[ The short link URL for this postings is: http://wp.me/p1n8TZ-dL ]
I believe that the unstated point to be added to the above “does not investigate” comment is that it most definitely applies when the actions of these people may have been serious violations of criminal laws!
As George Orwell so aptly put it in his novel ‘Animal Farm’, “Some animals are more equal than other animals.” Rochelle Zurnamer is the the chief investigator for the ACMA’s Broadcasting Investigations Section and her statement is totally inconsistent with the Rule of Law principle that everybody is equal before the law. However, her statement makes it quite clear that in Australia “the law is binding on some of the people, but definitely not all of the people.”
- This is bad news for Ben Barboza, Lisha and Junal because it means that the ACMA cannot be relied upon to undertake a fair and objective investigation of 2Day FM.
- Assistant Secretary Jared Henry’s letter (see sections 1,2 and 3) also makes it quite clear that as far back as 3rd January, just 27 days after Jacintha’s death and 82 days before the inquest was due to start, the Australian Government had already adopted the stance that her death was the result of a prank .
- A promise by 2Day FM was apparently sufficient ‘punishment’ to close the matter in Australia, even though secretly recording phone calls for financial gain is a major indictable offense!
- The Australian Government’s position is quite understandable, given that the government is legally liable for the lethal consequences of the manifestly shonky and appallingly shoddy mass media regulations that failed to protect Jacintha and countless thousands of others; some of whom, like Jacintha, were seriously, seriously traumatized by their encounter with Australia’s mass media.
“As elected officials holding public office, Parliamentarians are expected to act with integrity in accordance with the public trust placed in them.” (Source: Page 12, Auditor-General’s Report No.3 2009-10. Audit Report – Administration of Parliamentarians’ Entitlements by the Department of Finance and Regulation.) This document can be downloaded from following website: http://www.anao.gov.au/uploads/documents/2009-10_ANAO_Audit_Report_3_.pdf
- In September 2009, the AFP refused to investigate ‘Perksgate.’ After the Auditor-General had audited 144 of the 226 members of Federal Parliament, it was determined that ‘a high proportion’ had apparently rorted a staggering $4.64 Million from their “Parliamentary Entitlements Fund”.
- The Australian Federal Police (the AFP) refused to investigate this massive bout of alleged rorting by these federal politicians. In refusing to do so,the AFP again cited the same reasons as were previously given their (now classified confidential) July 7th 2004 letter, i.e. an inferred lack of resources, and the “gravity/sensitivity” of the issue.
- However, this unclassified email contained an additional crucial justification for not investigating this alleged rorting, i.e. “government protocols”.The AFP is a very diligent and effective crime fighting organization that is respected around the world for its achievements. However, what is little known is its secret hands-off politicians policy when the alleged crimes may have been committed by federal legislators.
- This response by Federal Agent Pearce was totally shredded by Senator Penny Wong on May 11th 2012 during an Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) interview on the AM current affairs program. You can listen to an MP3 recording of the interview at http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/am-with-peter-cave/4004806 About 10 minutes into MP3 file: bst_20120511-0710.mp3 )
- In this interview Senator Wong stated, “… there are allegations made against members of parliament, made against individuals in our community … and the appropriate way to deal with those is to allow the courts to deal with them. Now, I’ve spoken about this for time, including on the ABC. When I’m asked about a number of things which are in the public arena, for example in the Fair Work Australia Report, I’ve said, if those allegations are correct, they are manifestly inappropriate. Manifestly! But politicians are not judge and jury when it comes to these matters, and there’s a very good reason for that. Because we have a system that is about the separation of powers and is about proper process when it comes to these and Anthony (Albanese) was making that point …we have said, very clearly, we believe that the Parliament should respect the processes of our courts; the processes which exist for very sound reasons. Regrettably, that’s not the way the Opposition, on this issue, are approaching it.”
- Regrettably, that is also not that the way that the AFP approaches the issue of alleged corruption by federal politicians.
- The AFP excuses for not investigating Perksgate and numerous other alleged frauds simply do not match with either the Australian Constitution or internationally recognized Rule of Law principles.
