12 | 27
2010

When will enough be enough?

Categories: Uncategorized

by: Bakchos
Leave feedback | 7 Comments »

Class action on police ‘torture’ screams the headline from The Canberra Times on Christmas Eve. The newspaper reports that Mark Barrow, Solicitor from Ken Cush & Associates, a Canberra based law firm, has filed on behalf of eight clients in the ACT Supreme Court alleging that the Commonwealth of Australia and two former Australian Federal Police officers violated his client’s human rights and committed acts of torture against them while in Australian Federal Police custody. Return readers to this blog will note a recurrent theme emerging; more and more Australian Federal Police officers are being accused by the wider community of exactly the type of criminality Indigenous Australians have been alleging against them for a number of years.

In essence, Mr. Barrow on behalf of his clients, is alleging systemic abuse and misconduct by the Australian Federal Police who are accused, in separate incidents, of using capsicum foam in a manner which can only be described as repeated and deliberate acts of torture designed to intimidate and punish ‘clients’ being detained at the City Watch-House in 2006.

In Racists, Torturers and Common Criminals…The Australian Federal Police I discussed the circumstances which gave rise to Mr. Barrow’s current application. I briefly looked at the role of former sergeant John Arthur Birch who avoided a jail sentence in September of this year, because his barrister argued that he would be “bashed and buggered” in Goulburn prison. My heart bleeds for former sergeant John Arthur Birch as I sit here and consider how many innocent Indigenous and other Australians have been “bashed and buggered” in prison having received sentences of incarceration based upon the fabricated evidence of the Australian Federal Police.

In a relatively well known case which was tried before the ACT Supreme Court in the 1990s, a former United States Air Force Psychologist Mr. Frank Del Castillo was charged by the Australian Federal Police with murder. The allegation was that Mr. Del Castillo had murdered his wife’s lover. The Australian Federal Police assured the Canberra community that it had a ‘water tight’ case against Mr. Del Castillo, having obtained a statement from the deceased implicating the accused prior to the victim dying.

‘Water tight’ case my arse. The statement that the Australian Federal Police allegedly took from the deceased implicating Mr. Del Castillo was taken several hours after the victim had died! What did the Australian Federal Police use to source their statement from the deceased, a Ouija board or some other divination method, or did they just plain lie? Well the judge hearing the matter must have leaned towards the last as he directed the jury to bring down a verdict of ‘NOT GUILTY’ against Mr. Del Castillo.

At the date of writing this post there have been convictions or guilty verdicts over ten of the capsicum spray assaults by police Australian Federal Police Officers on watch-house detainees. Charges are still pending over one more alleged incident.

In a gutless reply from the Commonwealth, the Australian Government has denied liability for the Actions of its police force, the Australian Federal Police, which comes back to the very first point I made on this blog – who are the Australian Federal Police accountable too? If it’s not the Commonwealth and it’s not the Commonwealth Ombudsman, then who is it?

While we consider who the Australian Federal Police may or may not accountable to, let’s also consider the list of crimes and allegations against the AFP made by Australian Citizens and the international community:

  1. Dr. Mohamed Haneef, fitted-up on terrorist charges by the AFP in 2007;
  2. Mr. Julian Moti, former Solomon Islands Attorney-General, charges thrown out by Queensland Judge Mullins amid allegations of AFP corruption and witness tampering;
  3. Mr. Marten, an Australian Citizen who lived and worked in PNG and spent 940 days in jail because the AFP alleged he had committed rape in PNG. A heinous crime! What the AFP neglected to tell the Queensland Supreme Court was that immigration records proved that Mr. Marten was in Australia, not PNG at the times the alleged rapes took place;
  4. Mr. Frank Del Castillo, charged and prosecuted for murder on fabricated AFP evidence;
  5. The current class action involving eight claimants alleging the crime of torture against the AFP;
  6. The woman mentioned in my about page who was assaulted at the Waldorf Café in Canberra;
  7. The 400 corroborated statements I have collected alleging systematic racism and human rights abuses committed against Indigenous Australians by the AFP;
  8. The arrest of Mark Standen, a senior investigator with the NSW Crime Commission, who has been on remand since June 2008 charged with plotting to import a commercial quantity of a chemical precursor of the illicit drug ice. This has raised a flurry of questions about the accountability of the New South Wales Crime Commission and the AFP, from which many of its officers came;
  9. Professor Kennedy, a former NSW detective turned academic, who has also commented over the years about how a member of the 35-strong AFP Sydney drug investigation unit was allowed to take up a government job after admitting to stealing a kilogram of seized heroin displayed at a media conference

Yes, AFP corruption and criminality has extended to the wider Australian Community and you, I and everyone else living in Australia are the potential victims of this current and unabated wave of AFP crimes against the Australian and international communities.

