WelcomeTo My World

Thursday, 12 March 2015

People For Schapelle Corby #SchapelleCorby #Icare4innocentSchapell

The following letter was sent to a number of MPs earlier this week. It explains how the same guilty faces appear in scandal after scandal, yet no-one in authority will touch them. They remain above the law, protected by both government and media. Also reported in New Zealand, here:
I write this email because I have just had confirmation that you are shortly to receive certain data regarding hitherto unknown conduct of Michael Keelty, and other individuals. It will constitute extremely important information, but will be unwelcome, in the sense that it is grave, but will have to be faced. Due to its sensitivity, I am informed that federal politicians and members of the judiciary are to receive this in strict confidence only.
I send this correspondence as a matter of background and context, to enable a wider insight on receipt. I feel that there is a degree of denial regarding the inevitable conclusions from the enormous catalogue of public data, of which you are already aware, but which most refuse to view or contemplate. This is unfortunate, because it actually documents the creation of the situation which the nation now faces regarding Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, and an understanding of it would, in many respects, be of value in helping to address these challenges.
To help overcome this, and it surely must be overcome, I thought I should present just a smattering of the dozens of abuses, which have already been identified. The same players appear throughout all of them. The same individuals are active in what will soon land on your desks, albeit with respect to (national impact) internal issues, rather than those with the external focus I provide below.
We should start with the current pressing example: the Bali Nine.
You already know what Keelty’s AFP actually did, and what Ellison and Howard endorsed, supported, and helped on its way. Lest this is unclear, here is a handful of extracts to illustrate:
a) Keelty and the wilful decision to hand nine young Australian lives to the death penalty:
["When Michael Keelty’s AFP tipped-off the Indonesian Police about the Bali 9, rather than simply arresting them on return to Australia, the dire implications were already known. Some were barely more than kids, but death sentences were inevitable. Given that it was actually the concerned father of one of the nine who had tipped-off the AFP in the first place, the betrayal of trust was absolute.”]
[But Mr Rush now reveals he gave the AFP information about his son's intentions before Scott and other members of the group even left Australia. AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty said after the arrests that his officers would provide evidence that could help Indonesian police impose the death penalty because the nine were "caught red-handed"] ~ The Age
b) Ellison and his unwavering support, which extended to blagging his way through a multitude of Senate hearings, on this and other topics:
[I totally defend the actions of the Australian Federal Police. They do a very good job working internationally in the fight against transnational crime, particularly drug trafficking.” Even this week, with current sensitivities, he couldn’t resist adding “I reject that their actions were improper.”]
c) Howard himself hammered the final nails into the coffins. In his pivotal meeting with SBY, instead of advocating, which was his duty, he sold:
[I did say in the course of the discussion that I fully respected and supported the tough approach taken by Indonesia in relation to drug trafficking. Australians do, nobody should be in any doubt that in Australia there is a, there’s scant regard for people who believe they can breezily ignore the drug laws of Indonesia. Thank you.] ~ Parlinfo
As appalling as the above is, and if anyone reading this finds it to be acceptable, then it is hugely disappointing, it wasn’t out of character for any of those three individuals. The flagrant disregard for human life, the obvious self-interest politicking, the betrayal of duty to the nation itself: these are supplemented by wilful conduct which should have been examined by a court of law years ago.
I will again offer a small cross-section of examples, but bear in mind that these events developed at exactly the same time as those referenced for CASE 1.
In a letter dated 5th July 2005, the CEO of Sydney Airport Corporation Ltd, Max Moore-Wilton, told Justice and Customs Minister, Christopher Ellison, that Schapelle Corby's boogie-board bag was the only item not scanned at Sydney airport on route to Bali. Ellison wrote to AFP Commissioner Keelty the following day, 6th July 2005, conveying the same information. Both men realized how important this information was to Schapelle Corby, as she stood before an Indonesian appeal court. Indeed, Ellison even referred to its evidential importance directly in his letter. Keelty subsequently confirmed in writing that Prime Minister John Howard discussed this verbally with him, on 8th July 2005. All parties were also aware that scanning of all luggage, on all flights to Indonesia, was mandatory.
Remarkably, at the same time, Schapelle Corby's lawyer asked directly about scanning. Letters were faxed to Ellison dated 6th July and 11th July, just days after Ellison and Keelty had discussed the importance of this new evidence. Ellison's responses of 8th July and 13th July evaded the issue entirely. Neither Schapelle Corby, nor the Bali court, was ever provided with this vital information. It was wilfully and permanently withheld.
In addition, Ellison had no intention of revealing the situation to Parliament. In a prepared response for the potential question “If asked whether the Australian Government is aware that Schapelle Corby’s boogie-board bag was not screened at Sydney Airport”, Ellison had pre-prepared the following evasive text: “The Australian Government is aware of comments about the screening of Ms Corby’s boogie-board bag at Sydney airport. Screening of checked baggage at the International Terminal at Sydney Airport is carried out by SACL. I understand SACL informed Ms Corby about this issue as early as October 2004. On 12th June 2005 the Minister for Justice and Customs wrote to Ms Corby’s lawyers suggesting they approach the operators of Sydney and Brisbane Airports regarding the handling of her luggage in Australia. I understand that SACL has had continued contact with Ms Corby’s lawyers about the handling of Ms Corby’s baggage. It is important to note that the screening for flights leaving Australia is undertaken for aviation security purposes. The screening process is not intended to detect drugs”. No-one was, or was going be, informed that this evidence existed: not even Parliament.
