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Accused Vic cop killer loses bail appeal

Accused police killer Jason Roberts has lost again in his bid for bail ahead of a retrial for the murder of two police officers.

Roberts was convicted in 2002 over the murders of Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller during a 1998 stake-out, but it was overturned by Victoria’s Court of Appeal last year.

Having already spent years behind bars, and the prospect of another year or more before a new trial, Roberts applied for bail in Victoria’s Supreme Court but was knocked back.

An appeal against that decision was rejected on Friday.

His lawyers said undue prominence was given to the seriousness of the charges when determining whether or not there were exceptional circumstances justifying his release from custody.

They also argued it was unreasonable that there would be a more than 20-year delay between his arrest and the likely trial, and the fact he had suffered “considerable personal hardship” while in custody.

Lawyers also highlighted the fact his conviction was overturned because police misconduct had “so corrupted the fairness of (his) trial so as to poison it to its root”.

In a unanimous decision, three Court of Appeal judges dismissed Roberts’ case, saying while past events may be relevant, it’s the need to prevent or mitigate future injustice that justifies bail.

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