The Victorian Police investigation into the Julia Gillard / Bruce Wilson AWU fraud scandal is as good as dead and buried. At least as far as Julia Gillard being charged is concerned and it is highly unlikely the police will even try to interview her. The key reason for this is Ralph Blewitt and his association with the complainant, Michael Smith, and the former lawyer Harry Nowicki.
To understand why we need to put ourselves in the police’s position and the obvious defence that Julia Gillard would run if she was charged. There is a chance that Bruce Wilson could be charged for what he did in relation to the AWU Reform Association fraud but that is probably unlikely now as well, although Mr Wilson might have other matters to answer in Western Australia.
The reason I know this is just by looking at the key witnesses and their credibility which would be near on zero if it ever hit court. Gillard would play the game of not giving evidence herself and go on a full frontal attack of the witnesses credibility and they would have plenty to work with as you will see. This would cast a dark shadow over any credible witness and evidence and make it highly unlikely that a jury would convict. That is what the police would be looking at.
Once Gillard’s legal team had destroyed the witnesses credibility they would lay as much blame as they could on Ralph Blewitt. Firstly though they would tie in Blewitt with Harry Nowicki and Michael Smith and their backgrounds and motives and try to make out a case that they had influenced Ralph Blewitt to lie to get Julia Gillard.
Let’s look at some of the evidence that would come out in court and how it would play out in court. And remember that Ms Gillard and her advisors are well aware of everything that is written below.
I will assume that you know most of the background to the Julia Gillard / Bruce Wilson AWU fraud. If not, I have set up a page with the posts that I have done on the matter. (Click here to go to the page)
Harry Nowicki – The former lawyer, fraudster, thief and apparently unknowingly perjurer
Mr Nowicki is a key player and is the one who brought Ralph Blewitt to Australia.
In 2001 Mr Nowicki was found guilty of professional misconduct as a lawyer and fined $15,000 in a matter that related to him ripping off a personal injury client $20,000. From reading the judgement Mr Nowicki also perjured himself in an affidavit to the Supreme Court of Victoria although he apparently perjured himself unknowingly. It says in the judgement in relation to Mr Nowicki at paragraph 36 “Certainly, a failure to look at the file note or failure himself to carry out the sort of independent investigations which would have led him to the truth and revealed the falsity of the affidavit are the sort of matters that proper discharge of professional duty requires.” Not a good look for a lawyer and one who has helped Mr Blewitt with his police statements. (Click here to read the judgement)
Mr Nowicki’s background is important as Julia Gillard would without a doubt subpoena Mr Nowicki as a witness if she was charged. Julia Gillard would have numerous grounds to do so, the first being that Mr Nowicki has paid for Ralph Blewitt to come to Australia and I believe his legal fees. Then add the fact that Mr Nowicki helped Mr Blewitt with his police statements then that would be enough to subpoena him.
Mr Nowicki said in an ABC interview: I’m the first person who has actually shown him documents. He’s read them and that’s refreshed his memory. So he is basing his statement on documents which refresh his memory.
So he’s then going to see the Victorian Fraud Squad and will cooperate with them in making a without prejudice statement that can’t be used to incriminate him.
and when asked “Who are the targets here?” Mr Nowicki said “Well there’s no targets. This is a case where really the facts and the true situation about events that occurred are very, very obscure. So there’s no target.” (Click here to read more)
It blew me away when I read that. Once Mr Nowicki said he showed Ralph Blewitt the documents and that Ralph Blewitt based his police statement on seeing those documents Mr Nowicki was always going to be called as a witness to test exactly what he did or didn’t show Ralph Blewitt and if he helped him any further. As a lawyer Mr Nowicki had to know this. There is no attorney-client privilege between Mr Nowicki and Mr Blewitt as another lawyer is representing Mr Blewitt, not Mr Nowicki.
Mr Nowicki said there is “no target”. The are many problems with that statement. Firstly Mr Nowicki and Ralph Blewitt are closely aligned with Michael Smith and he clearly has a target, that being Julia Gillard. Then there are little things that might seem small but all add up in a juries mind. For example in an interview with the ABC it was pointed out to Ralph Blewitt that on his Facebook page he likes a group called “Julia Gillard – Worst PM in History.”
Mr Nowicki says he has been researching the AWU for a book he is writing. So he has a financial motive to see Ralph Blewitt’s testimony to be as explosive as possible as it would sell more books. He says that “one chapter will be the rise and fall of Bruce Wilson in the AWU” (Click here to read more) Nowicki seems to have gone to a great effort and expense for one chapter.
