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Australian Federal Police Investigations


This webpage is a work in progress last edited October 2022 

Absent Justice - My Story - Australian Federal Police

I was told it was my civil duty to assist the AFP with their investigations. 

Once I started assiting the AFP I realized while they appeared to be concerned there was more to Telstra's heavy hand tactics I found out during my arbitration the AFP had no real control over the power Telstra had over many government ministers and the government agencies that advised those ministers. Most reading my prepared report entitled Telstra's Falsified SVT Report will see that it was Telstra who told the government communications regulator AUSTEL what service verification testing information they provide the arbitrator concerning the efficiency or defciencies of the arbitration testing at the business premises of those COT Cases who were currently being arbitrated on. 

In my case regardless of AUSTEL having written to Telstra on two occasions during my arbitration advising them the arbitration testing conducted at my business had not met the government mandatory testing specifications asking them what Telstra intended doing concerning those defciencies AUSTEL still allowed Telstra ro sware under oath on 12 December 1994 in two witness statement that the testing had met all of AUSTEL's specifications and therefore my business lines were fault free when AUSTEL and Telstra knew this was not the case. 

And so my story begins, with me pleading with the arbitrator not to bring down his award / findings until my phone faults that had brought me to arbitration were fixed and on the other side AUSTEL for the government and the defendants (Telstra) acting for themesles that their Service Verification Testing had proved my service lines were of world standard.

Who would most arbitrators believe the defence with the backing of the governmet communications regulator or the claimant?

During the second Australian Federal Police (AFP} interview with me at my business on 26 September 1994, while they were investigating these bugging issues, they asked me 93 questions see Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 surrounding the interception of my telephone conversations. I told the AFP that John McMahon (Australian Communications Regulator) had told me of the documents AUSTEL had uncovered which clearly confirmed that my phone conversations had been bugged over a long period.

Question 81 in these AFP transcripts Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 the AFP asked me:

AFP  "Did John McMahon ever describe the document that he'd spoken to you where it had been identified to him about live monitoring?

Answer. "No, no never".

AFP: "Okay. That, that document that you, that you might be referring to, or John McMahon may be referring to we do have a copy of it".  

Answer: "Right"

AFP: "However, because it's been provided to us by Telecom, I'm, I won't show it to you".

Answer: "You can't yeah I understand".

AFP: "But it does identify the fact that, that you were live monitored for a period of time. Se we're quite satisfied that, there are other references to it".

The threats continued 

Absent Justice - My Story - Senator Ron Boswell

Threats were also made against me by Telstra arbitration officials because over a number of weeks because I continued to assist the Australian Federal Police with their investigations into the phone and fax hacking issues which page 180 ERC&A, from the official Australian Senate Hansard, dated 29 November 1994, reports Senator Ron Boswell asking Telstra’s legal directorate:

“Why did Telecom advise the Commonwealth Ombudsman that Telecom withheld FOI documents from Alan Smith because Alan Smith provided Telecom FOI documents to the Australian Federal Police during their investigation?”

After receiving a hollow response from Telstra, which the senator, the AFP and I all knew was utterly false, the senator states:

“…Why would Telecom withhold vital documents from the AFP? Also, why would Telecom penalise COT members for providing documents to the AFP which substantiate that Telecom had conducted unauthorised interceptions of COT members’ communications and subsequently dealt in the intercepted information by providing that information to Telecom’s external legal advisers and others?” (See Senate Evidence File No 31)

Thus, the threats became a reality. What is so appalling about the withholding of relevant documents is that no one in the TIO office or government has ever investigated the disastrous impact this had on my overall submission to the arbitrator. The arbitrator and the government (who at the time fully owned Telstra) should have initiated an investigation into why an Australian citizen, who assisted the AFP in their investigations into unlawful interception of telephone conversations, was so severely disadvantaged during a civil arbitration.

