A new corruption scandal has engulfed the Victorian Police force, with an officer being charged with 87 criminal offences and several others under investigation over allegations of lying to obtain search warrants.
The allegations are believed to affect more than a dozen defendants, who could have charges against them withdrawn or their convictions quashed as a result.
Investigation behind closed doors
Until recently, the investigation was conducted behind closed doors and hidden from the public.
It reportedly centered around the allegedly corrupt activities of veteran police officer, 49-year old sergeant Callum McCann.
Several other officers, some of whom are long-serving members of the force, have been stood down while the investigation is conducted.
Victoria Police has confirmed it has notified the Office of Public Prosecutions of a potentially tainted’ justice process, which could lead to a review of resulting arrests, prosecutions and convictions.
Impact on charges and convictions
A man who was imprisoned for four months and who has already served his term may now have it quashed and be eligible for compensation.
A number of juveniles are also reported to have been affected by the conduct.
The investigation relates to a period from 2018 to August 2021 when Mr McCann headed up an investigation in Melbourne’s Macedon Ranges, targeting suspects allegedly tied to drug activity and stolen property.
The sergeant is accused of persuading less senior officers to fabricate information in affidavits, which were then presented to magistrates in order to obtain search warrants for homes and other properties.