Michael Smith – The vendetta
Under normal circumstances there would be nothing wrong with Mr Smith to use his website to bring Julia Gillard to justice. But the circumstances are not normal. Mr Smith made a complaint to the police (Click here to read) based largely on the evidence of Ralph Blewitt and Ian Cambridge. Michael Smith lost his job at 2ue because he was trying to do a story on Julia Gillard and the AWU fraud and I have no doubt Julia Gillard had an influence in that so he is hardly unbiased. (Click here to read the post) Mr Smith would be a witness and has continued a close association with Ralph Blewitt.
There is evidence a mile long showing or at the least enough to strongly imply that Michael Smith has a vendetta against Julia Gillard. Julia Gillard’s barrister would play heavily on his vendetta and his association with Ralph Blewitt.
For example just yesterday Michael Smith did a 22 minute voice recording on his site making out the criminal case against Julia Gillard which he titled: “I did nothing wrong” Julia Gillard, AWU Scandal. I stake my reputation on the proposition that you did. (Click here)
As a former police officer Michael Smith would have known once he made the complaint to the police he should have stayed right away from Ralph Blewitt because they are both witnesses. Mr Smith should also have stopped using his website to make out his case against Julia Gillard once he had made the complaint because it makes it look like he is trying to influence the police investigation and any potential jury. In some cases the complainant might not be called as a witness, but given Mr Smith’s history with Julia Gillard it is not too hard to realise that he would be defiantly be witness as Gillard would subpoena him.
Michael Smith has also used his site to build up the credibility of Ralph Blewitt and give him encouragement. For example Mr Smith did a post titled “Character. The measure of the man.” about Ralph Blewitt and said in relation to Mr Blewitt “As grandmum would say, a man of character.” (Click here to read) In another post Mr Smith encouraged readers to send Ralph Blewitt christmas cards and did another post publishing an email Mr Blewitt sent saying thank you. Once again it would be argued in court Mr Smith was trying to influence the police investigation and any potential jury.
Another major negative is that Michael Smith has close ties to the Liberal Party.
Michael Smith set up his website Michael Smith News and the registered mailing address is the same as the Liberal Troll site Cando. Ms Gillard’s barrister would go right to town on this.
Administrative Contact: Smith, Michael
GPO Box 4379 Sydney, NSW 2001
Address: GPO Box 4379 Sydney NSW 2001
Liberal Party Senator George Brandis and National Party Senator Barnaby Joyce were guests at Michael Smith’s wedding. (Click here to read more) Both Senator Brandis and Senator Joyce have raised the AWU fraud scandal in parliament and have pursued the issue.
It must also be remembered that Senator Brandis is the one who made a complaint to the police in relation to Federal MP Craig Thomson and Michael Smith has made a statement to the police in relation to the Craig Thomson fraud.
Then there is infamous meeting between Ralph Blewitt, Michael Smith and Federal MP Julia Bishop. It is Ms Bishop who has been at the forefront prosecuting the case in parliament and in the media against Julia Gillard. Ms Bishop from memory chopped and changed her answers when she was caught out having the meeting. From memory she first said she bumped into him and later changed that to Michael Smith phoned her and asked her to meet Ralph Blewitt. On another time she said she was speaking to Michael Smith and he passed to the phone to Ralph Blewitt but she did not know it was Ralph Blewitt.
A quality Barrister would have a field day with Ms Bishop in the witness stand and it is almost guaranteed she would be called as a witness. She should have never gone anywhere near Ralph Blewitt because it gives the impression she might have influenced him. Whether she had or not is not important, just putting it in the jury’s minds that she might have is all that is needed.
Mr Smith is apparently in regular contact with the former Attorney-General Robert McClelland who is another person who had a falling out with Julia Gillard and has knowledge of the AWU fraud. Once again Mr Smith has used his site to say what a great man he is. Mr Smith did a post titled “Robert McClelland would make a great industrial relations commissioner – he’s a great man” (Click here to read)
Add that to Mr Smith saying what a good man Ian Cambridge is and you see a pattern of Mr Smith talking up the credibility of anyone who has come forward with evidence against Julia Gillard.
Michael Smith is the complainant and by the time Julia Gillard’s barrister was finished with him I have no doubt he would have the jury thinking Mr Smith was a man prepared to do anything to get Gillard, including polishing up the evidence and influencing Ralph Blewitt.
