversight by an inter-agency taskforce.