An explosive corruption inquiry started in the NSW parliament on Thursday regarding corruption in the police, judiciary and public service. The allegations include illegal phone tapping, dodgy affidavits by police, dodgy warrants by judges, bribery, cover-ups by senior police, public servants and politicians etc. It is bound to lead to a Royal Commission
Attempted bribery allegations were made against NSW Attorney-General Brad Hazzard who it is alleged tried to bribe another MP to close down the inquiry. The allegations were made by NSW MP Robert Borsak, who is a member of the Shooters and Fishers Party, at the start of the upper house inquiry.
It is not complex. The police were illegally bugging phones and using listening devices trying to find corrupt police. The police were able to do this with some extremely questionable and/or corrupt warrants issued by over 20 Supreme Court judges.
1999 – 2001
NSW Police Special Crime and Internal Affairs unit (SCIA) and the NSW Crime Commission conduct Operation Mascot into corrupt NSW police officers. It was run by Andrew Scipione (between 2001 and 2002) and Catherine Burn, who is now a Deputy Commissioner. Mr Scipione is now NSW Police Commissioner. It bugged 119 people, most of them serving or former police.
Warrants issued by Supreme Court judges to allow the bugging were in some cases issued based on dodgy evidence by the police or in some cases no evidence at all. It is alleged that more than 20 Supreme Court judges were involved including Justice Bell who is now a judge of the High Court of Australia and who issued a warrant to bug 112 people in 2000. One of the people bugged was Nick Kaldas who is now a Deputy Commissioner.
Strike Force Emblems was set up in 2003 to investigate the controversial listening-device warrant approved in September 2000.
Strike Force Emblems interviewed 35 people who complained about their names being on the warrant. Emblems found there was no justification for 22 of those, including Mr Kaldas, being on the warrant. Overall, it found that of the 114 people named, there was probably no justification for 54 of them being on it.
Successive NSW governments have refused to release the Emblems report. (Click here to read more)
In 2012 Barry O’Farrell who was then Premier asked NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour to examine its allegations and he set up Operation Prospect to investigate. Mr Barbour has spent 2 years wasting time and still has not published a report. It is alleged that Mr Barbour has conducted a witch hunt to find out who leaked information about the previous inquiry.
Last year the Labor Party, Greens and Shooters and Fishers Party set up the current parliamentary inquiry. The current government led by Premier Mike Baird have done everything they can to stop the parliamentary inquiry.
Allegation of attempted bribe Brad Hazzard
NSW MP Robert Borsak of the Shooters and Fishers Party made the allegations against Brad Hazzard and said:
On Thursday, Mr Borsak said Mr Hazzard made an unannounced visit to his parliament house office on November 14 and the conversation lasted about 30 minutes.
“In my view … the Attorney-General sought to cajole me, then threaten me and ultimately tried to bribe me into withdrawing from the inquiry, thus causing it to be delayed or probably to fail,” Mr Borsak said.
Mr Borsak said Mr Hazzard said it was his legal duty to warn him that the inquiry “was upsetting all the judges and senior legal people of this state”. (Click here to read more)
So who are these judges and senior legal people? Did they lobby Mr Hazzard directly to close down the parliamentary inquiry? Brad Hazzard should be forced to name them.
Police v Police
NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas has aggressively attacked NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and NSW Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn for their roles in investigating him during Operation Mascot from 1999 to 2001. Mr Kaldas also attacked NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour.
“NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas has launched a blistering attack on NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour, claiming his treatment by an investigation into a long-running bugging scandal was worse than how police would be allowed to treat a criminal.”
“In sensational evidence to a parliamentary inquiry into Mr Barbour’s two-year investigation into the bugging scandal, Mr Kaldas likened the way Mr Barbour has conducted his inquiry to the “horrors” of notorious US Senator Joseph McCarthy’s pursuit of communists in the 1950s.”
“We the police could not treat criminals this way and neither should we,” he said. (Click here to read more)
Andrew Scipione has to resign or be sacked so the police force can start to regain the public’s confidence. His credibility has been destroyed with the evidence that has come out during the inquiry. What makes it even worse is that the government was trying to hide it and also promoted him in extremely suspicious circumstances. “Andrew Scipione was investigated over allegations he leaked details of a police bugging operation a decade ago but cleared within 24 hours to facilitate a plan to promote him to deputy commissioner, an explosive document reveals.” (Click here to read more)
Premier Mike Baird and the NSW election
Premier Mike Baird is in crisis management mode given the scandalous revelations of the last few days. It will cost his party at the NSW state election which is only 2 months away on the 28th of March and it is because of his own failed attempt to cover-up the corruption.
Premier Baird is refusing to take action even though the corruption is at the extreme end of the scale in relation to public concern and highly likely only the tip of the iceberg.
“some of the affidavits presented to Supreme Court judges contained no information that would justify the surveillance, and some of their contents were false.” (Click here to read more)
There needs to be another Royal Commission into the NSW police with the last one being the Wood Royal Commission 20 years ago. This time though it has to include the judiciary.
Mike Baird’s credibility is shot to pieces and it was only a few weeks ago that I wrote about Premier Baird failing to act regarding judicial corruption. (Click here to read the post) Covering up corruption seems to be an art form that Mike Baird has mastered very quickly.
Admin: I am back in court at 12pm on Monday with Kerry Stokes (the defamation matter) who also managed to have the Supreme Court issue a Super-injunction that was not justified. (Click here to read my written submissions) It seems not much has changed since 1999 and Operation Mascot as per above.
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