The Argus at KellyGang 3/2/1879
THE MANSFIELD MURDERS
[BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH]
(FROM OUR OWN REPORTER)
Mr Foster, P M, sat at the Beechworth Police Court on today, when the 14 men who are in custody, under the provisions of the Outlawry Act, on a charge of aiding and abetting the outlawed Kellys, were again brought up. Superintendent Hare prosecuted on behalf of the Crown, and Messrs. Bowman and Zincke on behalf of some of the prisoners.
The first one placed in the dock was Thos. Lloyd, for whom Mr. Bowman appeared.
Superintendent Hare said that for the reasons assigned by him on a previous occasion, and which there was no necessity for him again to repeat, he must ask for a further remand for seven days.
Mr Bowman remarked that the same statement would apply to him. It was of no use his repeating the same arguments as he had adduced on a previous occasion in opposition to a further remand being granted. He would however point out that another seven days had passed away, and still the police were unable to bring forward any evidence against these men, and he would therefore ask whether any reasonable case had been shown why they should longer be retained in custody. He would like to call the attention of the magistrate to statements that had appeared in print that he had tried to intimidate the bench, while another newspaper had stated that he had bullied the police magistrate. He would ask whether such statements were correct, as during all the years he had practised he had never to his knowledge behaved in other than a courteous manner.
Mr Zincke said that although he did not appear on behalf of that prisoner he might as well say what he had to say at once. There was one fact that had escaped his attention, and no doubt that of Mr Bowman, which, if taken into consideration and properly digested, would show that there was not the slightest reason why these men should be held in custody any longer. They had now been detained for one month on an information which was a rotten one, as it did not disclose the date on which any offence had been committed. But to go to the remand warrants which, it was said, they could not go behind, although they had been obtained on a bad information, he would point out that they had been amended by inserting the 2nd of January as the date on which the alleged offence was committed.
A lithographed form would have done just as well as such a document. How was it possible that 20 men living 60 miles apart could have committed the same offence at the same time, within the knowledge of the police. Was it likely such a statement could be upheld ? It was merely an excuse to hold these men. He would ask whether they were to be run in like a flock of sheep and kept there, simply on a statement that the police were out in pursuit of the outlaws, and that the country was in such a state of scare and terror that it was not safe to bring forward the other witnesses.
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