Showing posts with label investigation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label investigation. Show all posts

Friday, 30 June 2017

Update on Australian Cardinal George Pell: charged with mulitiple sexual offences by Victoria Police


Australian Cardinal George Pell, currently living and working in the Vatican, has been charged on summons by Victoria Police with multiple serious historical sexual offences.
 The Australian, 29 June 2017:

No-one with credibility in the church underestimates the damage caused by clergy abuse, a stain that could still be decades from being rubbed out.
This is the broader challenge facing the Catholic hierarchy.
An 18-month or two year court battle, regardless of whether or not it finds in favour of Pell, will mark more lost time as the church tries to deal with the aftermath of the abuse scandal.
This negative publicity will be compounded by the ongoing reporting of the child sex abuse royal commission, which is still to hand down major reports into the Melbourne and Ballarat case studies.
Pell, being the divisive figure that he is and has been, is receiving support from many of his senior peers but the church is also home to many who believe the institution can only move forward when it sees the cardinal’s back.
Perhaps a fairer perspective is to withhold judgment until the evidence is presented to the court.
It’s often been said but it is worth repeating; the least the victims deserve is the truth, which has been in short supply for too long.

BACKGROUND

Further to Cardinal George Pell’s evidence given to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse1.

The Australian, 16 May 2017:
<
Lawyers representing George Pell have demanded an apology and retraction from Fairfax and The Guardian over articles ­repeating child sexual abuse alle­gations made in a new book ­described by the cardinal as a “character assassination”.

The legal demands were sent to the media outlets at the weekend after a book made a series of allegations against Cardinal Pell over his role in the sex abuse scandal engulfing the Catholic Church…..

MUP chief executive Louise Adler said the publishing house had received letters from Cardinal Pell’s representatives but no legal action had been threatened.

Crikey, 23 May 2017:

George Pell, both the man and his troubles with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, might be affecting Australia’s representation in the highest council of the Catholic Church, the College of Cardinals — which elects the Pope — given Sydney (and Melbourne) once more missed out in the latest, very eclectic list from Pope Francis.

Seven News, 20 June 2017:

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told ABC radio Cardinal Pell's lawyers will be told first, once a decision is made whether to charge him.

"A decision is imminent," Mr Ashton told ABC this morning.

"There is a great deal of public interest in it [the George Pell case].

"We'll get something out soon."

It's the third time Mr Ashton has promised an "imminent" decision on the allegations after police got advice from the state's Director of Public Prosecutions on May 16.

On May 18 Mr Ashton said the process wouldn't take too long, and a decision would be reached within a few weeks.

A week later he told 3AW the decision was not too far off.

"The decision is imminent on that," Mr Ashton said on May 25.

On June 1 he described it as "fairly imminent".

The Australian, 24 June 2017:

Those closest to George Pell are increasingly pessimistic about his chances of avoiding charges over historical child sex abuse ­allegations.

The Weekend Australian has been told by multiple sources that — despite his vehement ­denial of wrongdoing — there is a growing resignation that ­charges will almost certainly be laid, plunging the church into what would be an unprecedented scandal.

The Rule Of Law Institute Of Australia Incorporated (a somewhat obscure not-for-profit organisation registered in June 2010) also offered its mite on the subject in The Australian on 25 June 2017:

Victoria Police has been warned not to charge Cardinal George Pell over alleged child sexual abuse to clear the air, or to stage a show trial in response to intense public interest and anger over clerical sex abuse in general.

Lawyer Robin Speed, president of the Rule of Law Institute of Australia said prosecutors should act against Cardinal Pell only if they were fully satisfied about the quality of the evidence.

“They should not act in response to the baying of a section of the mob,’’ he said…..

Mr Speed said that if the cardinal was charged and found innocent the drawn out conduct of the investigation over two years could warrant a judicial inquiry.

Footnote

1. Cardinal George Pell gave evidence from 29 February 2016 by video link from Rome concerning Case Study 35: Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and Case Study 28: Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat. Reports on Case Study 28 (Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat) and Case Study 35 (Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne) are yet to be published. 

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Australian Federal Police spokesperson careful not to say that investigation had 'cleared' Brough & Ashby


This was The Daily Examiner (News Corp) take on the completion of the Australian Federal Police investigation into the unlawful disclosure of information by Commonwealth officers alleged to have occurred when a member of the Speaker of the House of Representatives’ staff photocopied details of the diary and gave it to a person desirous of unseating Peter Slipper:


However, what the Australian Federal Police (AFP) stated was not a clearing of anyone’s name.

