The People of Australia.
The Hon the Governor General.
Yarralumla ACT 2600
Tel: (02) 6283 3533
Fax: (02) 6281 3760
The Hon Members and Senators of the Parliament of Australia.
The Hon Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives.
Hon. William Shorten MP.
Senator Louise Pratt.
Of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee.
The Hon Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.
The Leader of the Australian Greens Party.
The Hon Independent Members of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia:
The Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.
Justice Kiefel AC
PO Box 6309
Kingston ACT 2604
The Director Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions.
Ms Sarah McNaughton SC
4 Marcus Clarke Street
Canberra City ACT2601
Phone: (02) 6206 5666
Fax: (02) 6257 5709
The Commissioner for the Federal Police.
GPO Box 401
Canberra ACT 2601
The Commonwealth Ombudsman.
Level 5, Childers Square,
14 Childers Street
Canberra City ACT 2601
The facts referred to in this correspondence constitute a formal Complaint.
AGAINST THE HON MALCOLM TURNBULL PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA.
For the purposes of this Complaint I refer to the newspaper article in the Sydney Morning Herald dated 6 November 2016 and for which I here provide a link.
On or about 2010, Malcolm Turnbull, with his wife Lucy Turnbull, received a benefit from the Commonwealth (‘Cth’) in the form of an agreement and payment to undertake consultancy and research work for the Cth. The funds for the work undertaken were paid to Turnbull and Partners in which Malcolm Turnbull is a major shareholder and co-director. The Cth funds were paid to Turnbull and Partners from the then ALP government of Julia Gillard shortly before the federal election in August 2010. At this time, Malcolm Turnbull was sitting in the Commonwealth House of Representatives as a member of the opposition. Shortly after Turnbull and Partners entered the agreement with the Cth and received the funds, Malcolm Turnbull then re-nominated as a candidate for the federal election of August 2010. Being re-elected at that August 2010 election, Malcolm Turnbull continued to sit in parliament while the corporation he jointly owns and controls with his wife, Turnbull and Partners, was continuing to undertake the work under the agreement with the Cth.
Section 44 of the Commonwealth Constitution Act provides grounds for disqualification of a candidate in being elected to the House of Representatives. It states:
Any person who:
(i) is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power; or
(ii) is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer; or
(iii) is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent; or
(iv) holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth; or
(v) has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons;
shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.
Of particular relevance to Malcolm Turnbull’s circumstances is sub-section ‘(v)’. As a member of a small company, with only two members and two co-directors, himself and his wife Lucy Turnbull, Malcolm Turnbull did not fall within the exception provided by that subsection as Turnbull and Partners was not a company consisting of more than 25 members.
The consequence of these facts is that, at the time of the election in 2010 and of his nomination, Malcolm Turnbull was disqualified from being chosen or from sitting in the House of Representatives before, during and after the election of 2010 while he still received a benefit or a financial advantage from the Cth in the form of his salary from the Cth. While obtaining that financial advantage Malcom Turnbull, throughout that time, did also cause a loss to the Cth.
Part 7.3, section 135 of the Criminal Code (Cth) states, inter alia, the following:
Division 135 — Other offences involving fraudulent conduct.
(1) A person commits an offence if:
(a) the person engages in conduct; and
(aa) as a result of that conduct, the person obtains a financial advantage for himself or herself from another person; and
(ab) the person knows or believes that he or she is not eligible to receive that financial advantage; and
(b) the other person is a Commonwealth entity.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 12 months.
(1A) Absolute liability applies to the paragraph (1)(b) element of the offence.
(2) A person commits an offence if:
(a) the person engages in conduct; and
(aa) as a result of that conduct, the person obtains a financial advantage for another person from a third person; and
(ab) the person knows or believes that the other person is not eligible to receive that financial advantage; and
(b) the third person is a Commonwealth entity.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 12 months.
(2A) Absolute liability applies to the paragraph (2)(b) element of the offence.
Hence, on the basis that he was disqualified person by being ineligible to sit in the House of Representatives due to his company Turnbull and Partners having an agreement with the Cth, and on the basis of that company and him receiving an advantage by way of payment from the Cth, on the balance of probabilities, and most likely also on the standard of beyond reasonable doubt, it is highly probable that Malcolm Turnbull breached s 135.2 Criminal Code (Cth) and committed the criminal offence of obtaining a financial advantage from another party that he was not eligible or entitled to receive. That other party was the Cth and, as a consequence, Malcolm Turnbull has committed an offence of a fraudulent nature against the Cth pursuant to Partb7.3.
Further, it is evident on the facts stated above, that Malcolm Turnbull did first commit this offence at the time between when Turnbull and Partners entered the agreement with the Cth, that he continued to commit the offence through the period during which he sat in Parliament and received a financial advantage from the Cth and leading up to the August 2010 election, and that he continued to commit that offence at the time he nominated as a candidate for election to the House of Representatives in 2010 and also through the period when he sat in Parliament after the 2010 election and each time he received a salary payment from the Cth. It is also evident that he continues to commit that or another offence to the present day by retaining the financial advantage he has obtained.
In the circumstances, given the gravity of the offending and the paramountcy of the Constitution, it is imperative that Malcolm Turnbull be immediately arrested, charged with the offence at s 135.2 Criminal Code Act, and that he be tried for that offence. Given Malcolm Turnbull’s position and the need for a deterrent in regard to the commission of similar types of offences, it would not be unreasonable for the maximum sentence to be imposed upon Malcolm Turnbull should he be found guilty of the charge.
The people of Australia should not be subject to such a flagrant breach of the Constitution, or the criminal law by a person who is an experienced and practiced lawyer and who now purports to be a leader of their nation and an officer of the Crown.
The rule of law requires that Malcolm Turnbull be charged and tried for this offence.
If people in the position of Malcolm Turnbull are not seen to be subject to the law, then the whole legal and political system will be brought into disrepute in the mind of the public as institutions that are inherently biased and corruptible as there will be one law for some and another for others. Furthermore, should Malcolm Turnbull not be brought to justice for this offending, such a public perception would not be unwarranted as the principle of the rule of law would be seen as merely an ideology invoked selectively to oppress the lives of some but to enhance the lives of others.
I refer this Complaint to your immediate consideration and attention.
An Australian Citizen
On Behalf of the People of Australia.
Readers are invited to print off this open letter and post or email it to their local MP or to one or more of the addressees listed on the letter.