My pleas to the arbitrator, to bring Telstra to account for their actions when I had still not received my requested discovery documents amazingly, he refused to take calls as his secretary Caroline Friend is aware. Even though the Commonwealth Ombudsman had to be brought into the arbitration for Telstra to obey the Freedom of Information (FOI Act) and the government solicitors took control of the delivery of my arbitration documents, the delivery of all of my requested May 1994 FOI documents never arrived until 23 May 1995 twelve months after my original request. Worse, those newly released documents came two weeks after the conclusion of my arbitration of 11 May 1995. › legal-abuse

Legal abuse, or legal bullying, happens when someone uses the law or legal threats to control and scare you. There may be a pattern to the behaviour that happens again and again as it did in most of the COT Cases arbitrations while the arbitrator Dr Gordon Hughes and the administrator Warwick Smith looked on and did nothing to Stop Those Threats.  Gaslighting technique] is often used to destroy a person's health and well being.

Inadvertently after the statute of limitations had expired for me to use this draft information, I received a copy of Dr Hughes's draft award in which he had the gall to write in it at point 2.23: 

"...Although the time taken for completion of the arbitration may have been longer than initially anticipated, I hold neither party and no other person responsible. Indeed, I consider the matter has proceeded expeditiously in all the circumstances Both parties have co-operated fully..." 

That statement at point 2.23 in the final award was removed before I received it as well as point 2,23. Amazingly, there is no point 2.23 in the final award. Likewise, the handwritten statement made by Dr Hughes in this draft states:  “do we really want to say this”? - had been removed.

In simple terms, this spineless arbitrator (Dr Gordon Hughes), who is currently a partner at a leading law firm in Melbourne, was nothing more than a puppet brought in by the government to protect the government-owned Telstra Cooperation - at all costs.

Absent Justice - Senator Ron Boswell

Four months after the arbitrator Dr Hughes prematurely brought down his findings on my matters, and fully aware I was denied all necessary documents to mount my case against Telecom/Telstra, an emotional Senator Ron Boswell discussed the injustices we four COT claimants (i.e., Ann Garms, Maureen Gillan, Graham Schorer and me) experienced prior and during our arbitrations see Senate Evidence File No 1 20-9-95 Senate Hansard A Matter of Public Interest which notes

“Eleven years after their first complaints to Telstra, where are they now? They are acknowledged as the motivators of Telecom’s customer complaint reforms. … But, as individuals, they have been beaten both emotionally and financially through an 11-year battle with Telstra. …

“Then followed the Federal Police investigation into Telecom’s monitoring of COT case services. The Federal Police also found there was a prima facie case to institute proceedings against Telecom but the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions], in a terse advice, recommended against proceeding. …

"To this day the parties of the parlaiment have been denied any access to the Federal Police inquiry or advice from the DPP on the matter -- despite persisten demands not only from the coaltion but from the Democrats-or matters of the DPP wrongly advising the Federal Police that Telecom was protected by the shield of the Crown and that they could not execute a search warrant against Teleom in their investigations of alleged phone monitoring and tapping" 

“Once again, the only relief COT members received was to become the catalyst for Telecom to introduce a revised privacy and protection policy. Despite the strong evidence against Telecom, they still received no justice at all. …

“These COT members have been forced to go to the Commonwealth Ombudsman to force Telecom to comply with the law. Not only were they being denied all necessary documents to mount their case against Telecom, causing much delay, but they were denied access to documents that could have influenced them when negotiating the arbitration rules, and even in whether to enter arbitration at all. …

“Telecom has treated the Parliament with contempt. No government monopoly should be allowed to trample over the rights of individual Australians, such as has happened here.”  (See Senate Hansard Evidence File No-1)

Thus, the government was officially informed of the above concerning an arbitration process it endorsed and should have immediately appointed a review of the whole sordid affair. It never did. Even though one of the two technical consultants attesting to the validity of a fax hacking report prepared for the government's assessment to whether legal documents in both court situations and arbitration procedures was a  common occurance in Australia (see Open Letter File No/12 and File No/13 emailed me on 17 December 2014, stating:

“I still stand by my statutory declaration that I was able to identify that the incoming faxes provided to me for review had at some stage been received by a secondary fax machine and then retransmitted, this was done by identifying the dual time stamps on the faxes provided. (Front Page Part One File No/14)

The fact that a secondary fax machine installed in Telstra’s network during the arbitration process intercepted this document (see Hacking-Julian Assange File No 26) is another reason why this illegal interception of legal in-confidence documents should have been investigated during our arbitrations, when these illegal acts were first discovered. 

