Victorian Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen handed down a judgement on Monday in the Julia Gillard – Bruce Wilson AWU fraud in relation to the discovery of documents sought by the Victoria Police. The bottom line is that the police now have access to the documents they were seeking. It is a judgement that will probably put a big smile on Julia Gillard’s face and make her Christmas.
Some people think Lauritsen’s judgement is a big win, but I do not see it. Some elements are good as far as the pursuit of Bruce Wilson is concerned but that is about all. As Chief Magistrate Lauritsen says in his written reasons “As far as I can determine, the majority of the documents date from 1995. None is earlier than 1992. This proceeding may turn out to be much ado about very little”. (Click here to read the CM Lauritsen’s full judgement on the News Ltd site) (I found it on Andrew Bolt’s Blog here)
That said, Ms Gillard should be happy because Chief Magistrate Lauritsen for whatever reason has made a finding of fact that Julia Gillard and her then boss, Bernard Murphy, did not know about a key element of the fraud that took place. This makes it rather hard to charge them with “conspiracy to cheat and defraud” which is one of the crimes that the Victoria police are investigating.
Others will argue that there is plenty of other evidence and other crimes that Julia Gillard can be charged with. And if they do that they will be right, but missing the whole point. This is a game of knocking one piece of evidence and one crime out at a time, piece by piece until there is no case against Gillard. And the piece knocked out by Lauritsen is a big piece which I disagree with.
This is a follow-up to 2 recent posts on the Victoria police trying to get access to documents from the law firm Slater and Gordon when Julia Gillard worked there and relating to her work for her then boyfriend Bruce Wilson. Click here for the first post and click here for the second post. I also have a specific page set up on the Julia Gillard / Bruce Wilson AWU Fraud. (Click here)
In 1991 Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt, as representatives of the AWU, did a deal with Thiess Contractors Pty Ltd in Western Australia regarding a construction job known as the “Dawesville Channel project”. As part of the deal the AWU would supply a “Workplace Reform” advisor. As it turns out the advisor never existed but Wilson and Blewitt did invoice Thiess for the advisors work.
In 1992 Julia Gillard and her then boss at Slater and Gordon lawyers, Bernard Murphy helped set up an association called the Australian Workers Union – Workplace Reform Association. It was set up for Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt. The Association via its bank account was used to funnel fraudulently gained funds from Thiess Contractors Pty Ltd through. In total it was $303,252 for the “Workplace Reform” advisor that never existed.
Wilson and Blewitt initially had problems getting the Association registered in WA as the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs rejected the application. So Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt went to the Melbourne offices of Slater and Gordon and met with two partners, Julia Gillard and Bernard Murphy.
In his written reasons Chief Magistrate Lauritsen says in relation to the meeting that “Neither Blewitt nor Wilson mentioned to Murphy or Gillard the agreement with Thiess over the advisor”. I find this disturbing as it seems to give Gillard and Murphy a big out as far as a “conspiracy to cheat and defraud”charge is concerned. And on whose evidence does he rely to make this statement? It has to be Ralph Blewitt’s affidavit. No wonder Lauritsen was talking up the credibility of Ralph Blewitt in his written reasons. It helps Gillard and Murphy at from that point is concerned..
Why Lauritsen would raise that is beyond me as there is no need to and it sounds like he is acting as Gillard’s and Murphy’s defence council. I won’t get into a long argument but I will make these two points.
1.Both Gillard and Murphy would have known they should have approached the AWU head office for approval to set up the Association which they did not.
2. By the time Gillard helped set up the Association she was already in a sexual relationship with Bruce Wilson and should have stood aside from dealing with Wilson and the AWU any further which she did not.
Director of Public Prosecutions
The decision on whether or not to prosecute Julia Gillard will most likely come down to John Champion SC who is Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions. So what is he like?
He is currently under fire for getting involved in politics and dropping criminal charges against the Victorian state politician Geoff Shaw only a few days ago. From what I can tell the DPP had been chasing Geoff Shaw for a while and to drop the charges at such a late stage makes it a clear political decision.
“Mr Shaw faced 23 charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception and one count of misconduct in public office over the alleged misuse of his parliamentary fuel card and car in 2011.”
“Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion, SC, issued a statement saying there was not a reasonable prospect of Mr Shaw being convicted.“ (Click here to read more)
John Champion is a Liberal appointment, so it cannot be claimed he is biased in favour of Julia Gillard. But it does not install a lot of confidence when the current Victorian DPP in the last week has dropped criminal charges for political reasons. A lot of senior public servants play both sides of the political fence as who is in power today might not be at the next election.
There is so many twists and turns to come and so many angles to look at things from. It will only be if and when people start getting charged will we be able to look back in hindsight and have a good indication of what really happened with this investigation. Until then we keep guessing.
Please use the Twitter, Facebook, email etc. buttons below and help promote this post.
This site is independent and reliant on donations to keep publishing. If you would like to support the continuance and growth of this site it would be greatly appreciated if you make a donation. Click on the below button to donate via PayPal or go to the donations page for other donation options (Click here to go to the Donations page)
If you would like to buy a t-shirt or coffee mug visit my online shop (Click here to visit the shop)
If you would like to follow this site by email you can at the top right side of this page and about once a week you will get an email when there is a new post/story on this site.
Thank you for your support.