A DETECTIVE who is the target of a $3.1 million malicious prosecution and wrongful imprisonment lawsuit is accused of telling a man later acquitted of attempted murder over the shooting of Daniel Fing that he believed he was "innocent" and the case against him "looked dodgy" and was "about to fall apart".
Matthew Bruce Edwards - who in 2013 was found not guilty of shooting his rival after a jury deliberated for less than 20 minutes - is suing the state of NSW and the detective who charged him, claiming he was set up by the notorious Hunter criminal who staged the shooting or shot himself, an allegation he claims detectives believed was true when they took him to trial.
Mr Edwards, who spent 69 days in jail in 2011 after being charged with shooting Mr Fing, faced the final day of a hearing in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday.
During his closing submissions, barrister Jonathan Cohen, for Mr Edwards, told Justice Michael Walton that detective senior constable Jason Gill had maintained the proceedings against Mr Edwards "without reasonable or probable cause".
Mr Edwards gave evidence during the hearing that after he proclaimed his innocence and denied involvement in the shooting, senior constable Gill had told him: "I believe you're innocent. I believe you're telling the truth, but it's up to the courts to throw it out."
"As a starting point that is an improper purpose," Mr Cohen told Justice Walton. "If you are a prosecutor and you have some genuine belief in the innocence of the accused, and that belief is entirely corroborated by the evidence, are you entitled to let the court decide it? The answer is no. The only reason that he maintained the proceedings is that they were already on foot and that is an improper purpose."
Mr Cohen said that during Mr Edwards' evidence he had claimed senior constable Gill went much further than simply saying he believed he was innocent and claimed that the detective had told him: "it looks dodgy to me, your evidence adds up, the case is about to fall apart and we're looking for the gun that was used in the shooting".
Mr Cohen submitted that Mr Edwards' claims were corroborated by other evidence in the hearing, including texts and emails.
And he said Mr Edwards should be considered a compelling and truthful witness despite being convicted of tax fraud and serving time in jail.
Senior constable Gill gave evidence during the hearing, Mr Cohen said, and repeatedly denied saying the things Mr Edwards claims.
I believe you're innocent. I believe you're telling the truth, but it's up to the courts to throw it out.Matthew Edwards claims he was told this by the detective who charged him with attempted murder.