Retrial for man accused of touching boy at library

QUEENSLAND'S highest court has found a man, who is currently on Christmas Island awaiting possible deportation, was wrongly convicted of inappropriately touching a child at Ipswich library.

Wajid Ali was found guilty of indecent treatment of a 14-year-old boy earlier this year but he appealed this in the Court of Appeal and argued the jury saw unbalanced evidence during the trial.

The Court of Appeal found in his favour on Thursday and ordered a retrial.

His barrister Neville Weston said during deliberations in Ali's trial the jury asked to review the alleged victim's evidence, which was a video recording.

But they did not review the boy's cross-examination and the judge did not take any steps to balance this, Mr Weston said.

He also said the judge did not warn the jury about not placing too much emphasis on replayed evidence.

"Because of that lack of balance, that lack of fairness in the way in which the trial was conducted, there has been a miscarriage of justice," he said.

Prosecutor Sarah Farnden said the jury did ask to see the cross-examination again but withdrew this request about halfway through re-watching the boy's evidence.

She also said the jury was not legally required to view the cross-examination and that it was in the jury's hands to determine what evidence they needed to see again.

The court heard Mr Ali was in custody on Christmas Island because his visa was revoked following his conviction.

The Court of Appeal ordered a retrial.

Court of Appeal justices did not give reasons for their findings on Thursday but the court heard they would publish them at a later date.

- APN NEWSDESK



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