On 8th October 2004, Schapelle Corby checked her bags in normally at Brisbane airport. There was no fuss, and no excess baggage charge.
Following her arrest in Bali, Schapelle Corby's lawyers asked directly about the weight of her bags, seeking to establish if there were any anomalies that might indicate an addition of between 4kg and 5kg, which was the approximate weight of the marijuana. Qantas replied on 1st December 2004, providing only the total weight of her bags. It was flagrantly economical with the truth.
The weight of her bags on the Qantas system was actually 5kg overweight, which should have incurred an excess baggage charge of $175. This was exactly, and self evidently, the sort of information which Schapelle Corby’s lawyers were desperately seeking.
Again, vital and critical evidence was withheld from Schapelle Corby, her lawyer, and the Bali court. Neither Qantas, nor Ellison’s department, which was co-coordinating all the responses, ever divulged it.
Christopher Ellison was at the heart of Schapelle Corby's desperate efforts to secure forensic testing. In a bizarre sequence of events, the Indonesian National Police were very receptive to the general suggestion that the AFP should forensically test the marijuana. Ellison was personally informed of this by AFP briefing note 3286440.
Subsequently, Keelty visited his counterpart and friend, Pastika, in Bali. However, according to the Indonesian police, no specific request for testing was forthcoming. This was also confirmed by a DFAT briefing note dated 21st December 2004. Further, Parliament was told directly that the AFP did not have the expertise to test the marijuana, even though it had originally offered this service to the INP, and even though a forensic expert in Australia had offered to perform the tests (again, on record). Alarmingly, Parliament was also told that the INP had rejected the request. Both these stories were entirely false.
Schapelle Corby openly pleaded for the forensic testing of her bag, and particularly, the marijuana found within it. Her lawyers wrote to the Australian government, detailing a list of the specific tests required (letter dated 3rd December 2004). She directly asked the Australian consulate (consulate file note dated 4th December 2004). She asked the court repeatedly, as also recorded by DFAT file notes of February and March 2005. She pleaded with the prosecutor directly in front of the media.
However, on 24th May 2006, in a letter to a constituent, whilst inexcusably defending the burning of the primary evidence by the Indonesians, Ellison stated that, “The Bali court, on its own authority, or upon application by Ms Corby, could also authorise a request for forensic assistance. No such request was made, either by the Indonesian authorities or by Ms Corby.”
Ellison was well aware that Schapelle Corby did make such a request, repeatedly, through every channel available to her. His statement was totally and utterly false.
Two weeks before the verdict, AFP Commissioner Keelty told the media "There is very little intelligence to suggest that baggage handlers are using innocent people to traffic heroin or other drugs between states". This was clearly, demonstrably, and utterly, false. The AFP had held the Kessing Reports for months, and it withheld a host of other vital support evidence, which proved the long term and systemic nature of such syndication at Sydney Airport.
Equally, Parliament was misled repeatedly by this and other similar statements, on all aspects of the case (and airport corruption). The clear stonewalling by Keelty and Ellison when confronted is on record, in the Parlinfo database. Those who sought to press hard on any aspect of the AFP’s conduct found themselves quickly deflected. At the same time, it is on record that Keelty himself was whispering in every available ear, implying guilt, whilst being fully aware that the concrete evidence indicated the exact opposite.
The temptation to present the full gamut of examples, literally dozens of them, is strong, but I must resist for brevity. I hope that you will actually look for yourselves at the huge cache, which is simply incontrovertible. It will provide an insight into why closure of this case has proved to be impossible, despite so much hostility.
Allan Kessing found himself at the mercy of Keelty, Ellison and Howard when he wrote a number of reports exposing the full extent of corruption at the newly privatised Sydney Airport: corruption which, of course, stemmed from the lack of regulatory demand, when it was handed over to Macquarie. His reports were the last thing the hierarchy wanted to see, so they were quickly sidelined. Other Customs officers, who were aware of them, and it is a significant number, were outraged.
When Schapelle Corby became entangled in the inevitable consequence of the corruption, that outrage turned to anger, particularly when Keelty and Ellison were seen to be in full and public airport-protection mode, at her expense. Someone leaked the reports to the media, in an effort to expose the PR sham which was in process.
You know what happened next. The Howard government blamed Kessing himself, and they went after him, unleashing the AFP to adopt its now routine approach. I use those words purposely, because, as we have seen above, it was routine to withhold vital primary evidence:
[AFP 'Withheld Key Whistleblower Evidence' In Kessing Case
The Australian Aug 19, 2011
Federal law-enforcement agencies have been accused of improper conduct during the trial of convicted whistleblower Allan Kessing. Barrister Peter Lowe, who defended Mr Kessing, says federal authorities withheld a key document and instead provided the defence with a document that was "liable to mislead".]
The ‘key document’ was indeed central, and can be viewed in the usual (unreported) place. However, the story is made even worse, not just because of the dogged determined way in which he was relentlessly ruined, but because he, personally, had actually sought to address the issues in the correct way, via an approach to his political representative.
Like the Bali Nine and Schapelle Corby, Allan Kessing was expendable. He joined them in being dismissed by the exact same parties, acting as always in support of their own narrow interests.
