Call for exhumation of Dr Duncan and fresh inquiry

exhumation of dr duncan
Images: The Age & SA Police

The boyfriend of one of the two witnesses to the murder of Professor George Duncan in 1972 has called on the South Australian Attorney-General to authorise the exhumation of Dr Duncan’s body. He also asked for a fresh inquiry into the death similar to the NSW Special Commission into LGBTQI Hate Crimes.

Ivan Felisatti told the Adelaide Advertiser his former partner lied in his original statement to police about Dr Duncan’s death because he was scared. Julian Clarke told Ivan Felisatti that during the 1970s, he endured three bashings himself because of his sexuality. And the memory of the night Dr Duncan died haunted Julian Clarke. He became an alcoholic and died by suicide in 1991.

In 1988, Julian Clarke gave a police statement about what he saw at the beat on the banks of the River Torrens in 1972. He stated that after hearing screaming, he saw a group of men throw two other men in the river. He said members of the group then punched him and told him to ‘f_ck off’ before the same happened to him.

However, Julian Clarke later told Ivan Felisatti he saw three police officers attack Dr Duncan.

“Two of them held Dr Duncan and Julian heard bones breaking and the men shouting.”

Forensic pathologist Dr Colin Maddock testified during the inquest to finding marks on the upper portions of both arms.

“The marks on the upper arms suggest that at least two people held him firmly shortly before his death.”

However, Dr Maddocks’ evidence made no mention of any X-ray of the arms.

An exhumation of Dr Duncan’s body would allow an examination to check for broken bones.

Before the witnesses die

Ivan Felisatti said he wanted a fresh inquiry while witnesses and two police officers acquitted of the manslaughter of Dr Duncan were still alive.

“A human being was victimised and bullied and there should be closure and justice.”

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