Tony Robertson defence cost $220k

Tony Robertson
Tony Robertson

Embattled Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga has announced an independent review into his department's management of the man who went on to rape and murder Blessie Gotingco.

That's despite Corrections saying the staff who were keeping tabs on Tony Robertson should be praised.

Robertson raped and murdered while under Corrections' supervision.

"You have got a dead person – you can't say, 'Haven't we done a great job?'" says Gotingco family spokeswoman Ruth Money. "A normal person wouldn't say that."

Now the Corrections Minister, who has been busy fending off allegations about the privately run Mt Eden Prison, has been forced to announce a review into Robertson's management.

"I have ordered and independent review to give the family and the public reassurances that Corrections did everything in their powers to manage the case," says Mr Lotu-Iiga.

Robertson, barely out of jail for abducting and molesting a five-year-old girl, was on strict release conditions when he ran Ms Gotingco down as she walked home from the bus stop, cut her throat, raped and killed her. 

An internal review found Corrections handled Robertson in an "appropriate and highly responsive" manner.

Under the Official Information Act, 3 News sought extensive details about Corrections' management of Robertson. More than a year on, it has finally released just a fraction of what was asked for.

The response contains a long list of what we can't see. We can't see Robertson's Corrections file, his psychological report or more extensive GPS data.

Corrections says it exceeded monitoring standards, with probation staff seeing Robertson up to three times a week, but we can't see any of the reports, assessments or notes from those meetings. Corrections says one of the reasons is it would breach Robertson's privacy and could hinder his future rehabilitation.

"His privacy? What about Blessie's privacy? What about public protection?" says Ms Money.

Other documents released to 3 News show Robertson's defence, including the cost of a legal advisor to the court after he sacked his lawyer, cost more than $220,000 – and that doesn't include taxpayer money he used fighting to keep his name secret.

3 News