The Northern Territory's first Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) Ken Fleming QC has stepped down from his oversight role in relation to the police shooting death of indigenous teenager Kumanjayi Walker.
The move follows some criticism that he was not impartial by addressing a protest rally in Alice Springs.
The rally was one of several that sprung up around Australia last week as Mr Walker's death became a flashpoint for anger over police treatment of Aboriginal people.
"One of the most important messages today is 'Black Lives Matter'. Anybody who says contrary to that is guilty of corrupt behaviour," Mr Fleming said in Alice Springs last Thursday.
NT Police Constable Zachary Rolfe was charged the day before with murder over the shooting at Yuendumu on November 9.
A statement from ICAC on Tuesday afternoon said Mr Fleming would" "step aside from the Office of the ICAC's continuing involvement in the investigation into the circumstances surrounding a Death in Custody in Yuendumu".
Bruce McClintock SC, who is the ICAC inspector with an oversight role, assessed complaints about Mr Fleming's remarks and made recommendations about the agency's future involvement in the police internal investigation into the shooting.
ICAC will still be involved but the NT's first anti-corruption tsar will not be involved in his own agency's most high-profile matter since he started in the role in July last year.
ICAC is yet to hold any public hearings although Mr Fleming has named several of its investigations and said he was "very concerned about this incident" after Mr Walker's shooting.
"From the moment this tragic incident occurred I have set out to give my time to both the NT Police and the Central Australian and Warlpiri Aboriginal communities, in a balanced manner," Mr Fleming said.
"I proactively sought counsel to engage in a culturally appropriate manner with senior Aboriginal community leaders, and specifically Warlpiri people who have been impacted by this event.
"My intention when participating in the community meetings in Central Australia was to explain our ability to independently look into these matters to the communities who are upset and seeking the truth.
"I accept that some of my comments have led to the perception among some observers that I am closer to one side than another on this matter, and so I will no longer be involved in it."
Australian Associated Press