If the police want the public to believe that they are not a political tool, they should stop acting like one.
In 2012, the OECD Anti-bribery taskforce politely pointed out that the AFP were basically doing fuck-all about some very serious allegations of foreign bribery.
“Out of 28 foreign bribery referrals that have been received by the Australian Federal Police (AFP), 21 have been concluded without charges. The Working Group thus recommends that the AFP take sufficient steps to ensure that foreign bribery allegations are not prematurely closed, and be more proactive in gathering information from diverse sources at the pre-investigative stage.” (See Annex 4 for specifics)
Among many areas identified for improvement, the working group stressed that “Protection of whistleblowers in the public and private sectors need to be strengthened.”
But hey, the AFP were very busy in 2012 investigating allegations by whistleblower James Ashby about Peter Slipper’s misuse of cab charges. Despite Slipper being exonerated of the heinous charge of using $900 to visit a winery – which he offered to repay but wasn’t allowed because the AFP were already ‘investigating’ – his career and personal life were destroyed.
Investigations by the AFP into the illegal copying and distribution of Mr Slipper’s diary to the media were dropped.
See – they do protect whistleblowers.
Then we have the AFP raids on the media to see how they found out about alleged war crimes by Australian troops in Afghanistan and about a proposal to widen surveillance laws on Australian citizens.
But the investigation into who leaked classified national security advice about border protection during the medevac legislation debate was dropped “due to the limited prospects of identifying a suspect”.
This pattern was also followed during the investigation into who tipped off the media that the AFP were raiding AWU headquarters about a ten-year-old donation with links to Bill Shorten.
Despite Michaelia Cash’s media adviser admitting that he told journalists before the raid, no charges were pursued.
“The AFP can confirm the CDPP has advised they will not be proceeding with a prosecution as there are no reasonable prospects of conviction. The AFP considers this investigation finalised.”
Even though it was Cash who referred the allegations of possible misconduct to the Registered Organisations Commission, who then conducted what a judge has ruled was an “invalid” investigation because the rules state that if after four years an alleged contravention of union rules had not been acted upon, it was “deemed to have been in compliance” with the rules, and even though it was her office that tipped off the media – the union’s claim that the raid was politically motivated was dismissed.
In October last year, AFP officers raided the Department of Home Affairs in Canberra as part of an investigation into “destabilising leaks against Peter Dutton over his ministerial interventions to save a number of foreign au pairs from deportation.” Seriously, is this a productive use of their time?
We saw how the NSW police handled Craig Thomson.
It will be interesting to see how they now deal with the apparently forged document quoted by Angus Taylor to attack Clover Moore.
What would be even more interesting is if they actually punished people committing real crimes like in the Securency/One Note foreign bribery case where a few fall guys got a suspended sentence. I’m still not sure if I am even allowed to talk about that.
Police forces often complain about a lack of resources. I think employing someone who can prioritise what’s important would be a really good start.
If you want respect, show you deserve it.
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