20 Nov 2017

No charges makes John Elferink and Territory's law look stupid.

Lack of criminal charges in NT royal commission a vindication, says John Elferink

By Jane Bardon and Dijana Damjanovic

Former Northern Territory corrections minister John Elferink has responded to the findings of the Northern Territory royal commission, saying the lack of recommendations for criminal prosecution is a vindication.

"What they haven't recommended, is a single criminal charge to be lodged against any human being associated with youth detention in the Northern Territory," he told the ABC.

"That is a million miles away from the comparison of Abu Ghraib barbarism and torture of which the NT Government stood accused."

He said, at the time of the Four Corners report into Don Dale, "allegations of torture and barbarism" were put to the NT Government but they had not been backed up by criminal charges.

While no criminal charges were recommended, the royal commission's findings did state the commission had referred "a number" of matters to the Northern Territory Police.

The findings said the referrals included potential criminal conduct by youth justice offers and the abuse of children in out-of-home residential care.

The referrals also included allegations of harassment or threats to witnesses or potential witnesses.

Mr Elferink repeated his accusation the ABC's Four Corners program omitted important information from the report which prompted Malcolm Turnbull to set up the royal commission.

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