National

Vic policeman to fight leaking charges

By AAP Newswire

A decorated Victoria Police commander is fighting charges laid by the corruption watchdog over allegations he leaked restricted information.

Commander Stuart Bateson appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday on three charges of revealing restricted information between August 14 and October 6, 2018.

Bateson allegedly had been issued with a confidential notice and then disclosed the matters, Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission prosecutor Tom Warne-Smith told the court.

The matters revealed included evidence obtained by or given to the watchdog, the subject matter of an investigation where a witness statement had been issued, and that Bateson had been examined by the body.

It is understood he passed on details to a woman, whose name has since been suppressed.

Bateson's defence counsel, Marcus Dempsey, said his client denied the claims and IBAC had not presented any evidence that confirmed the notice had been correctly issued.

The officer has been a member of the force since the late 1980s, serving as a detective in organised crime, homicide and counter-terrorism units.

He was a member of the high-profile Purana Taskforce, which investigated Melbourne's gangland war, where he became the inspiration for a central character in the television series Underbelly.

The special hearing listed on Tuesday was adjourned to August 17 in the same court for a two-day subpoena argument hearing.

The matter has also been set down for a five day contested hearing on August 24.

Four witnesses are expected to give evidence for the prosecution, with character witnesses to give evidence for the defence.