Mr Morrison replied:
“We have a rule of law in this country and it’s appropriate that these things were referred to the federal police – they have been…the police are the ones who do that, and the police have had this matter referred to them…”
Let us interrogate the Prime Minister’s statement.
The Australian Federal Police have no authority to investigate an alleged crime of sexual assault that was allegedly committed in NSW. The Prime Minister must know this. If he doesn’t, he should perhaps seek advice from his Attorney General, Christian Porter, who would certainly be aware of this.
Either mistakenly or deliberately the Prime Minister is not observing the “rule of law” in referring the allegations to the Federal Police. He should have referred them to the NSW Police. He should still refer them to the NSW Police if he is interested in respecting the rule of law and intends to continue to claim he is abiding by that rule. Morrison has done nothing by referring the matter to the AFP other than provide a smokescreen, and some breathing space for himself and the alleged rapist in his cabinet.
Also ahead of this presser – rape allegations are outside of the AFP's jurisdiction. Sexual assault is something investigated by state police.
Every time you hear 'let the AFP do its job' in relation to these historical claims, remember that in this case, it has no job to do.
— Amy Remeikis (@AmyRemeikis) March 1, 2021
It does beggar belief that in the current climate, the Prime Minister would not inform himself of a fact as basic as this. Of course, it’s only about rape, a matter that so conspicuously fails to exercise his concern (he didn’t know about the alleged rape of Ms Higgins for two years, though practically everyone around him did) that one is reminded of the infamous comment by George Pell on hearing allegations of child sexual abuse by former priest, Gerald Ridsdale. It was, Pell observed, “a sad story and it isn’t of much interest to me.”
Mr Morrison went on to claim that he had conducted a “discussion” with the “individual” (cabinet minister) involved, who vehemently rejected the allegations.
No surprises there.
“At this stage,” the Prime Minister pompously concluded,” there are no matters that require my immediate attention.”
In other words the Prime Minister is prepared to accept the alleged rapist’s denial, and is satisfied with having referred the matter to a police agency that cannot do anything at all about it.
I don’t know what the rules are about the Prime Minister speaking with the alleged offender on the matter after he has referred allegations to police, let alone announcing his innocence to the country, but I’m sure somebody does.
We just watched the Prime Minister tell the entire country that he didn't think a well documented and credible allegation of a serious, brutal rape, allegedly perpetrated by one of his most senior ministers was serious enough to stand the minister aside, while it's investigated.
— Peter Harden – Fighting for real democracy (@hardenuppete) March 1, 2021
But wait, there’s more. When asked if he had read the detailed accounts of the alleged rape written by the victim, who has since taken her life, and sent to him and other politicians by a group of her friends and colleagues, Morrison said he’d “been briefed” on their content.
In other words, the Prime Minister did not consider it worth his time to read the victim’s account of her alleged rape, and correspondence that supports her claims, but he is prepared to speak with the alleged perpetrator and accept his assurances of innocence, which he then relays to the country.
The implication that the Prime Minister accepts his denial is supported by his refusal to stand the man aside from his cabinet position while police review the matter.
Oh wait. Police will not review the matter because Morrison sent the allegations to the wrong police & has shown no interest in sending them to the right ones.
We will shortly be able to identify the alleged rapist as Morrison sends out one cabinet minister after another to face the media. Just observe who doesn’t appear.
On another note, veteran journalist Paul Bongiorno observed this morning that legal circles in Canberra are buzzing after Attorney-General Christian Porter failed to appear at the historic swearing-in of newest High Court member, Jacqueline Gleeson. Apparently the AG had appointments in Perth.
Legal circles are buzzing in Canberra by the fact the Attorney General @cporterwa was a no show at the swearing in of the newest member of the High Court.Jacqueline Gleeson is the daughter of former Chief Justice Murray Gleeson.
His office says the A-G had appointments in Perth.
— Paul Bongiorno (@PaulBongiorno) March 1, 2021
What the Prime Minister has achieved today is to send yet another message to women (in case we missed a million others) that in Australia, a perpetrator has more credibility than his victim. Not only that, a perpetrator will be listened to while his female victim will not, at least by the Prime Minister who unfortunately sets the tone. And what a tone it is.
The Prime Minister and his government, our legislators, are currently protecting an alleged rapist. Our most senior legislators are seemingly unaware of the requirements of the very laws they make, and are sworn to uphold.
This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.
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