The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Chris Craigie SC has announced that he will not be seeking an extension of his five year term, which expires on 13 October this year. In a statement released today the Director said:
“I take considerable satisfaction in the achievements of the Office in my term as Commonwealth DPP and am particularly admiring of the service of the officers who have worked alongside me in those endeavours. The past five years have been marked with many notable achievements by the Office. These included the large number of convictions obtained in several major terrorism trials before juries in Sydney and Melbourne. We undertook the unprecedented and successful prosecution and conviction of a senior law enforcement official in NSW in a trial for a drug importation conspiracy and for perverting the course of justice. The Office has undertaken successful prosecutions in money laundering and in other developing areas, such as child exploitation, sexual servitude and people smuggling, whilst continuing with the vigorous and effective prosecution of drug trafficking and fraud, including taxation fraud. The latter has been a subject of particular personal interest and commitment to the effectiveness of Operation Wickenby.
We have contributed practical insights to law reform and to significant federal policy initiatives, such as the Commonwealth Organised Crime Strategic Framework, and developed a number of important policies of our own, including the Victims of Crime Policy.
A number of highly controversial and sensitive matters have arisen over the past five years. These have been handled in a manner consistent with the both the interests of the Australian community and in accord with the independence of the Office.
It has been pleasing that on a number of occasions the work of the Office has been commended and formally recognised by many; the Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department, the former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty, the Australian Tax Commissioner, the Defence Reserves Support Council and the Australian Federal Police, to name but a few. I add my own commendation and thanks for the dedication and skill which my deputies, the legal and support staff in all our offices across the country have exhibited throughout my term. I could not have asked for more in terms of loyalty and commitment to our essential tasks. It is also appropriate that I express my thanks for the support of each Attorney-General alongside whom I have worked and for the productive relationship I have enjoyed with the past and current Commissioner of the AFP and from the heads of each of the many agencies with whom the CDPP works on a daily basis. I thank them all for what has been the evident respect for the value that arises from the CDPP’s independent role.
After five years of challenging and rewarding service, I have considered a number of matters, including the interests of my family and have concluded that I will not seek consideration for a further term as DPP. It has been a great honour and privilege to serve the Commonwealth and its people in this capacity.”