03 | 24
2012

Why Australia needs a Royal Commission into the AFP

Categories: Accountability, ACT Government, Australian Federal Police, Bill of Rights, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Discrimination/Racism, Equality, Government, Human Rights, Justice, Law Enforcement, Racism, Rule of Law

by: Bakchos
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On August 30 last year Blak and Black lodged a petition on the GoPetition website calling for a Royal Commission into the Australian Federal Police (“AFP”). Blak and Black has set out in detail the reasons why we believe a Royal Commission into the AFP is necessary.

Without going into the minutiae of the issues raised by Blak and Black in its petition preamble, they all revolve around a core of systemic racism and corruption within the AFP, compounded by an absence of effective external oversight from a politicised Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (“ACLEI”) which has responsibility for investigating complaints made against Australia’s federal law enforcement agencies.

On March 12, Blak and Black published a post titled Corruption and accountability: the AFP in the Asia/Pacific region. This post was primarily about AFP corruption in Papua New Guinea (“PNG”), relating to the conviction and incarceration of Captain Fredrick Martens on trumped up child sex tourism charges. Captain Martens’ conviction was subsequently quashed by the Queensland Court of Appeal (“QCA”), which made a number of scathing comments about the competency and/or integrity of both the AFP and the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions (“CDPP”) in its reasons for decision.

The reason I bring this post up again is that the following Facebook comment was left on this post by a former AFP officer, Mike Barclay:

Hi, Sorry to but in on your discussion… I used to work for the AFP and some guys I worked with told me to make a false statement and make false entries in my diary and day book. And lie in court!

I have shown this comment together with the details of the person who made it to a Sydney based barrister who provides assistance to Blak and Black on an ad hoc basis. Inquiries conducted by both Blak and Black and its legal representatives into the bona fides of the person who left this comment indicate that they are indeed a former AFP officer, who is currently been given the proverbial ‘run around’ by Australia’s law enforcement bureaucracy.

If AFP officers are prepared to perjure themselves on a regular basis in lieu of doing proper police work, where does this leave the average citizen who unwittingly becomes a pawn in this type of systemic corruption? More importantly, where does this leave the average citizen when the two bodies tasked with investigating allegations of corruption in the AFP (ACLEI and the Commonwealth Ombudsman) routinely refuse to conduct proper inquiries, because the outcomes might be ‘politically damaging’?

The issues of corruption in the AFP don’t stop here. The Global Corruption Report 2003 prepared by Peter Eigen, Chairman, Transparency International made the following observations:

Bias and distortion in criminal justice, governmental accountability and regulation are also in evidence in Australia.

Experts say that one of the reasons why police corruption is so widespread is an inherent ‘police culture’ that encourages unsavoury behaviour.

Abuse of power at the federal level in Australia is motivated less by financial gain than political advantage, a tendency encouraged by a politicised public service in which departmental secretaries are subject to dismissal without notice.

If open government were measured in terms of freedom of information (“FOI”) legislation or judicial review laws, Australia would be judged as open and accountable… Nevertheless, a delay in responding to FOI requests challenges that openness in practice.

What has changed in the AFP since Peter Eigen made these scathing observations? In short, the answer is nothing. As Peter Eigen observed, a delay in responding to FOI requests challenges that openness in practice. It’s these delays, combined with an ongoing process of watering down the FOI provisions, that is helping facilitate the systemic racism and corruption that defines today’s AFP. Indeed, the aforementioned AFP officer who left a comment on Blak and Black’s post Corruption and accountability: the AFP in the Asia/Pacific region went on to say that:

I have just obtained FOI docs and most of the good stuff was excluded…

If openness and transparency hinges on access to information, which it most certainly does, denying access to this information can serve no other purpose than shielding those accused of racism, corruption and incompetence.

The thin veneer

The truth seems to be that to this day the peasant remains a pagan and savage at heart; his civilization is merely a thin veneer which the hard knocks of life soon abrade, exposing the solid core of paganism and savagery below.

Preface to “The Golden Bough,” by Sir James Frazer

The truth is that Australia’s politicised AFP and public service is exposing the true nature of the core of savagery that lurks within all of us. In an environment where political patronage rather than talent determines career outcomes, savagery must come to the fore. During my career in the public service I witnessed on more than one occasion situations where political patronage counted for more than talent in determining career outcomes, the most outrageous example being when a former high profile, but intellectually stunted ‘identity’, was appointed to a senior public service position for which they were neither academically nor intellectually qualified on the basis of a reference from a senior minister, a clear example of an abuse of power in a politicised public service. While the writer was not an employee of that particular organisation when this travesty occurred, it’s happening and the problems it caused remain legendary. This person, as a result of their intellectually stunted savagery, has gone on to perpetrate a culture of unsavoury behaviour and corruption.

