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Chapter Five - Threats

Page 180 ERC&A, from the official Australian Senate Hansard, dated 29 November 1994, reports Senator Ron Boswell asking Telstra’s legal directorate:

Absent Justice - My Story - Senator Ron Boswell

“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 Page Page Part One File No/14)

NONE of the COT Cases were ever on a terrorist list in 1994 (or since, for that matter) and nor were any of us ever listed as suspects in relation to any crimes committed against any Australian citizens. This means that we must therefore ask: why were these innocent claimants’ in-confidence arbitration and Telstra-related documents hacked by Telstra while Telstra was defending the various COT cases arbitrations? In my own case, 42 separate sets of correspondence faxed to the Arbitrator’s office (some with attachments) are not listed on the Arbitration Schedules of Material received by the Arbitration process.  It is clear from Front Page Part One File No/1 that even though the Arbitrator’s secretary advised Tony Watson (part of Telstra’s Arbitration Defence Unit) that on 23 May 1994, six of my claim documents were never received at the Arbitrator’s fax machine.  It is clear from my Telstra account I was charged for those six faxes as having left my office, yet no one from the Arbitrator’s office nor the TIO’s office when this matter was exposed, allowed me to amend my claim so that these proven “non received” claim documents were valued by the Arbitrator in support of my claim.

Absent Justice - Phone Hacking

During the infamous UK phone-hacking scandal, the Daily Mirror printed an apology in that newspaper, admitting that “such behaviour represented an unwarranted and unacceptable intrusion into people’s private lives”. Why hasn’t the Australian government compensated the COT Cases who clear proof that: an unwarranted and unacceptable intrusion into their private and business lives during their arbitrations ruined any chance they had of having a proper assessment of their arbitration claims i.e. an arbitration process originally endorsed by the government?

The COT cases should never have been forced into arbitration while the AFP was investigating Telstra for unauthorised phone and fax hacking issues. Evidence showing in-confidence COT cases privileged client to lawyer and arbitration procedural documentation was hacked into during the COT arbitrations.

Telstra clearly achieved their objective, which was to ensure that NONE of the intercepted singles club material that Telstra employees intercepted went before Dr Hughes (the arbitrator) for assessment. Had the arbitrator’s technical resource unit viewed, as part of their evaluation process, the 26 September 1994 transcripts, prepared by the AFP and showing the AFP indeed uncovered evidence showing Telstra was intercepting my telephone conversations without my authorisation, they would have seen the AFP findings proved my claim was correct (See Front Page Part Two File No/2). Had the arbitrator allowed the consultants to address my singles club loss of business they would have uncovered the fax interception. With this evidence, alone, Dr Hughes would have had to make an award against Telstra concerning these matters. He also would have to accept my singles club members’ privacy was also violated, as well as my own. Viewing this evidence, which the AFP uncovered, meant that he would have to accept that I was indeed running two businesses and that Ferrier Hodgson Corporate Advisory was grossly negligent in their reporting by ignoring 47 per cent of my clientele, i.e., the singles club members. My revenue loss, from the much-higher tariff of those patrons, should have been included in their final report.

When Telstra stopped me from submitting that singles club material as part of my claim, on 11 October 1994, it had a dual domino effect on my overall losses: Telstra did not have to address the evidence of intercepting my telephone conversation. Telstra minimised their liability by not having to pay out the losses of the revenue I lost due to singles club patrons being unable to contact my venue at will. Telstra did not have to answer to the arbitrator why they were intercepting faxes during the arbitration process. Open Letter File No/12, and File No/13 show arbitration documents were intercepted during the COT arbitrations.

There should have been NO arbitration until the Australian Federal Police (AFP) completed its findings. No other Western nation allows two legal processes to run at the same time (i.e., the AFP investigation as well as arbitration) as one impedes upon the other. This is exactly what happened. It was unconstitutional to force a citizen into this type of no-win situation. Even worse, if that is at all possible, once I began to assist the AFP in their interception investigations  Telstra stopped supplying my requested FOI documents.

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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.

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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

“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.”

The Hon David Hawker MP

“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

“…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

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

– Edmund Burke