As shocking as they are, these are just three cases, for which the black-and-white evidence is both visible and conclusive. But there are others too, some of which you are aware, and some of which you are not.
There is, clearly, more than sufficient evidence in place with which to have confronted the perpetrators, openly and transparently. This has never happened, regardless of how many members of the public have submitted material, articulated logic, asked you, and even begged you. No-one wants to know. No-one wants to face it, even post the AFP’s illegal armed raids on a TV network, which prevented disclosure last year.
I am sure you can understand the frustration and anger this creates amongst those who have taken the trouble to properly examine these and related cases. Real people have suffered and continue to suffer, whilst the culpable appear to be immune. I find this to be totally unacceptable, and it is in danger of damaging the fabric of our society. I should not feel at risk or threatened, for example, simply by sending this email, but I do.
I fear that unless these cases, and the fundamental issues they identify, are addressed whilst this is still possible, the damage will be long term, and history will judge you very harshly indeed.
Finally, and I suspect you may have seen this before, I copy below an extract on the methodology used to retrieve most of the information referred to above. I believe that you should read it, if only for an appreciation that there are still dedicated and talented journalists and researchers out there, even if they don’t work for the mainstream media. Please do take the trouble to see the fruits of this labour: the correspondence of Keelty, Ellison and Howard themselves. Then tell me why the conduct I refer to above has gone unpunished.
The person who has been collating information on the other, non-public-facing aspects of their conduct, should be in touch in due course. Please stop trying to convince yourselves that there isn’t a huge problem here, when it is there to be seen.
Thank you for your time.
Simon Langford
“Overall, the exercise constituted the largest and most wide-scale exercise of FOI based information gathering ever to have been undertaken within the Commonwealth of Australia”
Most of the material presented on this website was sourced through formal requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) of 1982. The use of this legislation yields copies of ‘official’ data: correspondence, transcripts, emails, records, documents, and a vast array of other information types. For any given subject, when requests are submitted across all relevant departments and agencies, the returns provide an unambiguous and clear picture of events and decision making.
In the case of Schapelle Corby, requests were submitted over a lengthy period, of five or six years. They were submitted on behalf of Schapelle Corby herself, so that her own personal data could be returned. Others were later submitted from relevant third parties, and through different individual citizens, in order to avoid target awareness of the huge investigative exercise which was underway.
After initial submissions and returns, follow-ups and appeals were undertaken, to seek and obtain further information. For every government department and agency at all relevant to the Schapelle Corby case, one or more such requests were pursued to their ultimate outcome. Supplementary requests were also submitted, again by different individuals, to obtain data pertaining to indirectly related aspects which might yield complementary background data.
The comprehensive and carefully executed project plan embraced the heart of the establishment, and included the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Attorney-General’s Department, the ACMA, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, the AFP, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, the Department of Transport and Regional Services, the ACLEI, the Prime Minister’s & Cabinet Office, the OAIC, the Australian Crime Commission, the ABC, and a multitude of other institutions and agencies.
Eventually, a number of departments did recognize that this exercise was in process. It is a self-evident fact that the evidence obtained during the early years was substantially more complete and less censored than that obtained in recent years. It is a self-evident fact that pursuance of the requests became increasingly difficult, with prolonged delays and intentional blockages becoming frequent.
In one infamous case, a request was taken to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), with Australia’s top security officer telling the court that disclosure of the data would create a serious impasse with the United States of America, and place the provision of “security intelligence and threat warnings” to Australia at risk. The censorship of this particular FOI request alone cost the taxpayer over $1 million in processing, legal, and other fees.
In addition, a significant volume of information was collected from a variety of non-governmental sources, as evidence was accumulated which might help to enhance the picture already painted by the now enormous FOI cache. These included direct interviews, audio and video recordings, legal records, and Internet meta-data, with researchers visiting locations as diverse as London and Bangkok.
Overall, this operation almost certainly constituted the largest and most wide-scale exercise of FOI based information gathering ever to have been undertaken within the Commonwealth of Australia.
To demonstrate the scale of this, sample schedules are provided below from just one of the requests made to each of three example institutions (the Attorney-General’s Department, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the AFP). Whilst these are only three from the many dozens of requests, they help to illustrate the detail and granularity of the investigation.
To fully appreciate how insightful the actual data returns are in documenting critical events, and revealing the decisions and motives of those involved, the reports and exhibits published across this website present many of the retrieved items themselves. Correspondence, cables, transcripts, briefing notes, emails; these show precisely what occurred, and who did and said what.
This is incontrovertible. It is the raw unedited data which proves precisely what happened during the period in question in the Schapelle Corby case.

No comments:

Post a Comment