As at the time of writing there is no published media release from the AFP one has to rely on details gleaned from various media articles.

“Following a thorough investigation material was provided to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for certain advice. As a result of the advice provided by the CDPP the matter did not proceed further. The length of this investigation has been influenced by a number of factors, including, but not limited to the availability of individuals to provide statements, the provision of materials from third parties, and the substantial volume of material that needed to be assessed.”
In a statement to the ABC, the AFP said it considered the matter now finalised.
"In September 2014 the AFP received a request to investigate matters relating to the alleged unauthorised disclosure of information from the official diary of former speaker of the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper," the statement read.
"Following a thorough investigation material was provided to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) for certain advice.
"As a result of the advice provided by the CDPP the matter did not proceed further."
Mr Slipper said on Tuesday his lawyers has been informed by AFP assistant commissioner Shane Connelly that the investigation had been closed.  In a letter, Mr Connelly said a review found the available evidence was insufficient for any potential prosecution. 

In a letter to Mr Brough’s lawyers, AFP Assistant Commissioner Shane Connelly said the investigation had been finished and no charges laid.
“I write to advise you of the outcome of the Australian Federal Police ‘AFP’ investigation into the allegation a former staff member of then Speaker of the House of Representatives Peter Slipper had disclosed parliamentary diary entries of Mr Slipper without his authority,’’ the letter says.
“A review of the evidence available to support a potential prosecution has determined the evidence is not sufficient to prove all elements of the relevant ­offence ... as a result, the AFP will be taking no further action in ­relation to the matter.’’

I write to advise you of the outcome of the Australian Federal Police ‘AFP’ investigation into the allegation a former staff member of then speaker of the House of Representatives Peter Slipper had disclosed parliamentary diary entries of Mr Slipper without his authority … A review of the evidence available to support a potential prosecution has determined the evidence is not sufficient to prove all elements of the relevant offence, being the disclosures of information by Commonwealth officers as described in section 70 of the Crime Act 1914 (CTH). As a result, the AFP will be taking no further action in relation to the matter.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Twenty-four years on and three Aboriginal children still have no justice


Between September 1990 and January 1991, Colleen Walker-Craig, aged 16, Evelyn Greenup, aged 4, and Clinton Speedy-Duroux, aged 16, went missing from the same street in the small township of Bowraville. In early 1991, the bodies of Evelyn Greenup and Clinton Speedy-Duroux were found in bushland along the Congarinni Road on the outskirts of the town. Clothing belonging to Colleen Walker-Craig was also found in the Nambucca River running through the same area of bushland, however Colleen’s body has never been found. [NSWLC Standing Committee on Law and Justice, November 2014, The family response to the murders in Bowraville report]

No-one has ever been convicted of these crimes. In 2013 the media reported that the person the indigenous community has long suspected of the murders was now employed by an agency dealing with disadvantaged and troubled youth.

In 2014 the NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Law and Justice conducted an inquiry into the handling of the murders of these three NSW Mid-North Coast Aboriginal children and handed down its first report on 6 November, The family response to the murders in Bowraville, with a second report detailing the Government response due by 6 May 2015.

The report (together with transcripts of evidence, tabled documents, submissions, correspondence and answers to questions taken on notice) was tabled in the Legislative Council at 9.43am on 6 November 2014. Members and officers stood as a mark of respect.

Relatives of the murdered children were present in the parliament.

This first report can be found here.

There are fifteen recommendations it contains:


Friday, 21 March 2014

Why did Australian Water Holdings Pty Ltd owe $20,000 to the Liberal Party in 2010?

 
Political donation, lobbyist fee or yet something else again?

One of the questions asked and answered at the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Operation Credo-Spicer investigation public hearing on 20 March 2014:

MR O’MAHONEY( counsel assisting ICAC): Did you reference the, I think you referred to them as soft costs but the discretionary costs and you’re concerns about them with Mr Sinodinos?---

RODERICK XAVIER DE ABOITIZ (AWH shareholder): Yes, I did. With Nick I went into more specific detail because I sent him the email with my comments against the accounts that he mentioned.

MR O’MAHONEY: Can you remember any of the specific costs that you took issue with?---

DE ABOITIZ: Look, you know, it seemed like, I just said to him, for a start if you’re 20 paying lobbyists, just stop it, you can’t afford it, so at that time there was $20,000 that I think was owing to the Liberal Party and so these amounts were I believe payables that were “overdue”….