The implication for Jacintha’s inquest is that anything provided by the AFP will be probably be provided for the express purpose of obstructing justice in her case rather than seeing that justice is done. The question for Ben, Lisha and Junal to now consider is just how much of a fair deal will they get from New Scotland Yard?
Based on developments to date, the answer to that question does not instill great hope.
- Detective Chief Inspector James Harman’s media comments appear to be directing the mass media towards the 3 post trauma letters written by Jacintha rather than the actual cause of her trauma, i.,e the illegal hoax phone call by 2Day FM that so tragically distressed her.
- I have said it before and I will say it again; that phone call, like the News of the World‘s secret recording of phone calls was almost certainly an indictable offense and therefore, under Section 18 of the New South Wales Crimes Act (1900), Jacintha’s death can be classified as a death caused by a felony, i.e. a murder.
- If New Scotland Yard does not make that point clear at Jacintha’s inquest, then it will be manifestly obvious that “the fix is in”, i.e. that the New Scotland Yard investigation is as ‘bent’ as any ACMA or AFP investigation that may involve Australian federal politicians.
- At http://wp.me/p1n8TZ-bX you will find the text of a statutory declaration that has been backed with documents that support the claims made. First submitted to the inquest in late January, the lack of a response resulted in a 2nd declaration being posted on March 7th.
- A JPEG copy of the Mark 2 statutory declaration is appended at the end of this posting.
- If this statutory declaration and the supporting documents are not tabled for consideration, that will be further evidence that the inquest is being deliberately steered away from the truth towards a pre-determined outcome that is acceptable to powerful vested interest parties.
The problem with the truth is that too many powerful people have a vested interest in burying it! At the moment, Australia’s mass media is striving to have proposed mass media regulations that would prevent deaths such as Jacintha’s from happening, being tossed out of parliament. 2 of Australia’s mass media barons, Kerry Stokes and Kym Williams, have described the proposed laws as “draconian” because they will prevent the mass media from acting irresponsibly.
- After the way in which Princess Diana was literally hounded to death, does anyone without a vested interest really believe that the global mass media is a socially responsible industry that does not need the sort of regulation that applies to all other sections of industry and commerce?
- Princess Diana’s death was a wake-up call that went unheeded and as a consequence, others have died due to the irresponsible actions of mass media entities who believe that “Freedom of the press” is a license that gives the mass media industry the ‘freedom’ to exploit, or harass and hound people to their deaths.
Senator Wong’s comments are equally valid for the British Parliament’s inquiry into the News of the World scandal. That inquiry degenerated into a political ‘party lines’ shamble that failed to impartially deal with the managerial actions of Rupert Murdock and James Murdock. As a consequence, the Murdock’s showed the world’s mass media how easy it was to “trump the regulators.”
- It is therefore no surprise that Kym Williams trumpeted the idea of “trump the regulators” and that 2Day FM management gave it a shot by ignoring laws that prohibit the secret recording of telephone conversations for financial gain.
An inquest finding that 2Day FM acted unlawfully and triggered the chain of events that ultimately lead to the death of Jacintha would have massive repercussions in Australia. Kym Williams illegal incitement to “trump the regulators” may provide regulators with the opportunity to force him to justify that statement in a court of law. That would send a world-wide message to the mass media; that “Freedom of Speech” carries responsibilities that are every bit as grave. With responsibility comes accountability, and for the global mass media that is a concept that, like the rest of us, they are going to have to accept.
When it comes to Rule of Law, absolutely no-one, not politicians, public servants or press barons, should be above and beyond the law.
Ronald Medlicott – A Christian advocate for social justice.
The Mark 2 Statutory Declaration that New Scotland Yard has been ignoring.
The Mark 1 version sent to the inquest in January has precisely the same text but in a larger 10 point font. The actual declaration form used in the 1st declaration was “old” and did not allow sufficient space for a Justice of the Pearce to certify the declaration. The new, ‘approved’ form has more space for certification but less space or the text, hence the almost unreadable 8 Point font size in the Mark 2 statutory declarations.