I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Correctional Services a question about von Einem and rape allegations.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: On 29 January this year the Sunday Mail published an article entitled ‘von Einem police quiz’. It states:
Von Einem has been at the centre of a Sex Crime Investigation Branch inquiry after police were notified of several incidents at Yatala Labour Prison. A prisoner who cannot be identified for legal reasons has given a lengthy statement to detectives detailing a violent sexual assault by the notorious killer. He has also given the Mullighan inquiry into the abuse of state wards an extensive statement detailing the alleged incidents at Yatala involving von Einem. The prisoner has alleged von Einem sexually assaulted him on several occasions.
The article goes on to quote the CEO of the Department for Correctional Services and states:
In this particular case all proper action has been taken by the department in relation to this matter and there are currently no departmental investigations outstanding into the matter. Mr Severin said the internal inquiry had not uncovered any other evidence to enable any specific action to be taken against any prisoner.
My question is: does the minister stand by her statement earlier in question time today that all allegations have been properly investigated by the police?
The Hon. CARMEL ZOLLO (Minister for Correctional Services): This allegation was first publicly aired by the Sunday Mail, as we have heard, on Sunday 29 January 2006, and honourable members may recall that report, which also made mention of the police investigation into the matter.
The then minister (the late Hon. Terry Roberts) said in a press statement that day:
This allegation was made some time ago by the prisoner. All such allegations are treated seriously, and Correctional Services procedure dictates that they are immediately investigated. If the allegation can be verified or if the prisoner making the allegation is prepared to make a formal statement, the matter is referred to the police. In this case an investigation by corrections staff found no evidence and the prisoner refused to cooperate. I am advised the prisoner has since verbally repeated the allegation and agreed to make a formal statement. Consequently, the matter was referred straight away to the police.
Whilst I would like to add further information, the police investigation certainly precludes my doing that. It is in the hands of the police, and it would be inappropriate for me to comment on an active police investigation which I know is well progressed, and I have no further comment to make on this matter.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I have a supplementary question. Is the minister aware of whether von Einem has a Webster-pak?
The PRESIDENT: That hardly arrives out of any previous question. What is a Webster-pak, perhaps?
The Hon. CARMEL ZOLLO: I am unaware whether prisoner von Einem is currently taking medication or whether he uses aWebster-pak. However, as I said before—obviously the honourable member did not listen—Webster-paks are used only in our smaller prisons, so it would not be my information that the Webster-pak would be used at Yatala.