High-ranking NT cop to stand trial on rape

Peter Bravos has been committed to stand trial for rape.
Peter Bravos has been committed to stand trial for rape.

One of the Northern Territory most powerful police officers, assistant commissioner Peter Stephen Bravos, has been committed to stand trial accused of rape.

Bravos faces four counts of rape over incidents relating to two women who were police officers dating back to 2004 and 2006.

He is one of four assistant commissioners, the force's third-highest rank behind its two deputy commissioners and commissioner.

Darwin Local Court judge John Neill decided after a two-day committal hearing on Friday to send Bravos to trial.

"I am satisfied that the evidence is sufficient to the defendant on trial of each of the four counts," he said.

The majority of the two-day committal involved Bravos's lawyer John Lawrence questioning witness and fellow lawyer Georgia McMaster about her role in charges being laid.

That included meetings with parties outside NT Police including the then-Public Interest Disclosures Commissioner, Brenda Monaghan, and the Australian Crime Commission.

Mr Lawrence asked Ms McMaster whether she had convinced the alleged rape victim to make a formal complaint when she did not want to.

She denied this, saying an informant told her about a lack of progress with the investigation, including a claim that a complaint was made and nothing was done for three months.

She ended up meeting with one of the alleged victims.

"I formed the view that something had happened that needed to be investigated but nothing of substance had happened; it had not been investigated," Ms McMaster told the court.

"The purpose of me going to (authorities) was her welfare, I was very worried about her mental health and welfare."

A former Darwin crown prosecutor now based in Melbourne, Ms McMaster criticised powerful figures during the committal hearing.

That included former NT Attorney-General John Elferink, who she said didn't believe her in a meeting, and Mr Kershaw, along with the possibility his friendship could compromise an investigation.

Mr Elferink has angrily rejected Ms McMaster's claims.

"Ms McMaster is in error to suggest that she wasn't believed. Not only was she believed but her concern regarding an internal police investigation was also taken seriously and acted upon," he said.

Ms McMaster had "raised the issue of a lack of confidence in the police investigating a senior officer" so he referred it to Ms Monaghan, he said.

"The reason that was done was to ensure that there was an external body engaged with the police to ensure that a proper investigation was carried out.

"This appears to have been done as I understand the police officer in question has subsequently been charged."

Bravos was released on bail with a $1000 surety on Friday with a trial date to be fixed.

Australian Associated Press