Court weighs alleged Qld cop media tip-off

·2-min read

Lawyers for a Queensland detective accused of passing on information about a suspect in parallel homicide and counter-terrorism investigations are expected to argue he has no case to answer.

Detective Bryan Anthony Swift is accused of providing the name and address of the suspect to the media, as well as information about a forthcoming counter-terrorism raid, Brisbane Magistrates Court was told on Tuesday.

Swift was charged with two counts of misconduct in public office and one of communicating or publishing protected information.

The bulk of a committal hearing that will decide if the case proceeds involved Swift's lawyer, Justin Greggery QC, pressing witnesses about an apparent plan to use the media in an attempt to gather intelligence in 2018.

The strategy involved distributing CCTV footage via a media release, partly in the hope of prompting discussion by the person of interest that might get picked up by surveillance equipment, the court was told.

It also allegedly included sending a reporter to the man's home south of Brisbane after the CCTV vision had been released.

The homicide probe had an element of time pressure with a counter-terrorism investigation concerning the same suspect reaching its conclusion, Detective Sergeant Michael Cameron told the court.

He said Swift floated the possibility of media attending the man's address in an attempt to "generate conversation" in June 2018, which he did not disagree with.

"I didn't disagree with him, but I couldn't say that when it was proposed to me I felt ... overly confident about what might be gained by it," Det Sgt Cameron said.

"It was a proposal, there was no detail about it ... I didn't put too much weight on it."

Later in re-examination by prosecutor Mark Green, he said he had never seen a similar strategy used before.

Text messages between two officers involved with the homicide investigation, exchanged prior to the reporter's visit, were also read before the court by Mr Greggery.

They allegedly include discussions about media attending the house, and each party agreeing they were OK with it.

Both Detective Justin Suffolk and Detective Tara Lee Inch said that when questioned later, they couldn't recall the texts.

This changed in a subsequent interview after Det Suffolk discovered the messages, the court was told.

Allegations of media leaks were levelled at Swift following a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation.

The matter is next due in court on November 30.

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