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Speculation suggests Rayney might find island life suits

LLOYD Rayney, the crown prosecutor who ran foul of art critic Robert Hughes, wasn’t in Perth this week for the out-of-court settlement of his defamation action.

Mr Rayney has moved to Bermuda to help old Perth chum Kulen Ratneser run the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

He has taken 18 months leave without pay from WA’s DPP but there is speculation Mr Rayney could stay in Bermuda, especially as Mr Ratneser has just turned 70.

The rumoured salary of $US160,000 tax-free would provide a handy incentive.

Mr Rayney’s departure comes 10 months after he was passed over in a management restructure.

He applied last year for the newly created position of director of legal services, the number two job in the organisation behind DPP Robert Cock QC.

The job was awarded to former Westpac lawyer Fiona Low, and as a result Mr Rayney ceased to be acting assistant crown prosecutor, a largely administrative position he had filled in an acting capacity for nearly four years.

Mr Rayney returned to his substantive position of team consultant, on the third rung of the DPP’s management structure.

Mr Cock said the position of director of business services – a second senior role created in last year’s management restructure – remained vacant.

The position was due to be filled this month but the successful applicant recently advised Mr Cock that he would not accept it.

Mr Rayney and Mr Cock sued Mr Hughes for defamation in May 2000, in relation to comments made by Mr Hughes after dangerous driving charges against him were dismissed in the Broome Magistrates Court.

The terms of the settlement are confidential.

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