Eastman to state damages for wrongful jail

Rebecca Gredley
David Eastman is seeking compensation after being acquitted of murdering AFP boss Colin Winchester

A former Treasury official will soon outline the damages caused to him for wrongfully spending 19 years behind bars for murder.

David Eastman's official compensation bid for the wrongful imprisonment is edging closer, with his legal team ironing out details on Monday ahead of the September 30 hearing.

The 73-year-old will file a statement of damages by August 26, with the ACT government given a fortnight to respond.

Mr Eastman was found not guilty last year of murdering federal police assistant commissioner Colin Winchester in 1989.

He had pleaded not guilty to the shooting murder in 1993, but was sentenced to life in jail in 1995.

Mr Eastman's conviction was quashed in 2014 over concerns with the original evidence, leading to a new trial last year where he was cleared.

The compensation claim is widely expected to net Mr Eastman millions of dollars.

Rather than compensation, the ACT government is considering to offer Mr Eastman an "act of grace" payment, which is discretionary and would be signed off by the territory's treasurer Andrew Barr.

Lawyers for the ACT described such a payment as being made due to "moral obligation, not legal".

The case is listed for further directions at the ACT Supreme Court on September 9.

In 2009, the WA government issued a $3.25 million ex -gratia payment after Andrew Mallard spent 12 years in jail for a wrongful murder conviction.