Former WA treasurer Troy Buswell’s ex-wife investigated for making ‘unauthorised’ recordings, lawyer claims

Former WA treasurer Troy Buswell's ex-wife investigated for making 'unauthorised' recordings, lawyer claims

Police internal affairs are handling a “complaint” made against the police officer ex-wife and alleged domestic violence victim of former WA treasurer Troy Buswell over “unauthorised” recordings of him, Mr Buswell’s lawyer has told a Perth court.

Key points:

  • Troy Buswell has pleaded not guilty to assaulting ex-wife Melissa Hankinson
  • Ms Hankinson is allegedly subject to a police internal affairs complaint
  • Mr Buswell’s bail was renewed and he is due back in court on October 6

Mr Buswell has pleaded not guilty to three charges of assaulting his former wife Melissa Hankinson and causing her bodily harm and three charges of common assault.

The incidents are alleged to have happened at Subiaco, Southern River, Vasse and Yoongarillup, near Busselton, between 2015 and 2018, including one alleged assault on Valentine’s Day in 2016.

Mr Buswell is also facing a seventh charge of unlawfully damaging a door valued at $200.

Today Mr Buswell appeared in court because of an application by prosecutors to make Ms Hankinson, who is a police officer, a “special witness” so she can give evidence via video link from a remote room, and not in person.

However during the hearing, Mr Buswell’s lawyer, Laura Willox, said police internal affairs were handling a complaint against Ms Hankinson alleging she had made “unauthorised” recordings of Mr Buswell.

Mr Buswell is due back in court in October.(ABC News: Hugh Sando)

Ms Willox said the issue created a possible conflict of interest for the prosecution, because its lawyers were from the State Solicitors Office (SSO), which also represented police internal affairs.

She said the matter had been raised with the SSO, but it was yet to respond.

Lawyer wants details of complaint disclosed

Ms Willox requested material relating to the complaint, which she said was relevant to the charges against Mr Buswell, be disclosed to the defence.

The Magistrate said he was unable to make that order without seeing the material, but said if the conflict of interest issue could not be resolved then a “special” appointment would need to be made.

The Magistrate did make an order for the general disclosure of materials to the defence, while the “special witness” application was adjourned to be determined at a later date.

Mr Buswell, whose bail was renewed, is next due to appear in court on October 6, when a trial date may be set.