By Frances Kelly
SYDNEY — The NSW appeal court has reserved its decision on the case of Tim Anderson following a week-long hearing. Anderson was appealing against his conviction on three counts of murder resulting from the 1978 bombing of the Sydney Hilton during a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Ian Barker QC, appearing for Anderson, outlined 15 grounds of appeal plus new evidence and said the conviction should be quashed because the trial verdicts were unsafe and unsatisfactory.
The new evidence included an affidavit from Lithgow jail inmate Geoff Fletcher, who claimed Ray Denning had said he intended to inform on Anderson for monetary gain and suggested he do the same even though Anderson was innocent. Denning's evidence was important in the conviction of Anderson.
Barker submitted that Evan Pederick, the other key witness against Anderson, had "twisted and turned his evidence to accommodate facts", and the prosecution had done the same.
Barker said prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC had misrepresented evidence on 35 separate points as well as making propositions for which there was no evidence. The most obvious such proposition was his statement to the jury that Pederick was mistaken in his testimony that he had attempted to explode the bomb between 2 and 3 p.m., and he had really attempted to detonate it at about 5.30 p.m.
The defence also claimed that much of Pederick's evidence was unreliable, improbable or irrelevant. A taxi driver, who claimed to have seen Pederick with Tim Anderson, described someone who did not fit Pederick's appearance at the time. Two other witnesses who claimed to have seen a man with a false moustache outside the Hilton also gave times and descriptions that did not fit.
A photo presented to the trial jury with the suggestion that it showed Pederick outside the Hilton was in fact of someone who didn't fit Pederick's description in a stance Pederick admitted he never used.
Barker also took up the question of the rubbish bin in which the bomb was placed. He said it was unbelievable that Pederick had placed a large parcel of gelignite and a detonator in a conveniently empty bin with police looking on, and that the bin was conveniently not emptied at the scheduled collection time.
The defence also claimed that the trial judge had erred in admitting irrelevant prosecution evidence and in not admitting important defence evidence.
The prosecution appeared to make heavy weather of the appeal, at one point reading from Ananda Marga literature for more than an hour to establish a motive for the bombing. Asked how a jury could have decided whether Raymond Denning was lying, Tedeschi responded that they could have relied on their intuition.
Ian Barker said Anderson should be acquitted rather than granted a ow faced 11 judicial proceedings involving allegations of his involvement in the Hilton bombing and it would be impossible to find an impartial jury for a new trial. n