Criminal offences have been committed by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s staff make no mistake about that. The prima facie case is rock solid.
For example there is enough evidence to have at least Tony Hodges, Julia Gillard’s former media advisor, charged for breaching Division 149 of the 1995 Criminal Code – Obstruction of Commonwealth public officials, which is punishable by 2 years jail.
In this post we look at the evidence and the relevent laws.
On Australia Day, 26th of January 2012, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s office started a chain of events in an attempt to discredit and/or embarrass the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. The plan failed and if the rule of law is followed at least one and maybe a number of people could and should get some jail time.
As of today, 30 January 2012, the Australian Federal Police say there is no evidence of a criminal act. Have they done an investigation? No! How did they come to that conclusion? Regular readers of this site will know that it is the standard procedure of the Federal Police when it comes to crimes by anyone in the government to sweep it under the carpet.
The chain of events. (With the help of the Herald Sun and others)
Australia Day – 26th January 2012
9am – Aborigines conduct a peaceful march in Canberra over sovereignty and land rights.
11am – Tony Abbott says in Sydney that in relation to the tent embassy in Canberra “that it might be time to move on”.
About Lunchtime – Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott arrive at The Lobby restaurant to present medals for emergency services workers.
1.30 to 2pm – Around this time one of Julia Gillard’s junior media advisors, Tony Hodges, phones Unions ACT secretary Kim Sattler and gets her to go to the tent embassy to stir up trouble by greatly exaggerating what Tony Abbott said. She tells Barbara Shaw at the embassy that Tony Abbott said the tent embassy should be closed down and that Tony Abbott is only 200 meters up the road at the The Lobby restaurant. Kim Sattler has since denied she exaggerated what Tony Abbott said. But as the evidence will show Kim Sattler is a compulsive liar.
Kim Sattler also talked to Michael Anderson, one of the co-founders of the embassy. One version says she said to him “the PM’s office want to talk to you” and another version says “Anderson said Sattler told him she was from the Prime Minister’s office and that his initial reaction was that it was a joke.” (Click here to read the full story) If Ms Sattler did say she was from the PM’s office she is in clear breach of section 148.1 of the 1995 Criminal Code – Impersonation of an official by a non‑official – 2 years jail, but more on that later.
2pm – Protesters head from the tent embassy to The Lobby restaurant.
2.05pm – “A source at the event said they had witnessed Mr Hodges and another staffer from the PMO speaking to several members of the crowd outside, around 20 minutes before the protesters charged the windows, sparking a dramatic evacuation of both Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott from the building.” (Click here to read the full story) I am very curious what was said and who the other staffer was and why hasn’t Julia Gillard issued a statement on this point.
2.25pm – Julia Gillard’s security team call police.
2.30pm – About 50 Federal Police show up and clear a path for Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to clear the building.
2.40pm – Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott leave the building.
In the afternoon following the events.
Sometime in the afternoon Tony Hodges tells his superiors what he had done. One has to suspect they already knew and were up to neck in it.
“Ms Sattler posted a photo, taken on her iPhone, of the crowd engulfing the medal ceremony and added the comment, “Tony Abbott just announced the Tent Embassy should be closed down and a huge crowd from the Embassy went to greet him and he had to be rushed away with a police escort!” (Click here to read the full story)
Friday 27th January 2012
Julia Gillard at a press conference denied any knowledge of anyone from her office had tipped off the protesters. Even though her senior media advisers where aware of it the previous day.
But earlier in the day “Sydney radio presenter Ray Hadley blew the whistle, telling his listeners that a Gillard staff member had phoned someone from the embassy and said ”you should have heard what Abbott just said, he wants it all torn down … if you’re looking for him he’s across the road at a restaurant” (Click here to read the full story)
1.30pm – Ms Sattler called the Australian Federal Police into her office informed them she had been the one who passed on the location of Mr Abbott to protesters.
At about 6pm it is confirmed that Tony Hodges has resigned. Why did take almost 24 hours? And after a denial of any knowledge by Julia Gillard? I doubt very much he would have resigned if the media had not got hold of the story nor would Julia Gillard have taken any action.
Saturday 28th January 2012
Early saturday morning Kim Sattler told the Canberra times this:
“But when The Sunday Canberra Times reached Sattler earlier in the day, she denied being the go-between for the PM’s office in tipping off the Aboriginal tent embassy. She denied even having a conversation with Hodges and claimed she learnt about Abbott’s presence from people at the tent embassy. ”I heard it from people on the ground,” Sattler said. ”I did not talk to Tony Hodges.”
“She said the Liberal Party would be ”hunting” for somebody to blame.” (Click here to read the full story)
Obviously Ms Sattler was lying as the previous day she had confessed to the Federal Police.
Sometime Saturday Ms Sattler had another go at Tony Abbott.
“Ms Sattler berated Mr Abbott through the social network, saying he played a role in the violence.”
“Tony Abbot is like your typical bar-room brawler, who starts a fight and then disappears like a coward when it is in full swing,” she wrote.” (Click here to read the full story)
Saturday afternoon Barbara Shaw and Michael Anderson from the Aboriginal tent embassy out Kim Sattler as the go-between.
