^very intelligent analysis, Sponge
Sad but true, the Co$ chain smokes when it comes to foot bullets, but the one thing they do right is lawyers. Hopefully, HOPEFULLY the prosecution can be so airtight - and the judge and jury will not accept bribes from the cult - that Eastgate will be properly punished, assuming (nod to Suzanne Marie!) that she actually is guilty. In other words, they correct and just outcome will manifest itself.
Yeah, but if Australia is anything like the U.S, she will plea to some lesser misdemeanor charge and pay a fine. I would think the church would want to have this quickly behind them, with as little publicity as possible, which a plea might accomplish.
Remember this happened many years ago and I'm not sure you can have a "lesser charge" in her circumstances. There is "perverting the course of justice" and the only thing relevant to that is "conspiracy to pervert the course of justice". For the conspiracy charge there would still have to be someone else to blame for the main charge because if you can't prove that then there is nobody to conspire with. Unless there is someone else that the cult is going to throw under the bus in front of Eastgate, then it's either all or nothing in my opinion. I think the reason it isn't just "interfering with a police investigation" (which is bad enough) is because it surrounds a case where someone was found guilty of a crime (the step father abuser) and who would have got a bigger sentence had the whole truth not been supressed. The Perverting the course of justice charge does I think encompass things like interfering with the police investigation anyway.[btw, assume there is an ongoing "allegedly" disclaimer when I make these non-lawyery assertions]
Some interesting stats....
Source: http://www.australiancriminallawyers.co ... of_justice
If you fancy some light reading, This is an interesting book (Chapter 10): The law of criminal conspiracy By Peter Gillies
Also, from various pieces of google fu, it seems....
in New South Wales, if the sentence for Perverting the Course of Justice is more than two years (Max 14) then a custodial sentence is mandatory. If it is two years or less then options of a suspended sentence and bonds become available to the sentencing judge. There is also the strange "Section 10" where one is found guilty but one does'nt get an actual conviction (no, I don't understand that one either but you can bet that her lawyer will be ready to beg for it).
Judges can't apply a sentencing length based on their opinion that they think the guilty party only deserves a suspended sentence. The length decision comes above all else and then they decide whether to suspend it or apply some other form of bond, if applicable. I think I have that right.
All that said, nothing surprises me in court cases involving the cult. The only way out of this for the cult is for Jan Eastgate to be found not guilty or the case summarily dismissed.
If there is a plea bargain for some lesser charge then Eastgate is ruined anyway because the charge, whether custodial or not, would still relate to events surrounding the cover-up of child abuse. Her position as CCHR international president would be untenable and I'd love to see how the cult would spin that and think its ever going to come out of it smelling of roses.
Something from ABC Lateline, 20th May....
In an email to Lateline Jan Eastgate described the allegations as egregiously false. She also denies she pressured the family to get involved in the case.
In an email to Lateline she says:
JAN EASTGATE: (Voice-over) The family asked for my help to attend their meeting with Youth and Community Services specifically because they did not want anyone involved to be forced to undergo psychiatric treatment. It had nothing to do with the merit of potential criminal charges.
Going by that statement, she does not deny that there was indeed a situation and that she was involved in some "advisory" capacity (or interference
as normal people would call it). Now she is going to have a hard time, given her local position in the organisation at the time, convincing anyone on a jury that that is what she only
did, in my opinion, especially when she's going up against some very credible witnesses.
The problem for her is that Perverting the Course of Justice is I think the only crime that can actually carry a sentence greater than the original crime upon which justice was perverted.
It also means that it would not just be poetically ironic but also massively stupid for the cult to even think about coaching their witnesses to lie in a case which centres around justice itself being perverted.
Don't listen to me though. I'm not a lawyer. Also, please excuse me if I've repeated myself. It's hard keeping up.