7 Comments

  1. clare wilder says:

    I have to point out a couple of errors you have made.
    1. The murder trial involving Frank del Castillo was in 1992,not late 90’s and 2.the victim told the ambos who the person was who had knifed him when they went to the motel to answer the emergency call.Del Castillo got off because he lied and the jury was too dumb to figure it out.Witnesses saw del Castillo enter and leave the room
    I know because the “lover” was my brothe rand I followed the case very closely.
    if you are going to comment on these types of issues PLEASE make it worth reading by getting your facts right or else you are talking cotton wool.
    Why would the police fabricate evidence for Christs sake!!

    • Bakchos says:

      Hello Clare,

      I saddened about your loss all those years ago, I truly hate to hear about the senseless waste of a young life, however, there are a number of facts you need to consider in relation to the post. Firstly, there are only three entities who really know what went on in that hotel room on that faithful night your brother lost his life – your brother, Mr Del Castello and God. I suspect that two of the three will remain silent on the issues. Secondly I worked with Mr Del Castello for a number of years and have read the two volumes of his trial transcript on several occasions, I won’t say that it makes for riveting or even entertaining reading, but as far as the law is concerned it represents the process by which Mr Del Castello was found not guilty for your brothers murder by a jury of his and your peers.

      It is also worth remembering that the prosecutor prosecuting Mr Del Castello for your brother’s murder was none other than Justice Ken Crispin, who was then Dr Ken Crispin QC . Not an insignificant personage! I have also been previously advised by Mr Del Castello that the ACTDPP offered him a deal to plead guilty. The deal being that he be extradited from Australia to the United States, but serve no jail time. Not a bad outcome for murder, is it? However, Mr Del Castello declined the DPP’s offer and stayed to contest the charge. Why would he run that risk if he were truly guilty? In the final analysis, after the verdict of not guilty given by the jury, Mr Del Castello ceased being an alleged murderer and became a vindicated man.

      If Mr Del Castello were truly guilty, why then given that Dr Ken Crispin QC , the DPP and the Australian Federal Police had the entire resources of the state at their disposal were they unable to get a conviction? More importantly, if the deal allowing Mr Del Castello to walk free on the proviso he return to the United States was truly made by the DPP why would they have made it in the face of the overwhelming evidence you claim exists?

      As to why the Police would fabricate evidence I suggest you ask Captain Fred Martens who spent three years in jail on the basis of a tainted AFP investigation. Alternatively you could ask the same question of Mr Julian Moti QC the former Attorney-General of the Solomon Islands or Dr Haneef of failing these, the ACT’s only Aboriginal Commissioner for Revenue. Why would the police fabricate evidence, without thinking too hard on the issue I could suggest; racism, laziness, career progression as a few possibilities. Who knows? What is certain is that the Police have done it in the past and unless something is done they will probably continue to do it into the future.

      Cheers

      Barchos

      • clare wilder says:

        Hello,
        Ken Crispin was the DPP Prosecuter not Refshauge as you claim.
        del Castillo had made threats to my brother some of which I was a witness to but I was not called to give evidence,some were recorded on my brothers phone message bank My cousin was house sharing with Chris at the time and saw del Castillo stalking him,she was not called as a witness.The knife used belonged to del Castillo.Who killed my brother?If it wasn’t del Castillo?No one else made threats and no one else had a motive.
        As a family we feel ripped off and that justice wasn’t done.If you worked with del Castillo you were obviously exposed to his manipulations and lies as was the jury.We lived in fear of that man for years and our family was torn apart by grief having lost a brother,son and uncle who was not able to physically defend himself from a violent and aggressive bully.Chris left behind a 9 year old son.
        So its not just the loss of Chris that was so devastating but that justice was not done and then del Castillo practises as a lawyer….a tragic joke!
        It is very hard,no impossible to feel any sympathy for the man who got off Scott free from a vicious and vile crime.Chris’s family have been suffering for over twenty years because del Castillo had no self control.He did the indefensible ….
        You talk about God…why would God let this happen?I don’t believe in God and this is a human tragedy alone.
        del Castillo knew what he was doing and he has perpetuated a lie.I also read the transcripts and I was there to hear it all.If del Castillo believed in God he must have been living a life of fear and dread of his own death.If he believed in Hell he will surly be there now.

