Monday 19 February 2018

Officer faces jail for exposing police assault on handcuffed suspect

Chef Noa Begic was handcuffed when he was assaulted by the officers
Chef Noa Begic was handcuffed when he was assaulted by the officers
Chef Noa Begic was handcuffed when he was assaulted by the officers

David Kearns

A police officer who allegedly exposed his colleagues beating a handcuffed man is facing seven years in jail for “leaking confidential information”.

Queensland police sergeant Rick Flori is accused of leaking to the media surveillance footage of four fellow officers attacking 21-year-old chef Noa Begic, who had been arrested on a charge of public nuisance.

In the video, released in 2012 to an Australian newspaper, officers can be seen slamming the young man face first into a concrete floor.

He is then pushed into the side of a van before being repeatedly punched.

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Following the assault, an officer is seen pouring water on the concrete in an attempt to wash away the blood.

None of the officers involved in the incident were charged despite Mr Begic winning a confidential settlement from the Queensland Police Service.

Sergeant Rick Flori was formally charged with misconduct in public office after being summoned to police headquarters in Brisbane yesterday.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail.

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The home of the 25-year police veteran was then raided by Ethical Standards Command officers.

Sergeant Flori said he planned to fight the charges against him.

"I thank my family… I've had multiple phone calls and text messages. I'm very grateful and I thank you all," he said in a brief statement.

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The president of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, Terry O’Gorman, has called upon the Police Minister to take a personal interest in the case.

"Queenslanders will say what sort of a system have we got where a video shows a number of police belting the hell out of a bloke.

"They don't get charged, but the officer who leaks the video to the media gets charged,” he said.

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