The Newsroom recaps this week’s top stories.
Charbaji brothers guilty of gory murder
A month-long trial has found the Charbaji brothers guilty of the murder of Dane McNeill. McNeill, 21, was stabbed, bound and drugged before being stuffed in a suitcase, dumped in a reserve and set alight. Azam Charbaji, 26, and Haysem, 24, were tried and found guilty on Wednesday, as well as Haysem’s then girlfriend Lexy May Jamieson, 26, who was found guilty of accessory after the fact. A former friend, Brendon Gallo, 21, testified against the brothers. The court heard the brothers started attacking Mr McNeill after he approached them, asking for money to repay a debt. The brothers also had a falling out with Mr McNeill on a separate occasion involving a $3000 debt and on-off girlfriend, Jade Patterson. Mr Gallo explained that the weekend of the murder, the three accused and Mr McNeill had been using ice, but had since stopped using and decided that coming forward was “the right thing to do.” Parents Peter and Rebecca McNeill spoke out about the use of ice in light of their son’s death, saying “we won’t proclaim that he (Dane) was perfect, he was not. He had his faults, but ice does that to people.”
Euthanasia campaigner withdraws gassing death claims
Euthanasia campaigner, Dr Phillip Nitschke, had to correct claims a father who was gassed to death in Sydney had downloaded a copy of his Euthanasia handbook, A Peaceful Pill. Fernando Manrique and his family were found dead in their home in Davidson on Monday morning. Police are still investigating their deaths and exploring the possibility the family died from a deliberate and sophisticated system releasing airborne gas into their home. Dr Nitschke believed that Mr Manrique had downloaded a digital copy of the handbook containing a chapter on the use of carbon monoxide. Since media outlets ran the story, Dr Nitschke has been forced to retract his statement after checking the data base of people who have a copy. Someone else of the same name had a version of the handbook from the Exit International’s website.
Abbott backs Turnbull to remain leader
Tony Abbott has said he does not expect a change in Prime Minister any time soon. Appearing on the ABC’s 7:30 Report on Wednesday, Mr Abbott remained committed to Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal government. “The party room wants this government, this PM to succeed,” Mr Abbott said. “That’s what I want and that’s what I’m doing best to bring out”. Mr Abbott has frustrated his successor Mr Turnbull in recent weeks, but insisted he is entitled to speak out, saying that as a former PM, he “will have something to say.”
Calls for working conditions to be revised on Aussie farms
Insiders are calling for immediate action following last week’s revelations of the horrific working conditions on Australian farms. Young travellers spoke up about mistreatment and sexual harassment, as well as being under paid. Backpackers also exploited farms, saying they would work on hot days, without enough water or proper health and safety training. Over the weekend, Fair Work Ombudsman released the results of a two-year inquiry, confirming many workers were unpaid or not paid at all. For a visa to be extended, a backpacker must complete 88 days of farm work, with some employers now being accused of not signing off on the forms needed. – Compiled from online sources by Ashleigh Cant.
Photo of Dane McNeil’s parents from ABC News online.