Senior Queensland forensics staff stood down over DNA bungle

Two senior staff members have stood down following an interim report into a bunged DNA testing scandal.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed two staffers at the state-run Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services had been stood down pending the outcome of an inquiry.

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Queensland police are reviewing thousands of DNA samples connected to criminal cases. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

“DNA was once held as the gold standard for forensic evidence,” Dr Richard Matthews from the University of Adelaide said.

“The finding of the Queensland Inquiry now brings into question that assumption, highlighting that it is only valid when the science is correctly practised.”

Matthews said DNA remained a valuable source of evidence.

“Cases like this highlight the need for greater scrutiny and overarching regulation of expert witness evidence in Australia,” he said.

“Too much reliance is often placed on experts when judges do not understand the science.”

Palaszczuk announced an inquiry into Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services in June.

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The inquiry’s interim findings were delivered yesterday, with a full report due in December.

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