The lawyer for suspended ATSIC chair Geoff Clark
has accused a publican of telling a "complete and absolute
lie" about events that led to his conviction on charges of
obstructing police and riotous behaviour.
The Aboriginal leader is
appealing against the conviction, which emanated from an incident
at Warrnambool in Victoria's south-west last year.
Five staff gave
versions of what happened on May 1, 2002 at Warrnambool's Criterion
They described how a group of Aborigines, including
Clark, became upset and expressed a sense of racial injustice at
a demand that Jamie Boss Chadfield not be allowed in the hotel.
The licensee, John Palmer, told the court he rang
police as the group arrived, saying he wanted Mr Chadfield removed
as he had been banned from the pub.
But Robert Richter QC, appearing
for Clark, accused Mr Palmer of poppycock, nonsense and lies.
said a police officer would give evidence the publican had phoned
to say a group of Aborigines was coming, some of them were drunk,
and he wanted them removed.
Mr Palmer repeatedly denied he had said
that and agreed it would be unlawful to refuse service on racial
The court also heard descriptions of how police
used capsicum spray on the group after Mr Chadfield, with Clark's
support, refused to leave the hotel.
Bar attendant Rachel Jones-Lumby
said several of the group became emotional and said "let's
stand our ground" and "it isn't fair".
She said two
police officers arrived and there was screaming as they used capsicum
spray on the group.