How can the Australian government who endorsed our arbitrations continue to ignor that the central points of our claim at arbitration was not taken into account by the arbitrator and how no amount of effort to have these points addressed bore any fruit. How, in the course of all these travesties, the regulatory bodies — Austel (for the government) and the TIO (for the carriers) — failed to exercise any control over Telstra to the point where they could reasonably be seen as acting in concert.

Infringe upon the civil liberties

Absent Justice - Senator Kim Carr

Most Disturbing And Unacceptable 

On 27 January 1999, after having also read my first attempt at writing my manuscript, the same manuscript I provided Helen Handbury, Senator Kim Carr wrote:

“I continue to maintain a strong interest in your case along with those of your fellow ‘Casualties of Telstra’. The appalling manner in which you have been treated by Telstra is in itself reason to pursue the issues, but also confirms my strongly held belief in the need for Telstra to remain firmly in public ownership and subject to public and parliamentary scrutiny and accountability.

“Your manuscript demonstrates quite clearly how Telstra has been prepared to infringe upon the civil liberties of Australian citizens in a manner that is most disturbing and unacceptable.” 

On 23 March 1999, after most of the COT arbitrations had been finalized and business lives ruined due to the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to fight Telstra and a very crooked arbitrator, the Australian Financial. Review reported on the conclusion of the Senate estimates committee hearing into why Telstra withheld so many documents from the COT cases: 

“A Senate working party delivered a damning report into the COT dispute. The report focused on the difficulties encountered by COT members as they sought to obtain documents from Telstra. The report found Telstra had deliberately withheld important network documents and/or provided them too late and forced members to proceed with arbitration without the necessary information,” Senator Eggleston said. “They [Telstra] have defied the Senate working party. Their conduct is to act as a law unto themselves.”  

Eggleston, Sen Alan – Bishop, Sen Mark – Boswell, Sen Ronald – Carr, Sen Kim – Schacht, Sen Chris, Alston and Sen Richard

These six senators all formally record how those six senators believed that Telstra had ‘acted as a law unto themselves’ throughout all of the COT arbitrations, is incredible. The LNP government knew that all twenty-one COT cases should have received their requested FOI documents so why did only the five 'litmus' COT test cases receive their documents plus twenty-million dollars in punitive damages between them (see An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens?). 

Government rumours suggest the 20 million dollars provided by Telstra was to have been split equally among all twenty-one COT Cases (not just the five) who also received 150,000 previously withheld FOI documents.

The remaining sixteen COT Cases have been trying for years to receive their withheld arbitration documents. In my case, I took my FOI case to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in 2008 and 2011 see Chapter 9 - The ninth remedy pursued and Chapter 12 - The twelfth remedy pursued even though the appeal judge hearing both cases suggested to the government lawyers opposing my requests the government should have supplied those previously withheld documents they have still not been received.

The never ending saga

Absent Justice - Where was the Justice

Jail - Term

To add yet another alarming set of circumstances to this unbelievable story, I need to take the reader back to 1999, when the Victoria police Major Fraud Group seconded me as a witness in their attempt to prove Telstra had committed fraud against five of the twenty-one COT Cases during their arbitrations (see namely Ann Garms, Graham Schorer, Ralph Bova, and Ross Plowman. It had been common knowledge in some government circles that I had prepared two separate technical reports (see Telstra's Falsified BCI Report and Telstra's Falsified SVT Report) using Telstra late received documents (that had not been provided to me during which proved Telstra had used fraud during my arbitration that had stopped a proper investigation into the ongoing telephone problems still being experienced by the COT Cases during their respective arbitrations.

It might be hard to believe, but back in August 2001 and again in December 2004, the Australian Government threatened, in writing (see Senate Evidence File No 12), to have me charged with contempt of the Senate if I was ever to disclose these in-camera Hansard records, even though those documents could well have won our cases if the COT claimants had appealed against the arbitration process? Where is the justice in that?