The problem with the thin veneer is that behind it can lurk any number of wrongs. What the AFP have done to Mr David Eastman, accused of murdering former AFP Assistant Commissioner Mr Colin Winchester, is one such example. I have discussed the issues surrounding the murder of Mr Winchester at some length in my post Have the AFP been busted, yet again? The reality is that it appears likely that Mr Eastman’s conviction for the murder of Mr Winchester is unsound. Indeed certain evidence has come to the surface that would support this contention. On March 8 this year the ACT Supreme Court, Judge Shane Marshall presiding, refused an application for an inquiry into Mr Eastman’s conviction for Mr Winchester’s murder ruling that:

The effect of amendments made to the ACT Crimes Act in 2001 was that a convicted person was limited to one judicial inquiry into the soundness of a conviction.

Eastman had had that, and, as a result the court had no power to consider whether another one was warranted by new material put before him.

The effect of the this ruling, as Victorian silk Robert Richter QC, arguing in favour of a fresh inquiry told the ACT Supreme Court, is that:

There can be no judicial exoneration of Eastman even if evidence is found proving conclusively that he was innocent.

It is worth remembering that the ACT was the first jurisdiction in Australia to introduce a Bill of Rights, but paradoxically it remains the jurisdiction with the worst human rights record in Australia. The ACT Bill of Rights is nothing more than a veneer behind which is lurking a biased and distorted criminal justice system. Judge Shane Marshall simply applied the law as it stands, I have no issue with that; it’s the law that he applied that is at issue.

The real winner in all of this is the AFP. One of the issues Mr Eastman was seeking review on was hints of misconduct by the AFP and the ACT DPP in not disclosing certain issues to his defence counsel. If Mr Eastman is denied a judicial inquiry, neither the AFP nor the ACT DPP will be called upon to explain their actions. While Mr Eastman, to the best of my knowledge is not an Indigenous Australian, the ACT DPP is the same public prosecution service that seemingly condones its prosecutors making comments like:

You don’t have to worry about your little boong mate Marky suing you for fitting him up. When I’m finished with him he’ll be in the gutter where he belongs with all his other boong mates. You will be able to piss on him as you step over him on your way to work

I’m not sure how either the above comment or the refusal of a new inquiry into Mr Eastman’s conviction can be accommodated within the provisions of the ACT’s Bill of Rights.

Bias and distortion in governmental accountability

While we’re on the issue of the ACT’s Bill of Rights, I’ll take the opportunity to hark back to the former Commissioner for ACT Revenue, ‘Pat’. Pat is a Wiradjuri who wanted ‘whitie’ to apply the ‘rule of law’ equally to black and white alike. For this Pat was fitted-up by the ACT Department of Treasury, sacked and became a victim of the bias and distortion in criminal justice and governmental accountability, which has come to define the ACT Government and the AFP. In fact, it was about Pat that the aforementioned ACT public prosecutor made the comment:

You don’t have to worry about your little boong mate Marky suing you for fitting him up. When I’m finished with him he’ll be in the gutter where he belongs with all his other boong mates. You will be able to piss on him as you step over him on your way to work

One of the issues Pat had in relation to governmental accountability was that his then employer (the ACT Department of Treasury) would systematically destroy documents that showed up the Department’s corruption and/or incompetence. Specifically to this point, the ACT Ombudsman made the following observations about governmental accountability or the lack thereof in a report into the ACT Revenue Office, a branch of the ACT Department of Treasury in August, 2007:

• No file had folio numbers and files were not consistently maintained in an orderly manner to facilitate folioing. Records were often not in date or event order.

• On several files, documents were missing, misplaced or lost, and in some instances had to be obtained again.

• Many files contained poorly recorded information—for example, a telephone conversation recorded on a post-it note. There was no use of forms such as ‘record of conversation’ or ‘note for file’. As a consequence, relevant records were sometimes not readily identifiable and it is possible that all relevant information may not be recorded.

• In a few cases, no paper file for an objection was created. Instead, use was made of a binder in which other documents relevant to the matter were held, and ACTRO documents were added to the binder. In other instances, much file material was held loose or appended to the inside of the file cover.

