The Crown Resorts / Casino scandal could not have happened at a worse time for the Liberal Party and Labor Party as the NSW ICAC is due to start 6 weeks of public hearings at the end of August into dodgy Chinese government-linked donations to the NSW branch of Labor Party. The Liberal Party might think the ICAC hearings is great news but what will also definitely be raised in reporting the ICAC hearings, at least on social media, is the Liberal Party’s own history of Chinese government-linked donations.
The ruling Communist Party in China in effect bribing the Liberal Party and Labor Party is nothing new and scandals have been reported widely over the last few years and not a great deal has happened.
What could end up being the real game-changer are the Crown Casino scandal and the NSW ICAC public hearings starting on the 26th of August into Chinese donations to the NSW Labor Party.
NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) hearings into dodgy donations to the Labor Party
It has been publicly known since December last year that ICAC was investigating the NSW Labor Party after ICAC raided the Labor Party’s offices which meant public hearings would not be far away.
The New South Wales anti-corruption watchdog will spend six weeks probing allegations of an illegal donations racket involving Labor, Chinese donors and “possible foreign influence in NSW electoral purposes”. (Click here to read more)
A bag of cash delivered to Labor’s state party headquarters, donors’ identities being concealed, possible foreign influence-peddling by Chinese donors and schemes by party officials to circumvent donation restrictions. These are just some of the explosive allegations set to be aired when a corruption inquiry kicks off later this month. (Click here to read more)
But before the ICAC public hearings start we would have had over a month of national reporting about Crown Casino and it’s links to Chinese criminals whom some are alleged to be supported by the Chinese Communist Party.
Crown Resorts / Casino
Nine’s 60 Minutes and their papers ran stories over the last week about Crown Casino’s links to Chinese organized crime including Chinese triad gangs involved in money laundering and drug dealing.
Casino and hotel operator Crown Resorts went into business with tour operators backed by Asia’s most powerful organised crime syndicates as part of its program to attract Chinese high rollers to its casinos.
Multiple sources claim Crown’s desire to reap millions from the Chinese high-roller market led it to not only breach Chinese anti-gambling laws, but to partner with junket operators with links to drug traffickers, money launderers, human traffickers and Chinese government influence agents. (Click here to read more)
The stories also raised issues about the conduct of federal politicians, federal employees and law enforcement officers. It is a prime example of a time a federal parliamentary inquiry should be set up to investigate which independent politicians, led by Andrew Wilkie, tried to do. But the Liberal Party and Labor Party, who both receive large donations from Crown Casino, joined forces to stop it as the below video shows.
Below is a list of some of the donations made to the Liberal Party and the Labor Party by Crown Resorts as Tweeted by Independent Rebekha Sharkie click here.
(Click here to see the full list of donations on the Australian Electoral Commission website)
Below is the House of Representatives when they voted to have a Parliamentary Inquiry into corruption allegations against Crown Resorts. The independents on one side and the Liberal Party and Labor Party on the other side and the inquiry was voted down.
Court case – Conflict of interest for Bruce McClintock SC
An issue that stands out a country mile to me, that has not been raised by anyone that I know of, is the scandalous conflict of interest by barrister Bruce McClintock SC who not only oversees ICAC in his role as Inspector of ICAC but is at the same time representing alleged Chinese spy and billionaire businessman Chau Chak Wing in defamation proceedings against Nine Entertainment (Formerly Fairfax Media) and the ABC’s Four Corners.
Chau Chak Wing has 2 defamation cases on the go. The first case he won in February 2019:
Nine has said it will appeal against a court order to pay $280,000 in damages to Chinese businessman Chau Chak Wing, after a federal court judge ruled that a 2015 Sydney Morning Herald article linking him to a US bribery case was defamatory.”
Chau had brought the defamation proceedings against the Sydney Morning Herald over an online article titled “Are Chau Chak Wing’s circles of influence in Australia-China ties built on hot air?”, published on 16 October 2015.
Published shortly after US prosecutors accused Chinese-Australian woman Sheri Yan and her finance chief Heidi Park of arranging a $US200,000 bribe for former UN general assembly president John Ashe in 2013, Garnaut’s article said Chau was an unindicted co-conspirator identified in US court documents by the pseudonym CC-3.
During the trial, Chau’s barrister, Bruce McClintock SC, did not dispute whether Chau was CC-3, but argued that the Herald had gone further in its article and wrongly asserted that he was guilty of an offence. (Click here to read more)
The second defamation matter has not gone to final hearing yet but during the week a judgment was handed down by the Appeal Court stopping Nine and the ABC from using the truth defence.
The SMH reported on Friday (2/8/19):
The ABC and Nine Entertainment are contemplating a High Court challenge after losing an appeal against a ruling throwing out their truth defence in a second defamation case brought by Chinese-Australian businessman Chau Chak Wing.
In a separate case, Mr Chau is suing the ABC, Nine and The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age journalist Nick McKenzie in the Federal Court over a joint investigation that culminated in a Four Corners broadcast on June 5, 2017, and an accompanying article on the ABC website. Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment Company merged last year.
Mr Chau’s barrister, Bruce McClintock, SC, has told the Federal Court the publications suggest Mr Chau, one of the country’s most generous political donors, is a spy who “betrayed his country” in order to serve the interests of China and the Chinese Communist Party. (Click here to read more)
The problem is that the Labor Party complained to Bruce McClintock SC, in his role as Inspector of ICAC, about the ICAC raid on their Sydney offices in December 2018 in relation to alleged dodgy Chinese donations that ICAC are investigating. Bruce McClintock SC investigated, looked at the evidence, and ruled the ICAC raids were fine while at the same time McClintock is also playing on the other side of the fence with a judgment handed down during the week knocking out Nine’s and the ABC’s truth defence for his client Chau Chak Wing in the defamation case.
You can’t have Bruce McClintock SC being paid $millions by one alleged Chinese spy, Chau Chak Wing, while he is also overseeing, and privy to evidence, of ICAC investigating alleged Chinese spies and/or influence peddlers.
Has McClintock used confidential information he obtained in his role as Inspector of ICAC for the benefit if his client Chau Chak Wing or vice versa?
I’ll follow-up with Bruce McClintock SC and see what he has to say for himself, but as a very experienced barrister, McClintock knows he should have recused himself from one of the roles.
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