Being charged with contempt of the Senate can result in a two-year jail term, and, of course, the Government has always known that, but if I had been in a position to go ahead and make these documents public safely, they would have also exposed gross misconduct perpetrated against the COT Cases by several prominent government bureaucrats. So how can the Senate continue to hide this conduct and, in the process, destroy so many lives (see An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens? How is this democratic?

No COTs were apologised to by the Telstra Corporation, which still owned Telstra when this harassment commenced in 1992 and continued well past the Major Fraud Group investigations of 1998 and 2001. In my case, this appalling conduct continued past 6 September 2006. 

Absent Justice - 12 Remedies Persued - 8

The Hon Barnaby Joyce, brokered a deal with Senator Helen Coonan to have the 14 unresolved COT Cases matters commercially assessed but was shafted by the Senator and the Liberal government in favour of the Telstra Corporation. 

see Chapter 8 - The eighth remedy pursued

Between February 2006 and February 2007, The Hon David Hawker, MP Speaker in the House of Representatives, met, wrote and met with the Hon. Senator Helen Coonan on my behalf on several occasions. One of those occasions provided Senator Helen Coonan with a fax interception report prepared in January 1999 by Scandrett & Associates (see Open Letter File No/12 and File No/13. This report (now attached here) confirms that Telstra-related arbitration faxes had been intercepted [screened] before being sent to their intended destination. Some of these faxes were tampered with en route to Parliament House Canberra or the Supreme Court of Victoria. This alarmed the Hon. David Hawker MP and Senator Ron Boswell when he was also provided with a copy of Open Letter File No/12 and File No/13.

On 3 November 2006: Senator Helen Coonan wrote to The Hon David Hawker MP, Speaker In the House of Representatives, stating:

"Thank you for your representation of 17 August 2006 on behalf of Mr Alan Smith regarding Mr Smith’s allegations that Telstra monitored his phone calls and emails during an arbitration process with Telstra. The interception of emails and monitoring of phone calls is an offence under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979. Mr Smith should consider his dispute through the dispute resolution bodies, including his State Office of Fair Trading, the Competition and Consumer Commission, the Australian Communications and Media Authority state, and the courts". (Refer to exhibit AS 616-B File  AS-CAV Exhibits 648-a to 700

Following the advice given to me by Hon Senator Helen Coonan, I contacted Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) through my advisor, who also assisted him in preparing a claim to be provided to Peter Hiland, Barrister for the CAV. From October 2007 through to late 2008, this advisor (whom I have not named in this story) was a very high-ranking police officer a recipent of the 'Order of Australia' who had several discussions with Mr Hiland, who then proceeded to assess the various claims I provided. 

Altogether some thirty relevant submissions were delivered to the CAV up to 2008. Mr Hiland could not beleive the evidence provided to him that showed documents leaving > the legal hub of Melbourne the 'Owen Dixon Chambers' were screened by Telstra en route to the Victorian Supreme Court during the period Telstra arbitration matters were being appealed in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

As a Barrister, my evidence worried Peter Hiland and yet his eighteen month investigation was also closed down as was the Major Fraud Group Victoria police investigation closed down after I was seconded by the Major Fraud Group to give evidence (see Chapter 1 - Major Fraud Group – Victoria police).

On 17 May 2007, The Hon Senator Helen Coonan Minister for the DCITA wrote to me noting 

"I have now made both formal and informal representations to Telstra on behalf of the CoTs. However, Telstra’s position remains that this is a matter that is most appropriately dealt with through a Court process. Telstra is not prepared to undertake an alternative means of pursuing this matter. I also appreciate the depth of feeling regarding the matter and suggest you consider whether any court proceedings may be your ultimate option". (Refer to exhibit AS 616-B  File  AS-CAV Exhibits 589 to 647       

Surely it was Senator Helen Coonan’s responsibility, as the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, to instigate an official enquiry into why Telstra continued to intercept in-confidence documents leaving either my office (or residence), the offices of various Senators and the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office during and after the COT arbitrations? 

Why was it left open to a citizen of Australia to take Telstra to court for intercepting documents during and after their government-endorsed arbitration when the Senate Estimates Committee had also been advised that some of these faxes were also intercepted leaving and arriving at Parliament house?

