Shut down or else: CrimeNet's final warning

Shut down or else -- that's the message CrimeNet operator Ken Shultz received today, in a letter from Victorian Attorney General Rob Hulls

The Australian legal establishment is determined to banish the CrimeNet site, which publishes and sells the details of criminals. "(Hulls) basically said that he's not satisfied and still wants me to close down," Shultz told ZDNet Australia.

The Victorian Director of Public Prosecution and Attorney General have asked for Shultz to remove all published material in relation to any person facing trial in Victoria.

Shultz responded by writing to the Victorian DPP, QC Geoffrey Flatman, and the Attorney General offering a compromise to remove only people facing retrial and those with overturned convictions. He also noted actions taken by the Web site to minimise access by jurors.

However, Attorney General Mr Rob Hulls' letter said Shultz "had not adequately addressed the issues the Internet site presents."

Attorney General Mr Rob Hulls told ZDNet Australia that "it is totally inappropriate that Shultz should dictate to the judiciary."

"He did send a letter asking for a compromise. So what? This information has potential to jeopardise trials and undermine the criminal justice system in Victoria. I'm not going to stand by and let this occur so I've asked for CrimeNet to be a good corporate citizen and stand down," Hulls said.

"It is in Mr Shultz own interest that the site be closed down because he does risk serious sanctions if any person in Victoria appears on the site."

The Victorian DPP was unavailable for comment for this story.

An unrepentant Shultz said: "I'm not going to close. Not when my advice is that we're not in breach of any specific law. It's not clear that I'm in contempt of court."

Shultz previously told ZDNet he was considering moving the site offshore. Today's letter has made this option more attractive. "If I get a suitable offer I will sell it immediately. I'm sick of this threat that is hanging over my head."

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