‘I’ve done nothing wrong’: Police chief Ashton stands his ground
Graham Ashton has vowed to serve “every single day” of his term as Victoria Police’s chief commissioner in the face of calls for his removal from a former chief prosecutor.
Gavin Silbert QC has sensationally said he’s surprised Graham Ashton has managed to stay in his job given he was “party” to the decision to recruit Nicola Gobbo as a police informer.
“I don’t know how (Ashton) has lasted so long,” he told ABC TV.
“Public perceptions of the police force has been very damaged by this.
“How that’s repaired, I don’t know, but one would’ve thought anyone in the hierarchy who sanctioned this should’ve gone.”
In response, Mr Ashton said he’s going nowhere and suggested his critics were undermining the Royal Commission into Police Informers.
“I’m at a position where I’ve got to respect the processes of the royal commission and it’s a shame that others don’t see the need to respect the processes of the royal commission,” Mr Ashton said.
“I’ve always said in relation to myself, I’ve done nothing wrong and I maintain that position.
“Victoria Police at the time, 15 years ago when this stuff was happening, was always trying to act in the best interests of the community.
“I think some of the sensationalism around some of that commentary is just unnecessary, frankly.”
Mr Ashton laughed when Neil Mitchell asked said “so no resignation?”.
“I’m not going anywhere, I’m going until June 30 next year,” Mr Ashton said.
“That’s my five-year contract … and I’ll do every single day of that.”
He also said he hasn’t yet been invited to give evidence at the royal commission.
“I expect to be (called to give evidence), and I’m hoping to have the opportunity.”
Click PLAY to hear the full interview (response to Gavin Silbert comments at 6min mark)