Later in the day Julia Gillard also outs Kim Sattler and also outlines the role of Tony Hodges in the riot. She tries to water down what he had done. (Click here to read)
Saturday night Kim Sattler talks to Samantha Maiden at News Ltd. She says:
“But Ms Sattler, a staunch Labor Party supporter and secretary of Unions ACT, said she was “the messenger who is being shot” and that she had only repeated information given to her by Ms Gillard’s then press secretary, Tony Hodges.”
“I spoke to Tony Hodges on the phone,” Ms Sattler told the Sunday Herald Sun.
“He mentioned that Tony Abbott had made a statement about the embassy, that it shouldn’t exist at all.”
Ms Sattler said: “He (Hodges) said, ‘You might want to get someone to respond to that’. He said, ‘By the way, he is next door at the Lobby at the function’.” (Click here to read the full story)
Sunday 29th January 2012
Ms Sattler issued a statement refuting what she said to Samantha Maiden at News Ltd.
“In a statement issued today, Ms Sattler said the News Ltd reports were “inaccurate”.
“As I said in my statement yesterday, Tony Hodges from the Prime Minister’s office told me what Tony Abbott had said – that people should ‘move on’ from the tent embassy,” she said.
“Yesterday the Prime Minister gave an accurate account of my role.” (Click here to read the full story)
I bet the statement was countersigned by the Prime Ministers office.
Monday 30th January 2012
After numerous calls by the federal opposition for the Federal Police to investigate the Federal Police issue a statement:
“The Australian Federal Police says it will not investigate the disclosure of Tony Abbott’s location before the Australia Day tent embassy protest, despite an official request by the federal opposition.”
The AFP said in a statement that “no evidence of a criminal act was identified”. (Click here to read the full story)
Of course you will not find any evidence if you do not look.
The prima facie cases:
Tony Hodges should be charged with breaching section 149.1 of the 1995 Criminal Code – Obstruction of Commonwealth public officials as well as section 70 of the 1914 Crimes Act. (Both are listed below in summary format)
Mr Hodges was clearly trying to obstruct and hinder Mr Abbott in his official duties. So was Kim Sattler.
Section 70 of the 1914 Crimes Act is the same section that Allan Robert Kessing was found guilty of back in 2007 when he was found to have leaked a government report to the media about airport security problems. Kessing to this day denies it, but even if he was guilty it was in the public interest to do so. (Click here to read more)
Section 70 is well-known in the public service and Mr Hodges could and should have been aware he was breaching it. It is not for him to tell people where Tony Abbott is and even more so if the people have a grievance with Mr Abbott. The prime ministers office and the federal police would have also known he had broken the law.
If you or myself phoned the prime ministers office and asked where Tony Abbott was they would not tell us. Their response would be that it is classified information and by law they could not tell us.
Kim Sattler should also be charged with breaching section 149.1 of the 1995 Criminal Code – Obstruction of Commonwealth public officials. If the report as mentioned above in the SMH is true and Ms Sattler said “she was from the Prime Minister’s office” she should be also charged with breaching of section 148.1 of the 1995 Criminal Code – Impersonation of an official by a non‑official.
It must be noted other reports have her saying that she said to Michael Anderson “that the PM’s office want to talk to you” if that is the case then it is not a criminal offence. But is raises other questions. Who at the prime ministers office wanted to talk to him. This seems to imply that others were involved otherwise it would have been “Tony Hodges at the PM’s office want to talk to you”.
Section 148.1 (2) and 149.1 of the CRIMINAL CODE ACT 1995.
Division 148—Impersonation of Commonwealth public officials
148.1 Impersonation of an official by a non‑official
2) A person other than a Commonwealth public official is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person falsely represents himself or herself to be a Commonwealth public official in a particular capacity; and
(b) the person does so in the course of doing an act, or attending a place, in the assumed capacity of such an official.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years.
Division 149—Obstruction of Commonwealth public officials
149.1 Obstruction of Commonwealth public officials
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person knows that another person is a public official; and
(b) the first‑mentioned person obstructs, hinders, intimidates or resists the official in the performance of the official’s functions; and
(c) the official is a Commonwealth public official; and
(d) the functions are functions as a Commonwealth public official.
CRIMES ACT 1914 – SECT 70 (Click here for the full section)
Disclosure of information by Commonwealth officers
(1) A person who, being a Commonwealth officer, publishes or communicates, except to some person to whom he or she is authorized to publish or communicate it, any fact or document which comes to his or her knowledge, or into his or her possession, by virtue of being a Commonwealth officer, and which it is his or her duty not to disclose, shall be guilty of an offence.
“Commonwealth officer” means a person holding office under, or employed by, the Commonwealth, and includes:
(a) a person appointed or engaged under the Public Service Act 1999 ;
Concealing a crime is a crime in itself so there are plenty of people in the Prime Ministers office with some serious questions they need to answer.
This needs a full and open public enquiry as the federal police will do anything. Even if they are forced to investigate they will drag it out for ever and close the file in six or twelve months with no charges being laid.
Julia Gillard and her office are desperate with Kevin Rudd breathing down her neck with a challenge to Gillard’s leadership imminent. Without a doubt Tony Hodges did not act alone and what about the lies of Kim Sattler.
The picture is of Kim Sattler and Julia Gillard from Ms Sattlers facebook page (which is now blocked) and which is on the News Ltd site.
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