Australian serial killer Peter Norris Dupas’ lawyer presented arguments last week before Victoria’s Supreme Court regarding Dupas’ filing to suppress the re-airing of a TV miniseries, Killing Time, which follows the life of Andrew Fraser, a disgraced Melbourne-based lawyer who did time in the same prison as Dupas for dealing narcotics. The episodes in question, 9 and 10, touch on Dupas’ jailhouse confession to the murder of Mersina Halvagis, a young woman that he stabbed 30 times in the back while she was kneeling in front of her grandmother’s grave, and depicts a dramatization of the murder. Fraser was a key witness in the case against Dupas, but Dupas is a peripheral character in the miniseries.
Attorney John Desmond argued that re-airing the miniseries on Channel Seven would reach much more of the population, and could prevent Dupas, who is waiting to hear if he has won retrial in the Halvagis case, from having a fair trial. Desmond added, “Why do the public have a need to be so entertained at this particular point in time?” The Court of Appeal, however, has not yet handed down a decision, and this was the main thrust of the argument made by Channel Seven’s attorney Ron Merkel QC, who called the application for suppression of the dramatization of the well-known case premature and hypothetical, concluding, that “It’s unlikely episode 10 would leave any lasting impression on any potential jury.”
Justice Emilios Kyrou denied the application saying that the information was in the public domain, adding that a retrial, if granted, would not likely to take place until sometime next year, well after the December 2012 airing of Killing Time. Dupas is serving two other life sentences, for the murders of Nicole Patterson and Margaret Maher, so even if he wins a retrial in the Halvagis case, he won’t going anywhere for a while.