News State QLD News Whistleblower officer charged

Whistleblower officer charged

It is suspected by police that the man was taken by a crocodile. Photo: AAP
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A Gold Coast police officer has been charged and faces losing his job over allegedly releasing footage of a police assault three years ago.

It is alleged Sergeant Rick Flori leaked surveillance footage featuring four officers.

The footage shows one officer holding and another punching a 21-year-old man at the Surfers Paradise police station repeatedly while the man is handcuffed.

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The officers filmed carrying out the assault were subject to an internal police investigation, with two officers facing disciplinary action.

Today, Mr Flori was charged with one count of criminal misconduct in public office.

He has also been stood down on full pay but faces losing his job.

Queensland police walk the streets of Brisbane. Photo: Getty
Queensland police walk the streets of Brisbane. Photo: Getty

Speaking outside Queensland Police Service headquarters, Mr Flori thanked his supporters.

“I thank my family … I’ve had multiple phone calls and text messages. I’m very grateful and I thank you all,” he said.

Sergeant Flori, who has been with the police for nearly 25 years, will fight the charges.

A court date has been set for July 15 on the Gold Coast.

Earlier today, civil libertarian and criminal lawyer Terry O’Gorman said the Queensland Police Service was shooting the messenger.

“How is it that the police who were shown on the video as belting the crap out of this particular person have not been charged and yet the person who has leaked it is now being charged with an offence which could put him in jail?” he said.

“The Police Minister should seriously look at appointing an independent QC to look at whether this proposed charge should go ahead.”

The leaked video footage was published by media outlets in January 2012.

It showed Noa Begic being slammed face first into a concrete floor before being hit by officers using their knees, elbows and fists.

It also showed the man being punched a number of times after he was put in the back of a police van, and a senior officer throwing a bucket of water on the concrete to wash away his blood.

At the time, Mr Begic said he was arrested after a night out in Surfers Paradise and was assaulted repeatedly on the drive to the local police station and then later in the basement.

“They were making racist comments about me and then when we ended up in that basement I knew there was more on the way,” he said.

Public nuisance charges against Mr Begic were ultimately dropped after then-police commissioner Bob Atkinson intervened.


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