Helen Handbury was shocked at the evidence supporting my story

Absent Justice - Helen Handbury 

His philanthropic support 

In 1999, I provided the draft of Absentjustice my story to Rupert Murdoch’s sister, Helen. She was aghast at the blatant denial of natural justice that I had received. After reading the draft, Helen twice visited my holiday camp and stated that she would have Rupert publish it.

She believed Rupert would be shocked, especially upon seeing George Close’s information ((Australian Federal Police Investigations - Chapter 7, and Open Letter File No/12, and File No/13), which clearly shows a secondary facsimile machine was intercepting (scanning) arbitration-related faxes before redirecting them to their intended destination. George Close’s office and residence were a primary target – he was the official technical consultant for the Casualties of Telstra arbitrations hell-bent on exposing the faulty Ericsson equipment which Telstra was still using in their telephone exchanges throughout Australia. Ericsson's 

Of course, 1999 was before the hacking scandal linked to Helen’s brother and the News of the World newspaper. Telstra now has a 35 per cent stake in Rupert Murdoch’s Foxtel. Does Telstra’s stake in Foxtel have anything to do with why Rupert Murdoch is not interested in exposing my story? 

Unfortunately, Helen died in 2004. Some years later, on 26 September 2012, I sent a draft of the original version of Absent Justice to her husband, Geoff Handbury, and told him about my conversation with Helen. I asked whether he could suggest the best way for me to get a copy of the book to Rupert Murdoch.

Mr Handbury replied on 17 October 2012 in a handwritten letter (with beautiful, old-fashioned penmanship that we no longer see). However, he was 87 years old, and although highly respected for his philanthropic support of many worthwhile projects in Victoria, too much time had passed and sadly, he couldn’t help. Still, I have the memory of how the sister of the most prominent newspaper owner in the world believed my “intriguing story” was undoubtedly one that her brother should publish, and I’m grateful for her comments.

Absent Justice - My Story

The offender(s) would be jailed.

As shown throughout this website, George Close had been the technical consultant for several COT cases during their arbitrations and mine. When Geroge visited my residence in Cape Bridgewater after I showed him Open Letter File No/12File No/13Front Page Part One File No/1,Front Page Part One File No/2-A to 2-EFront Page Part One File No/4 and Front Page Part One File No/5, we discussed the effect of these intercepted/hacked faxes on my overall submission to the arbitrator. Mr Close later sent me an email on 5 August 2011 to assist me with breaking open this terrible denial of justice to the COT cases (see Front Page Part One File No/26).

Senator Ron Boswell gave valuable support during my arbitration, and he attempted to find out why Telstra was allowed to threaten me and why, when those threats became a reality, no one from the arbitration process, including Warwick Smith (the administrator of my arbitration) and Dr Hughes (the so-called arbitrator) did anything. It was because of Senator Ron Boswell’s decent nature that George Close emailed the following statement:

“I recall a discussion with Senator Ron Boswell during the late ’90s.

“He had been shown fax’s [sic] which clearly indicated change in the headers, indicating interruption in transmission by a third party or parties.

“He questioned whether it was possible that faxes to and from senators could be interrupted, read or copies.

“My response in the affirmative brought about an expression of extreme anger. Stating that if it could be proven that it occurred, the offender(s) would be jailed.

“If required I am prepared to re-state this on an affidavit.”

So far, no one in Australia has even been brought to account, let alone jailed, for the terrible invasion of the COT cases’ private and business lives.

Absent Justice - Phone Hacking

The phone-hacking scandal in the UK, which I have discussed in the Hacking- Julian Assange link, and the criminal charges laid against various former employees of the Murdoch-owned News of the World newspaper were, in fact, themselves now ‘News of the World’ and it had been shown that this hacking had been an ongoing secret since at least 2005. So why did it take six years to explode into world news?


12 Alternate remedies pursued
12 Alternate remedies pursued

Bribery and Corruption have many evil faces and ‘grey’ areas within Australia’s politically-corrupt government. Criminal wrongdoings interact with the private sector: the revolving door of deception

Absent Justice Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3
Absent Justice Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Learn about horrendous crimes and unscrupulous criminals, corrupt politicians and the lawyers who control the legal profession in Australia. Shameful, foul, atrocious, monstrous, hideous, and treacherous are just a few words that describe these lawbreakers.

