Sydney, June 19 (IANS) A senior police official from Australia’s Queensland state was charged on Friday and may lose his job for allegedly releasing video footage of his colleagues brutally bashing a handcuffed man.
It is alleged that Gold Coast resident, Sergeant Rick Flori, leaked surveillance footage featuring four other officers, ABC reported.
The footage shows one officer holding and another punching 21-year-old Noa Begic at the Surfers Paradise police station repeatedly while the man is handcuffed. They slammed his face first onto a concrete floor before hitting him with their knees, elbows and fists.
It also showed Begic 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.
The officers filmed carrying out the assault were subject to an internal police investigation, with two officers facing disciplinary action.
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.
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 leaked video footage was published by media outlets in January 2012.
At the time, 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.