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‘So what?’: Leading lawyer’s fiery defence of Craig Minogue’s tweets

One of Victoria’s leading lawyers has launched a strong defence of the Russell Street bomber’s controversial access to Twitter in a fiery exchange on 3AW Breakfast this morning.

Craig Minogue could soon lose some of his phone privileges as authorities attempt to stop him using social media.

An associate of Minoue has been operating the Twitter account for him by speaking to him over the phone.

His tweets have prompted anger and calls for changes to the law, but the Australian Lawyers Alliance disagrees.

In a terse exchange with Ross Stevenson, himself a former lawyer, ALA spokesperson Greg Barns said it would be unjust to strip Minogue of his right to phone calls, even if that results in Twitter rants.

Ross Stevenson: It must be thrilling for Angela Taylor’s (the police officer killed in the Russell Street bombing) mother and father and relatives to hear whatever Craig Minogue has to say on any subject.

Greg Barns: Well, I mean, he’s doing his time.

Stevenson: Well, he’s doing a version of time; he’s doing a version of time where he’s allowed to tweet.

Barns: Well, so what?

“I’ve seen his tweets and I’ve retweeted Craig Minogue over the years,” Barnes went on. “He talks about his legal process, he’s got a PhD.”

“You don’t lose all your privileges simply because you’re incarcerated, the incarceration itself is in fact the punishment.

“Let me just say this; there have been examples where prisoners have got the message out about matters happening within the prison system that ought to be known by the community, and certainly ought to be known in terms of knowing we have a better prison system.

“Because the prison system itself and governments are notorious for secrecy, and for getting away with things in prison that they ought not get away with.”

The comments prompted a quick reaction from several 3AW Breakfast listeners.

Click PLAY to hear the full interview