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Aboriginal Prisoner May Have Been Murdered: Forensic Report - ABC News Online


28 AUG 2001

Northern Territory, Darwin Australia

A team of United States and British forensic experts has given a report to the Australian Government which suggests an Aboriginal man found by a Royal Commission to have committed suicide in a Northern Territory jail was murdered.

Douglas Bruce Scott, 26, was found hanging in his cell in July 1985.

A coroner and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody ruled that he had committed suicide.

He was on remand on an obscene language charge.

Chris Nyst, the lawyer representing Mr Scott's family, has applied to the Queensland Attorney-General to have Mr Scott's body exhumed from its burial site in that state, for DNA tests.

"If the preliminary findings of the forensic scientists are borne out then it is a quite sensational development," he said.

"Certainly if those findings are confirmed by the investigation of the remains then we would be suggesting it would be appropriate that this matter be looked at least at a Royal Commission level."

Mr Scott's widow Letty has welcomed the latest development, saying the truth about her husband's death may finally be revealed.

"We're overjoyed with the developments because we've been praying and fighting for 16 years now," she said.

Posted on 2002-01-24


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