DNA retesting paused in Queensland after police fears process could exhaust evidence, inquiry hears
, 2022-09-30 01:41:17,
Testing of certain DNA samples has been paused due to fears evidence could be lost, an inquiry into Queensland’s forensics laboratory has heard.
- Samples once deemed “DNA insufficient” had begun to be retested, but have been paused
- The inquiry was told it “might be months” before testing resumes
- A former FBI DNA expert deemed the options paper that led to the testing change to be insufficient
The inquiry before Walter Sofronoff KC is investigating the 2018 changes that meant crime scene samples ruled to have “DNA insufficient for further processing” were not processed further at the state-run lab.
The lab resumed processing those samples earlier this year.
But the inquiry today heard Queensland Police had requested a pause after concerns a decision made last month, imposing a “blanket” approach towards concentrating samples, could exhaust the DNA.
Police Inspector David Neville, the head of the Queensland Police Service’s DNA Management Unit, told the inquiry on Wednesday samples “at the lower end of the end of the range” were at risk.
“A scientist had come forward saying that that blanket policy is risking samples at the lower end of the range … because those samples, if you concentrated them to 35 microlitres, they are still too dilute to get a profile. So, in essence, if you run it, you have now wasted half of the sample,” he said.
Under questioning, Senior Sergeant Stephen Foxover confirmed he was aware Queensland Health had made a decision on Friday to halt…
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