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Chapter Three

A second look at Telstra’s doctored technical report

Absent Justice - Telstras Doctored Technical Report

This sort of tampering with evidence, after a claimant has provided it to an arbitration process, must really be one of the worst crimes a defendant (in this case, the Telstra corporation) could commit against an Australian citizen. So why, when evidence of this tampering was provided – 18 years ago (see Open Letter File Nos/3637 and File No/38) to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, John Pinnock, the chair of the TIO counsel, The Hon Tony Staley, the chair of the Telstra board, David Hoare and Telstra’s then-CEO Ziggy Switkowski AO – was it not investigated immediately? After all, it was Telstra’s own internal investigations, after the initial report, which uncovered this unlawful conduct during my arbitration, but that didn’t stop Ziggy Switkowski from accepting an Order of Australia award in 2014 despite sitting on this crime for more than 18 years now. Ziggy Switkowski and the new Telstra CEO Andrew Penn and chair John Mullins have a moral and legal obligation to investigate the criminal misconduct committed by previous employees during my litigation with Telstra.

The conclusion of Telstra’s original arbitration TF200 defence report, prepared and signed off by Telstra, states:

“The cause of the fault condition has been confirmed by Telecom Research to be due to the presence of a foreign substance possibly beer inside the telephone case which directly caused the incorrect operation of the telephone membrane hookswitch. When the hookswitch was removed from the foreign substance, the telephone operated correctly.

“The state of the telephone when received suggested that the telephone was not well cared for by the customer.

“If the customer had reported the liquid spillage when it occurred the telephone would have been replaced under standard maintenance procedures with no resultant loss of business.”

A drop of silicon 

Telstra eventually sold two containers of T200s as scrap to Liberty USA Pty Ltd, who in turn moisture proofed the phones with silicon and resold them to Poland. The person who secured the lucrative deal to sell these faulty TF200s was John Tuczynski, managing director of Liberty Australia Pty Ltd, who was also an ex-Polish national, like Mr Switkowski.

Absent Justice -Absent Justice - T200s

Mr Tuczynski’s method, using silicon on TF200 hookswitches to moisture-proof the phones, was a technique Telstra did not know. This could have saved the corporation a lot of money and EXICOM customers years of heartache. Remember, the Australian government and its citizens owned the Telstra Corporation at this time, but instead of looking for a solution to fix the EXICOM problem, Telstra decided it was easier and cheaper to tamper with the TF200s and blame the customer for any faults.

Telstra’s Ted Benjamin admitted, on 26 September 1997 to a Senate estimates hearing, that, as a TIO council member, he attended meetings where COT cases’ arbitrations were discussed. He also admitted that at no time did he advise these meetings of his conflict of interest, i.e., he never advised he was a co-in charge of Telstra’s arbitration defence of the COT claims. The Senate committee hearing condemned both John Pinnock and Mr Benjamin for allowing the defendants access to how the arbitrations were progressing. During the period where three senior Telstra executives were present at monthly TIO board and council meetings, at no time were the COT cases represented. In August and September 1995, Mr Benjamin also admitted to John Pinnock that 50 per cent of my May 1994 requested arbitration FOI documents were NOT released to me until 23 May 1995, after the arbitrator, Dr Hughes, brought down his award.

The material released on 23 May 1995, 12 months after I requested it, proved Telstra knowingly used the impracticable Cape Bridgewater Bell Canada tests as arbitration defence documents. Again, just as happened during the whole arbitration process, no one investigated why Telstra was allowed to withhold this vital information from me.

In my letter of 9 August 1995 to Mr Benjamin, I noted:

“I am now asking Telstra to supply this TF200 Telephone Report under the FOI Act. I am forwarding an additional $30.00 for this request . . . . 

“It appears by your own admission, in your letter dated 3 August 1995, that Telstra has only supplied various FOI documents in accordance with Telstra’s own views regarding each particular application.

“I find this late admission by Telstra of FOI documents most alarming, especially when I have been in a Settlement/Arbitration Procedure for some 15 months and documents have not been provided in accordance with the FOI Act . . . . 

“I demand that Telstra provide all the documentation associated with this TF200 Report so as to allow me the chance to defend those allegations contained within the Report. I await your response with regard to this matter. . . .

“I hope that the result on my request for the supply of the original documentation related to the TF200 Report receives a different response from you than that received to my request for this ELMI data” (Open letter File No/42)

I did eventually receive a copy of the second TF200 report, which shows that tests were done on 24 and 26 May 1994, and which therefore proves that the first tests, on 10 and 12 May 1994, were fabricated (see also Open letter File No/42), which I received on 28 November 1995 (six months after my arbitration was concluded). Similar ELMI testing data was not released to me by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), under a number of FOI requests that I made between 2001 and 2008.

Absent Justice - Telstras Fabricated Evidence Confirmed

It is important to note (see Open Letter File No/43) that the first four of these six documents all relate to the TF200 EXICOM phone that was taken from my office on 27 April 1994: they were acquired from Telstra under FOI.

Document K04604 dated 4 May 1994 records that the lock-up fault that affected my phone first began in November 1993, seven months before the phone was removed by Telstra technicians (see False Witness Statement No 7-A, Telstra FOI document R37911) and replaced with a new EXICOM phone, even though the original phone was supposed to have still been full of ‘wet beer’ when it reached Telstra’s laboratories.

The next two documents are both from George Close & Associates, Data and Telecommunications Consultants.  Mr Close was my personal arbitration consultant and these documents were prepared after he had assessed Telstra’s CCAS data in relation to my telephone lock-up faults: they explain that, according to the FOI documents supplied to Mr Close nine months after they were requested, the fault definitely existed in December 1993 and lasted until February 1994.  That same CCAS data also shows that, during that time-frame, my telephone service had been locked up for a total of 859.5 hours.

Of course, the COT arbitrator, who was being paid by Telstra, completely disregarded Mr Close’s evidence and chose to accept Telstra’s evidence instead.  Telstra’s evidence claimed that my phone was full of ‘wet and sticky beer’ when it arrived at Telstra’s laboratories and that it was that ‘wet beer’ that had caused my lines to lock-up.  I suppose, since the arbitrator was a lawyer and not a scientist, he would not have understood that no liquid, not even beer, could have stayed wet from December 1993 (or maybe even earlier) until April 1994 if it was inside a telephone that included vapour outlets so that anything wet would seep out, certainly within the five months that it was supposed to have stayed inside my phone.

The information at absentjustice.com can really only suggest what kind of lawyer this arbitrator was, but one thing we do know is that, when John Pinnock (the second TIO) supported his false claims by lying about what he had been told about the phone call that the lawyer/arbitrator’s wife had received, the lawyer/arbitrator let him get away with those lies.  This must surely be a strong indication that the arbitrator was, and possibly still is, a decidedly spineless person.

Then, lo and behold, when I finally got the fresh TF200 evidence, which supports that I was neither a drunk nor unable to properly look after my telephone equipment, the arbitrator (Dr Hughes) took over from

where Telstra and the government bureaucrats had left off by allowing John Pinnock (the TIO) to use Dr Hughes’ wife’s integrity to stop Laurie James (the President of the Institute of Arbitrators Australia) from uncovering the truth.

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All of the main events as quoted in this unbelievable true crime story are supported by copies of the original freedom of Information documents linked in the text.

Clicking on these links with your cursor will automatically open a PDF of the exhibit/evidence that a crime was committed. Using this method and following the various file numbers discussed in our various pages, you will verify our story. 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 the way we have is possibly a world first.

ABSENT JUSTICE HAS IT ALL.

Quote Icon

“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

“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

“…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

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

The 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