The Liberal Party are in the final stages of totally corrupting and politicising the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption. Their motives are obvious given that more than 10 NSW Liberal Party politicians were forced to resign or were sacked from the Liberal Party in the last couple of years. This is because of the ICAC investigations which found widespread corruption in the Liberal Party which mostly involved corrupt political donations.
ICAC has also found corruption in the Labor Party over the last few years which has led to the jailing of former Labor MP Eddie Obeid and might lead to others also being jailed. But it is not the Labor Party who have driven the recent changes overhauling the ICAC. The responsibility for the current “scandalous” changes at ICAC are the full responsibility of the Liberal Party.
The Liberal Party resignations and sackings also included the former Premier Barry O’Farrell.
With calls for a Federal ICAC growing louder by the day it is concerning to look at the demise of an independent ICAC in NSW.
Former Premier Mike Baird’s “scandalous” plan to corrupt ICAC
A fight has erupted in NSW parliament about Megan Latham’s future as leader of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) after the Government announced sweeping changes to the watchdog’s structure.
The Government has introduced legislation to change the structure of ICAC so it will be led by three commissioners instead of one.
But a fight erupted in State Parliament today over the future of the watchdog’s current commissioner, Megan Latham.
Under the changes the Government announced, the ICAC will be reconstituted as a three-member Commission, comprising a chief commissioner and two other commissioners.
In order for a public hearing to be held as part of any corruption investigation, the chief commissioner and at least one other commissioner must agree. (Click here to read more)
Commissioner Megan Latham’s “sacking“
Megan Latham was not liked by many NSW Liberal Party MP’s because they blamed her for the numerous sackings and resignations of Liberal MP’s. When the restructure of ICAC happened the writing was on the wall.
The head of the NSW corruption watchdog, Megan Latham, has announced her resignation just days after learning she would be forced to reapply for her job under a restructure by the Baird government.
In a statement, Ms Latham, who had two years of a five-year term remaining as Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, said she would resign on November 30 and return to her former role as a judge in the NSW Supreme Court.
Last week, Ms Latham accused Premier Mike Baird of “an unprecedented attack” on the agency’s independence after he unveiled legislation outlining details of a radical overhaul that would force her to reapply for her job.
Ms Latham warned the changes, which include replacing the current single commissioner with a three-commissioner model, would create “a fundamentally weaker organisation”. (Click here to read more)
Commissioners have to be a judge
What I find disturbing is that the ICAC Commissioners have to be a judge.
“The candidates for the roles must be former judges of the Supreme Court or a higher court, or eligible to be appointed to such a position.” (Click here to read more)
The NSW ICAC is the body that is also meant to investigate judicial corruption in NSW. But they refused to do so under Megan Latham who would not investigate the $2.2 million Mafia bribe of NSW judges. It’s a certainty that ICAC will continue to refuse to investigate judicial corruption under any other judge especially the likes of the corrupt former Supreme Court judge Peter Hall.
Former NSW Supreme Court judge Peter Hall
It was reported last week (18/4/17) that Peter Hall will become the chief commissioner of the NSW ICAC.
The state government has ended months of speculation and announced former Supreme Court judge Peter Hall will become the new chief commissioner of the corruption watchdog.
Former premier Mike Baird courted controversy last year when he announced a restructure of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, which effectively ousted serving boss Megan Latham from office.
Justice Latham, who has since returned to the Supreme Court bench, opted not to reapply for a job in the restructured agency.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Thursday the government would propose Mr Hall, QC, be appointed the chief commissioner of the ICAC. The restructured agency will have an additional two commissioners, who are yet to be appointed. (Click here to read more)
Peter Hall’s known corruption
To cut a long story short in April 2014 Kerry Stokes instituted defamation proceedings against myself regarding an article on this website and sought interim non-publication orders directing me to take an article down. Stokes failed when Justice Ian Harrison refused the application and instead of appealing Stokes just went to another judge which was Justice Peter Hall and had a another go. It was in effect a backdoor appeal which is scandalous. Peter Hall has many questions to answer.
In May 2014 I wrote an article titled “Money talks at the Supreme Court of NSW. Billionaire Kerry Stokes boy Justice Hall scandalises the court” and said:
Seven West Media Chairman and billionaire bully Kerry Stokes has finally got what he demanded from the Supreme Court of NSW and had an interlocutory judgement handed down in his favour on Friday. It took him three goes in under 4 weeks and an obliging Justice Peter Hall to override the judgement of Justice Harrison, but he got there.
I am not going to get into Justice Hall’s judgement too much as there is no need. The fact that it was the third application for the same orders in less than 4 weeks says it all, hence the title “Money talks at the Supreme Court of NSW….”. It is the broader abuse of the judicial and legal system that is the main game here. So I will raise only three of the failings of his judgement.
It is worth noting that this matter is on page 4 of this weekends Australian Financial Review which I am sure will make Kerry Stokes happy given his multiple attempts for a suppression order so his name could not be revealed in the press. It is behind a pay wall although you can see the first bit. (Click here to read)
When you read this just remember this about the Kerry Stokes. Justice Sackville said in regards to Kerry Stokes when giving evidence under oath in the infamous C7 case “There were occasions on which, in my opinion, he gave evidence that he knew was not true.” “Mr Stokes evidence on this issue was not only implausible but, I must conclude, deliberately false,” Justice Sackville said. (Click here to read more) And the definition of a perjurer is “a person who deliberately gives false testimony”. (Click here to read)
Justice Hall tried his judicial bully tactics first up. I was in court on the 7th of May trying to have the hearing adjourned as I was given less than 2 days notice to prepare instead of the required 3 full days minimum. Stokes was up to his old dirty tricks. Justice Hall said to me, for talking out of turn, words to the effect that if I disobey him there will be consequences. I said “Don’t threaten me, you’re a public servant and you work for me and you would do well to remember that”. I don’t cop garbage from dodgy bullying judges and Hall backed off with his threats. But Stokes had been judge shopping and Hall was his man. (Click here to read the full article)
Over the last 3 years Kerry Stokes has challenged many articles I have written and demanded I take down quite a few. Stokes he has never challenged the article I wrote on Peter Hall in 2014 which I quoted from above which I take as Stokes as admitting it is all true.
How Peter Hall can be appointed as ICAC Commissioner when there are serious unchallenged allegations against him is disgraceful.
Side note: After 3 years, a final hearing was heard in the Kerry Stokes matter known as Munsie v Dowling on Monday the 24th April 2017. Judgment was reserved. (Click here to read more)
The need for a Federal ICAC
We need a federal ICAC to not only investigate Federal Government corruption but also to oversee the state corruption bodies so blatant corruption and politicisation of state ICAC’s like what is happening in NSW cannot happen again.
It is really only a matter of time before we do get a federal ICAC but until then we should focus on how the state ICAC’s are being undermined to try to make sure a federal ICAC is not a waste of time and the proper protections and oversight are put in place. There is no perfection but we can do a lot better than we are currently doing with NSW going backwards instead of forward.
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