20 Aug 2014

Court to decide on navy officer's retrial

5:21 pm on 20 August 2014

The lawyer for a navy officer who has won his appeal against his convictions says the Court Martial Appeal Court has yet to decide whether there will be a retrial.

Commodore Kevin Keat was found guilty at a court martial last year on five charges of breaching orders by not disclosing an affair with a subordinate, not ending the affair, and threatening behaviour. He was dismissed from the Navy.

His lawyer, Michael Bott, said the appeal court found the military panel that convicted Commodore Keat was not properly directed on technical aspects of his mental state.

"For my client, it's hugely significant. He didn't receive a fair trial in terms of summing up and the military members may have arrived at a decision that was not sound in law, so it's quite proper that these convictions are quashed."

Mr Bott said it was now up to the courts to decide whether a retrial should occur.

He said Commodore Keat has had difficulty finding another job despite being highly skilled.

"At this stage, he's looking for work, he's finding matters very, very difficult financially," he said.

Mr Bott said Commodore Keat could not return to his military career.

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