Australia's Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery, QC, came under fire yesterday over the way he has handled the charging of a senior crown prosecutor (pictured) with possession of child pornography. 2

Australia’s Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery, QC, came under fire yesterday over the way he has handled the charging of a senior crown prosecutor (pictured) with possession of child pornography.

Shadow attorney-general Chris Hartcher said the DPP sent Patrick Power, SC, home on Tuesday after his office was told a technician had found child pornography on Power’s personal computer.

“But he wasn’t arrested until Thursday afternoon. It was only then that a search warrant of his home was executed,” Mr Hartcher said.

“The DPP should explain why there was a delay of two days and that gap needs to be questioned.”

Power has prosecuted hundreds of cases including wife killer Andrew Kalajzich and gang rapist Bilal Skaf.

He was charged on Thursday night with possession of child pornography, an offence that carries a maximum of five years’ jail.

Mr Cowdery said on Friday that a technician from his office allegedly found an explicit illegal video on Power’s personal computer on Tuesday. Power was immediately confronted and suspended from work. Power went home until police arrested him on Thursday afternoon. He will appear in court on July 27.

Mr Hartcher said the prosecution of Power must be handled by lawyers from outside NSW.

“Dr Power is a Crown prosecutor and the criminal bar is a small one. It should be done completely at arms-length from the entire NSW criminal justice system,” he said.

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