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NSW hate crime probe seeks cold case clues

A NSW probe into historical hate crimes against LGBTQI people is calling for anyone with information to come forward.

Public hearings start in October for the Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTQI hate crimes, examining dozens of unsolved deaths and missing persons cases between 1970 and 2010.

Senior Counsel Assisting Peter Gray SC said it was vital any family members, friends or members of the public with information make contact.

“Any recollections or pieces of information that you might have, however major or minor, could provide a vital link in understanding what happened,” Mr Gray said.

This could ultimately lead to arrests and prosecutions, in cases where people have been waiting for justice long delayed.

“This may be the last chance for the truth about some of these historical deaths to be exposed. We need to hear from you,” he said.

The inquiry will also examine missing persons cases and other unsolved deaths over the same time frame.

People who were involved in the deaths, or witnessed them, have also been encouraged to make contact.

“If you have had something weighing on your mind for years about these things, now is your chance to do something to make some amends,” Mr Gray said.

“Now is the time to break your silence.”

Information can be submitted anonymously by email, post or through the commission’s website.

A team of barristers, solicitors and investigators has obtained and analysed more than 100,000 documents from four decades of police files, coroners’ files and other sources ahead of the public hearings.

The commission can hold public or private hearings and has the power to compel witnesses to give evidence or produce documents.

The final report is due in June 2023.

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