        Clare

        • Bakchos says:

          Hello Clare,

          Strange as this may sound to you now, as one who has personally experienced the racism and cronyism that passes for justice in the ACT, I can emphasis with you and to some extent share your pain. As an Indigenous Australian and as a forced convert to Catholicism and later as a voluntary convert to Judaism; I believe in God, perhaps not in the same way that you might, but I do believe in God and find a great deal of solace there.

          I can’t say what happened at the trial beyond what I read in the court transcripts, the fact that the DPP were unable to secure a conviction speaks volumes about the ACT legal and judicial system, which from my personal experience is racist and corrupt, but this is not the time and place to put those arguments to you.

          Yes Clare, if Mr Del Castillo did in fact get away with murder, I’m sure that he will find a warm reception in Hell as I trust your brother found peace in the arms of God. As to Dr Ken Crispin QC being Mr Del Castillo’s prosecutor, you are absolutely correct. I took out the court transcript last night after receiving your comment and re-read it. I meant to amend my response to you, but you beat me to it. I will do so now.

          As to why God would let something like this happen, a lot of ink has been spelt over the ages on this very topic, the best answer I have found, or at least the one I personally find must satisfying is found at Surah 18:66-82. I don’t know if you have read the Qur’an, but in any event this Surah is easily found on the Internet, it is worth meditating on.

          I haven’t spoken to Mr Del Castillo in over a decade now; I’m guessing from your response that he has passed away? If this is the case, I hope that you can now find some closure and peace. I find that letting go of past transgressions against you can be spiritually uplifting. That being said I also know that sometimes this letting go cannot happen until justice has been done. Like you, I seek justice, like you I have been denied it. I also sincerely hope that Chris’s son has found some peace in his life following those tragic and traumatic events.

          I truly hope that you find some peace and closure.

          Best wishes

          Mark

          • clare wilder says:

            Thank you very much for your kind words.My family have always felt that the justice system in the ACT is seriously lacking in professionalism at best and incompetence at worst but as you suggest perhaps even corruption.
            Del Castello has indeed past away,he died earlier this month.his death brings no solace to my family as it is a sadness for us that he never openly faced the damage he caused and it is very evident that he created his own fantasy to cover what must surely have been a deep and painful guilt that he carried for over twenty years.
            Thank you also for your concern as to Chris’s son’s welfare.My parents and the boys mother cared for him and helped him come to terms with his enormous loss.He is an adult now and has worked in the book trade as his father had done.
            My brother was a gentle man,he loved de Castillo’s estranged wife,they planned to marry,del Castello’s marriage was over and Chris was not just “his wife’s lover’,he lost his life because he was involved in a serious relationship and del Castillo couldn’t frighten him away.Chris told me he was very nervous of the man when he told us Del Castillo had shown him a rifle and said he would use it, but we all thought del Castillo was just talking,we never imagined what he was capable of.Chris suffered from over 40 knife wounds,he died of a severed artery to the spleen.Del Castillo left him in the motel room to die,a woman heard Chris screaming in agony and did what she could to stop the bleeding.He was 39 years old.
            So I thank you for allowing me to tell you some little part of the other side of the story,for Chris’s sake the truth should be known.
            With respect,
            Clare

  2. Lorna Larsen-Jeyte says:

    Clare I knew Frank in Hawaii. We were in grad school together. I think he was a sneak and a liar. He loved his wife and children…but she must have discovered how warped he was after many years of marriage. I met his sister…a lovely woman. I believe what you say is true. I’m sorry for your loss. and for Susan’s loss. It wasn’t necessary….what Frank did. I just found his Facebook. How odd. He didn’t age much…even after his horrific crime.

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