$2m lawsuit against police
A CONVICTED criminal acquitted of the grievous assault of a Rockhampton cop has launched a $2m lawsuit against Queensland Police over allegations of wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
Brendan James Zemek has also alleged a CPIU Detective Sergeant tampered with evidence played during a district court trial against him.
Lawyers for QPS are fighting the claim labelling some of the allegations as "embarrassing" and likely to "prejudice or delay the fair trial of the proceeding".
In a claim against State of Queensland, filed in Mackay Supreme Court, Mr Zemek alleged he was "acting in self defence" when he pushed off-duty cop Glenn Powell in December 2015 causing him to fall and the bones in the officer's wrist to snap.
As a result of the incident outside the Giddy Goat Bar and Cafe, Mr Zemek was arrested by Det Sgt Angus Kerr and charged with grievous bodily harm. He appeared in the magistrates court where bail was denied and he was sent to Capricornia Correctional Centre.
The case went to trial and Mr Zemek, a Mackay man with a three-page criminal history that includes entries for stealing, fraud, wilful damage, assault/obstruct police and possessing dangerous drugs, was found not guilty of grievous bodily harm on October 7, 2016.
"I claim the arrest was unlawful as I was acting in self defence and was thereafter the subject of false imprisonment," the 24 year old stated in court documents obtained by the Daily Mercury.
"I state that (Det Sgt Kerr) acted maliciously and without reasonable and probable cause in bringing and maintaining the charge.
"I state that (Det Sgt Kerr) deliberately and intentionally tampered with the CCTV footage of the incident (but editing cropping and freeze framing the footage) and used it as evidence to mislead judicial proceedings."
Mr Zemek further stated Det Sgt Kerr "intentionally ignored" evidence from other cameras and refused to get statements from other witnesses. He is seeking a $2 million payout, plus $200,000 interest, $24,500 loss of income and $1000 in costs.
In paperwork lodged in May last year Mr Zemek claims he lost "stable, long term employment as a result of my imprisonment", which resulted in "severe mental anguish that I am still recovering from".
Lawyers for QPS lodged a notice of intention to defend the proceeding the following month.
Paperwork states the QPS denies the allegations "as they are untrue as they are contrary to fact and law".
QPS maintain the arrest was lawful as Mr Zemek was "reasonably suspected" of having committed an indictable offence and the arrest was authorised under the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000.
Lawyers also do not admit to claims Mr Zemek lost work as "despite reasonable inquiries it remains uncertain of the truth of the allegations" or that his mental health suffered as a result of his incarceration.