Mr Blewitt was involved in the AWU fraud with Bruce Wilson and as we know Julia Gillard was the lawyer and Mr Wilson’s then partner. Mr Blewitt is an admitted fraudster and thief for his role in the affair. He was always going to have a credibility problem. His association with Nowicki and Smith has dragged down his credibility further.
His sister would also probably be called as a witness given her interview with the Channel 7 News where she described as a scum bag out to destroy lives and wants the public to know the truth. She also alluded to plenty worse than that. (Click here to watch)
Other evidence damaged
There is sufficient evidence to make out a prima facie criminal case against Julia Gillard. An example being what she herself has said and how that contradicts with documented evidence. She should she thought she was setting up a slush fund but the document for incorporation says otherwise.
With all the evidence against Julia Gillard, Michael Smith has led in with the joker, Ralph Blewitt. One of the worst moves I have ever seen. Why would you? And then done further damage by continuing to try to prosecute the case on his website.
The political benefits for the Liberal Party seem to have been put to the front were Michael Smith has plenty of contacts and one might suspect will benefit after the next election with a cushy appointment. Cando are apparently already pushing for Michael Smith to be the Managing Director of the ABC.
The bottom line is by the time a barrister was finished with Ralph Blewitt and his association with Michael Smith and Harry Nowicki there would be a dark shadow cast over all the witnesses.
A jury would be hearing about Harry Nowicki’s financial interest in the case given he is writing a book and his own dodgy past in ripping someone off and lying in an affidavit. How Mr Nowicki has paid for Ralph Blewitt to come to Australia and how he has helped Mr Blewitt with the police statements.
The jury would also hear about the complainant having a vendetta against Julia Gillard, his political connections who have motive, the meeting with Ralph Blewitt and Julia Bishop and her ducking and weaving in relation to the meeting. How Michael Smith has already told his readership in effect that Julia Gillard is guilty of criminal conduct. How Michael Smith is talking up the credibility of the witnesses on his website and of the push by the Liberal Party troll site Cando for Mr Smith to be appointed the Managing Director of the ABC. The fact that Mr Smith is a former police officer and should know that witnesses should not talk to each before trial about the matter would also be raised plenty in court.
Then Mrs Gillard’s barrister would argue strongly that Michael Smith and Harry Nowicki have been influencing Ralph Blewitt to lie in his police statements for their own gain. Ms Gillard’s barrister does not have to prove this, just show it is a possibility to throw enough doubt into the juries minds about Ralph Blewitt’s credibility. Then the barrister would start laying as much blame as possible on Ralph Blewitt. Julia Gillard has already started using this strategy which I wrote about previously. (Click here to read the post) Ms Gillard has also starting attacking the link between Michael Smith, Ralph Blewitt and Julie Bishop.
These are the things that the police would be thinking about. How credible is the witnesses and will their credibility hold up in court. I say the credibility of Ralph Blewitt would be destroyed given the above and the fact he already had very little credibility to start with given his admissions of involvement in the fraud.
Where to now
The Victorian Police will either sweep it under the carpet themselves or refer it to the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions who will sweep it under the carpet. The reason being if it ever went to court it would an absolute circus and if I was a police officer or prosecutor I would not want name on the charge sheet. It could be a real career killer.
What should have happened and what should happen now is that everyone who has been investigating the AWU fraud should keep doing so then push for a Royal Commission when the Liberal Party comes to power which based on the polls and up and coming election is only a few months away. It is only by a Royal Commission that the full truth was ever going to come out as there are too many people who have stayed silent and will continue to do so.
Why write this post?
So we know where we are at and start mapping a path forward. Also as a learning curve so that any future complaints to the police are not butchered. If you are going to make a complaint to the police you need to do it right so if it is swept under the carpet you know where to lay the blame. It was also going to be a tough ask to get the police to do anything given the political nature of it. The police now have an easy out and justifiable one.
A sad thing is there is a possibility the police complaint might even help Julia Gillard. If the police sweep the matter, Ms Gillard might claim vindication and go to town on her accusers.
A lot of people have been investigating the AWU scandal for the right reason of getting to the truth and holding people to account. It is not for a few people to hijack it for their own agenda. The whole matter has turned into another Malcolm Turnbull / Godwin Grech Utegate affair where Malcolm Turnbull went to far and fast to try to bring down the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for his own political benefit.
Declaration. I do not like Michael Smith and wrote in my previous post why. Mr Smith has sent me a nasty email threatening defamation proceedings if I did not take down the post by Close of Business last Thursday. As you can see the post is still up. (Click here to read the post) That aside this post was always going to be written as I flagged it in my last post.
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