Byron Greens MP, Ian Cohen
Byron Greens MP, Ian Cohen

Charges dropped: Cohen speaks out

GREENS MP Ian Cohen can finally speak out about the ordeal he has endured since assault charges were laid against him in April.

On Friday in Byron Bay Local Court the Department of Public Prosecutions formally withdrew the charges against Mr Cohen.

The Byron Shire resident had been facing charges of assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm brought by his former partner, Donna Davis, who was alleging he attacked her in 2006.

Mr Cohen pleaded not guilty to the charges in June.

Early in October the DPP foreshadowed it would drop the charges when the case came before the court again on October 31, but Mr Cohen could not comment until the case had been put to rest.

Free to speak his mind yesterday, Mr Cohen told The Northern Star he was unhappy with a system which allowed his 'trial by media'.

“I am feeling very, very relieved but also frustrated that there can be so much negative publicity in the media without me being able to say anything because of due process. Some media were in attack mode.

“If you look at the amount of media generated by the accusations compared with the interest in the result, there is a giant imbalance.”

Mr Cohen said he would be raising the issue of trial by media with the Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos.

“At the appropriate time and in the appropriate way I would like to raise the issue because I really feel I have been treated unfairly.”

He said he would be talking to his solicitors about 'exploring further avenues of redress'.

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