Criminal charges have been recommended against at least 15 people in submissions by Jeremy Stoljar SC who is the barrister assisting the Royal Commission. Fairing the worst is Bill Shorten’s Crime Gang at the HSU Victorian Number 1 Branch where 7 people have been recommended for criminal charges. This along with other revelations by the Royal Commission is a major embarrassment for Mr Shorten and will loosen his grip on power within the Labor Party.
The submissions were published late on Friday (31/10/14) at approximately 5.30PM with the first media reports focused on former PM Julia Gillard which is fair enough I suppose given the circumstances.
But the big story is really how many people are facing possible jail time. While Stoljar might not make everyone happy there is a long list of people he has recommended that should face criminal charges for perjury, fraud and blackmail etc.
List of Union Officials & Cbus employees looking at jail time published by Royal Commission #turc
HSU Victorian Number 1 Branch: Secretary Diana Asmar – General Manager Kimberley Kitching – Union Organiser David Eden – Union Organiser Darryn Rowe – Union Organiser Lee Atkinson – Union Organiser Sasha Trajcevski-Uzunov – Union Organiser Nick Katsis – The alleged offences relate to giving false information when they applied for Right of Entry Permits (Click here to read more)
CFMEU: Victorian Secretary John Setka (Blackmail charges) Shaun Reardon Victorian Assistant State Secretary (Blackmail or at least accessory to Blackmail) (Click here to read more) NSW Secretary Brian Parker (Perjury) (Click here to read)
Cbus: Industry Superannuation Fund – Lisa Zanatta (Perjury) Maria Butera (Perjury) (Click here to read)
AWU: Bruce Wilson (Fraud) Ralph Blewitt (Fraud) (Click here to read more)
I have not read all the submission papers yet so there could be others that have been recommended for criminal charges. (Click here for all the submission papers) There are also a lot of people who should feel extremely lucky they are not on Stoljar’s list. But then again they might not be so lucky when Commissioner Heydon publishes his Interim Report on December 15 as there is nothing stopping him from adding others. I would expect the list of people charged with perjury might grow and maybe by a large number.
There is still a long way to go and Heydon’s Interim Report is what really matters but just a few words on some of the key issues raised by Stoljar’s submissions.
Julia Gillard – Bruce Wilson – AWU Fraud – Concealing a criminal offence
Julia Gillard would not be sleeping much easier after Stoljar’s submissions and she was always only one player in the overall game of stamping out Union corruption. But lets deal with her first.
Julia Gillard has not been exonerated and worst of all she faces at least another year or 2 of close scrutiny of her involvement in the AWU fraud given the recommended criminal charges of Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt. Unless of course both Blewitt and Wilson do deals with the prosecutor which is likely in Blewitt’s case given his confession but I would suspect unlikely in Wilson’s case.
Stoljar wrote in his opening submissions at paragraph 32: “As for Ms Gillard, it is submitted that she did not commit any crime, and was not aware of any criminality on the part of these union officials. Some aspects of her professional conduct as a solicitor appear questionable, and had she adopted a more rigorous approach to the task, it might have been more difficult for Mr Wilson and Mr Blewitt to have behaved as they did. The evidence supports a finding that Ms Gillard was the beneficiary or recipient of certain funds from Mr Wilson.” (Click here to read more)
And wrote this in his submissions on the AWU fraud:
“Lastly, for the reasons set out above the Commission should find that Ms Gillard was the beneficiary or recipient of certain funds from Mr Wilson, consistent with the evidence of Mr James and Mr Hem. It is not possible to identify after all this time the precise source of the funds, since Mr Wilson seems to have drawn cash from the accounts operated in Victoria as well as from the Association’s account.
The skimpy nature of the available evidence does not make it possible to infer on the balance of probabilities that Ms Gillard was aware that she had received the $5,000 which Mr Hem put into her bank account on Mr Wilson’s instructions. But she was aware of facts, had she turned her mind to them, which would have indicated that the source of the wads of bank notes cannot have been the low union salary of Mr Wilson of about $50,000 – a man who was supporting his family in Perth, his own household in Melbourne, and his relationship with Ms Gillard in Melbourne, and who was not shown to have had any income from property exceeding the cost of mortgage repayments – but must have been some fund he did not own but did control.
That is, she must have been aware of facts, which had she turned her mind to them, would have revealed that Mr Wilson was making payments to her in breach of some fiduciary duty.” (Click here to read more)
Given all the evidence Julia Gillard is at the very least still a huge candidate for the crime of concealing the AWU fraud at this point in time and Commissioner Heydon might not be as kind as Mr Stoljar. Whatever happens Ms Gillard has been found guilty by many in the court of public opinion and that counts for plenty.
Bill Shorten – Health Services Union (HSU)
In 2012 Bill Shorten had the HSU put into administration because of corruption. At the 2012 elections he had his own cronies elected to power at the Victoria Number 1 Branch with the help of financing from union slush funds. Two of those key people Diana Asmar and Kimberley Kitching are now facing possible criminal charges along with 5 others from the branch. Ms Asmar and Mrs Kitching are also facing charges from the Fair Work Commission but are abusing the legal system to delay receiving any penalty. Diana Asmar is married to David Asmar who is also named in the submissions and Kimberley Kitching is married to known union fraudster and thief Andrew Landeryou who is a good friend of Bill Shorten’s.
So what responsibility does Bill Shorten take for the corruption returning at the #1 Branch given they are his people? The reality is that Mr Shorten has been caught out badly being up to his neck in the corruption and being nothing more than a union thug.
There are a lot of issues that I could have raised from Jeremy Stoljar’s submissions but the most powerful is the recommendations for criminal charges as it will likely have a positive impact for the RC in the future as far as getting to the truth is concerned. And the most important part I believe is the HSU Victoria Number 1 Branch because it gives us an insight into Bill Shorten and how he operates.
From here the parties that have been named by Jeremy Stoljar have an opportunity to respond by the 14th of November etc. (Click here for the full submission timetable) Finally, Commissioner Heydon hands down his Interim Report on the 15th December 2014.
I’ll try to write on other topics in the next few posts but the Royal Commission is starting to bite hard which is good to see.
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