Telstra's Falsified BCI Report
Telstra's Falsified BCI Report
Telstra's Falsified SVT Report
Telstra's Falsified SVT Report
Senate Evidence
Senate Evidence

The criminal delinquency of those involved in the COT Cases corrupted arbitrations continued to practive their evil and crooked style of justice on other citizens who, like the Casualties of Telstra have had their lives ruined.

An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens
An Injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens

This type of skulduggery is treachery, a Judas kiss with dirty dealing and betrayal. This is dirty pool and crookedness and dishonest. This conduct fester’s corruption. It is as bad, if not worse than double-dealing and cheating those who trust the ground you walk on. Sheer Evil.<

Australian Federal Police Investigations
Australian Federal Police Investigations
The dishonest double-dealing and unscrupulous deceit and deception festered the COT Cases arbitrations where profiteering was nothing less than North American payola. Fraud and misconduct were rampant.
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

Check out our bribery and Corruption part 1 and Corruption part 2. Deception, fraudulent conduct and thuggery are criminal legal abuse that can not be tolerated. It is worse than unscrupulous and treacherous evilness. 


C A V Part 1, 2 and 3
C A V Part 1, 2 and 3
Sadly, corruption and collusive practices are rife in the Australian ‘Establishment’ and this terrible situation prevents us from telling our story in a brief way. We had no alternative but to produce the way we have here.
Kangaroo Court
Kangaroo Court
Exposing Legal Abuse, Fraud, Maleficent conduct, corruption, and evil wrongdoing are all part of the COT Cases story.  Learn about the horrendous crimes and unscrupulous behaviour of those who administer the seat of arbitration in Australia
Absent Justice Ebook

Read Alan’s book
‘Absent Justice’

In Alan Smith’s book he shows us the twisting path of government arbitration,
the ways it can go wrong and how to make sure it doesn’t go wrong for you...


All of the main events as quoted in this unbelievable true crime story are supported by copies of the original freedom of Information documents on Alan's website

Without those documents, most people would really struggle to believe that public officials and their lawyers committed the illegal offences they did.

Using the acquired evidence that can be downloaded from is possibly a world first.


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“…your persistence to bring about improvements to Telecom’s country services. I regret that it was at such a high personal cost.”

Hon David Hawker

“I am writing in reference to your article in last Friday’s Herald-Sun (2nd April 1993) about phone difficulties experienced by businesses.

I wish to confirm that I have had problems trying to contact Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp over the past 2 years.

I also experienced problems while trying to organise our family camp for September this year. On numerous occasions I have rung from both this business number 053 424 675 and also my home number and received no response – a dead line.

I rang around the end of February (1993) and twice was subjected to a piercing noise similar to a fax. I reported this incident to Telstra who got the same noise when testing.”

Cathy Lindsey

“Only I know from personal experience that your story is true, otherwise I would find it difficult to believe. I was amazed and impressed with the thorough, detailed work you have done in your efforts to find justice”

Sister Burke

“…the very large number of persons that had been forced into an arbitration process and have been obliged to settle as a result of the sheer weight that Telstra has brought to bear on them as a consequence where they have faced financial ruin if they did not settle…”

Senator Carr

“A number of people seem to be experiencing some or all of the problems which you have outlined to me. …

“I trust that your meeting tomorrow with Senators Alston and Boswell is a profitable one.”

Hon David Hawker MP

“I am writing in reference to your article in last Friday’s Herald-Sun (2nd April 1993) about phone difficulties experienced by businesses.

I wish to confirm that I have had problems trying to contact Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp over the past 2 years.

I also experienced problems while trying to organise our family camp for September this year. On numerous occasions I have rung from both this business number 053 424 675 and also my home number and received no response – a dead line.

I rang around the end of February (1993) and twice was subjected to a piercing noise similar to a fax. I reported this incident to Telstra who got the same noise when testing.”

Cathy Lindsey

“All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”

– Edmund Burke