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Opposition, union call for officer's defence funds

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 23 October 2004

The Territory Opposition's spokesman for police says the Northern Territory Government should affirm their support of a Territory police sergeant committed to stand trial for murder.

Sergeant Robert Whittington will face murder and other charges, related to the death of Tobias Worumbu in Wadeye in 2002.

The CLP's Dennis Burke is concerned the Police Commissioner will cut funding for future legal defence.

He says without the Government's support, the Territory Police Force will suffer.

"This is a very special and important case, in the way in which Sergeant Whittington is treated will have an effect on the morale on the whole force, so the police force that we are building up and a police force that needs to be supported in the difficult situations it often finds itself," he said.

The Territory Police Association says it is appropriate the Police Commissioner continue funding for the duration of Sergeant Whittington's case.

The association says legal defence fees for the committal were covered by the Commissioner but there is no indication future funding will be given.

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