Division 2.3 of the Territory Records Act 2002 obliges ACT agencies to create and maintain records management programs. How the above can possibly comply with the obligations imposed by Division 2.3 is beyond me. More importantly, instead of investigation of the issues raised by Pat which were identical to those identified by the Ombudsman four years later, the AFP joined a biased and distorted racially motivated ‘nigger’ hunt to destroy the blackfella’s reputation, so whitie didn’t have to explain to the Australian public why there is one law operating in Australia for ‘whites’ and a totally different and less favourable law for ‘blacks’. The law for black Australians though unwritten, is understood by all and operates on an unofficial level. Racist and corrupt AFP officers and public servants are empowered under this unwritten law by a politicised public sector culture that encourages unsavoury behaviour.

If you care about justice, accountability and equality I ask that consider signing Blak and Black’s petition calling for a Royal Commission into the AFP.

14 Comments

  1. Clem Stanyon says:

    What are the rough criteria that must be met before a Royal Commission is established? I can’t find anything much on that anywhere – some combination of public outcry and evidence to support the proposition of corruption? I found my way here via a web search, due to interest on the Lock the Gate Alliance FB page in starting a Commission into the burgeoning CSG mining boom in Qld, which many see as being the result of financial support given to politicians who advocate the practice, against all good scientific advice.

  2. The AFP is corrupt, we can see it, we can feel it, we can taste it – so why not hold them accountable for that corruption? Time for justice for all the victims of AFP corruption!

  3. Jenifer Trees releasing or showing Mahmud Ahsan video to a Royal Commission into the AFP would ceretainly ‘bing the house down’! Maybe that’s what Bakchos Glass is waiting for, though my guess is that he is intending to show it to the UN – that’s what Uncle Mick Glass tells me is his plan.

  4. Australia really does need a Royal Commission into the AFP, racist c..ts they are.

  5. We certainly need one the ACLEI inquiry appears to be shapping up to be nothing more than a whitewash.

  6. See my comments under “Mob rule and the gentle nations of the West”.

  7. Paulo Flores what is the video about that people seem so interested in?

  8. In the media this week, the AFP Association suggested that politicians should be drug tested, in response to the introduction of integrity test’s for its members. Last year when they were negotiating a pay/conditions claim with the ACT Government they proposed the same thing for the ACT politicians, judges and legal council. Seems like an odd bargaining tool.

  9. Australia must need a Royal Commission into the Australian Federal Police.

  10. Australia must need a Royal Commission into the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

  11. Whatever police core whatever state,you will not change anything,until you get the coppers to acknowledge under power of mandatory imprisonement for non disclosure/or obeying two oaths.(1)of the state or federal body/crime authority(2)freemasonry oath.If you think that this latter does have anything to why this country Australia has in the last 10 -12 years suddenly jumped on this bandwagon of justice,law and order,you are a fooL.
    It goes back to the solana enquiry which was stuffed up/shut down by the ignorance of three states worth of cops,mainly through sheer bloody idiocy, in jumping to conclusions because of ego and being shamed.The result is what we have now.Pride comes before afall and it is time the police forces ate humble pie!

  12. Markis Turner says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I am being prosecuted by the AFP at present and my legal team has begun to uncover unlawful practises conducted by the AFP. I would be willing to share this information if it will help.
    Regards

    • ex Defence says:

      Who were the 90 AFP agents investigated by the Harrison Inquiry in 1997 ? Article here http://www.smh.com.au/national/afp-battles-to-conceal-corruption-allegations-20100717-10f55.html

      “Details cannot be disclosed for legal reasons, but it is understood the admissibility of the claims detailed in statements obtained by NSW anti-corruption officers is resisted by the AFP and will be argued in the hearing. The AFP has been little touched by scandal – barring, for example, the wrongful arrest of Mohamed Haneef in 2007 on suspicion of terrorism. But in 1997 it kept the lid on evidence given in camera in its own corruption inquiry by Sydney senior counsel Ian Harrison. The names of 90 agents investigated were never disclosed. The Harrison inquiry was instigated by the federal government after the Wood royal commission heard of corruption by AFP officers attached to the disbanded Commonwealth-state police drugs taskforce. It also inquired into two former royal commission officers, employed to trap crooked police, who admitted being corrupt. They gave secret evidence naming federal police. One of the agents left in disgrace to drive taxis for a living after it was alleged he received up to $100,000 from criminals while working in drug law enforcement before joining the commission. ”

      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/afp-battles-to-conceal-corruption-allegations-20100717-10f55.html#ixzz2oTd3uIcn

  13. Ursula Tunks says:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/RoyalCommissionintotheAFP/

    I’ve found some kindred spirits it would seem. 🙂

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