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Chapter One, concealment

Absent Justice - Julian Assagne


As we have explained throughout absentjustice.com, we have broken this complex story up into sections in the hope of providing clarity. A number of different headings apply to many of the issues. To avoid repeating the beginning of the story on each webpage, the Hacking – Julian Assange section begins mid-1994 and reveals the details of how incompetently COT arbitrations were handled, beginning with the lead-up to the process in 1994 and from then on.

Because, not long into our arbitrations, Graham Schorer (the official COT spokesperson) received two phone calls within a couple of days, both from young people. They told Graham they knew we were in arbitration with Telstra and wanted to alert him to what they had discovered when they hacked into Telstra’s email network: they had found documents confirming that there were people close to our arbitration – as well as Telstra – who were acting unlawfully towards us. Both times they rang they asked if we would like them to send us that evidence.

Graham and I discussed the offer of the first call but, although we were interested in what Graham had heard, we finally said NO on the second call. We were concerned this might be a set-up by Telstra and therefore if we agreed to accept this promising material, then both our arbitrations might be declared null and void.

Since then Andrew Fowler and Suelette Dreyfus have each published books referring to Julian Assange’s hacking into Telstra’s Lonsdale Telephone Exchange in Melbourne, which both Graham’s business and mine were trunked through. In hindsight, we probably should have accepted that very kind offer. We might well have been able to use that evidence against Telstra all those years ago and perhaps we would not be here writing our story 20 or more years later.

The hackers advised Graham (without mentioning the name of the offshore owned company) whose telephone equipment Telstra was using had been banned in other countries. It was these emails that apparently discussed the name of the company who had supplied Telstra with this faulty equipment that Graham had nearly excepted, just to see if these hackers were for real. Asking for just one of these Telstra internal emails would have been enough to hang both Graham and me. We could not risk it, no matter how tempting the offer had been. FOI Documents, later released to the COT Cases (after the conclusion of our arbitrations) show that Telstra was still using known faulty Ericsson AXE telephone equipment which other countries had removed from service (See Misleading and Deceptive Conduct File 4-A to 4-L). Misleading and Deceptive Conduct File 4-A to 4-L - See File 4-E) shows Ericsson believed the fault being experienced in Telstra’s AXE exchanges (which my business was connected to) the call loss could have been as high as 50%.

Graham’s statutory declaration about these two 1994 phone calls is discussed below. However, some issues we discuss elsewhere on the website are also relevant to this page; issues such as fax and telephone hacking, submission of false material to arbitration and ongoing threats and harassment by Telstra. Australian Federal Police transcripts (see Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1) support my assertion that during my 1992 commercial settlement process with Telecom/Telstra and through to at least 1994 (during my government-endorsed arbitration procedure) the Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp telephone services were live monitored and my business was under surveillance. This was further confirmed in 1999 (see Open Letter File No/12 and Open Letter File No/13).

If the hackers mentioned on our webpage Hacking – Julian Assange/Chapter One were Julian Assange and his mates, and it is very likely it was them, then why hasn’t the Australian Government understood what the hackers wanted to share with us COT cases? He did not ask for payment in sharing what he and his mates had uncovered concerning our Telstra matters, as would have been the case if he had been a common criminal. He wanted us to have a fair arbitration hearing, and that was all. Had we used the information on offer, then the arbitrator would have been compelled to demand that Telstra fix its degraded Ericsson exchange equipment, instead of bringing down his findings while unaware of the true extent of the decaying network that was destroying the COT cases’ businesses and numerous other telephone dependent businesses throughout Australia. 

What Julian Assange and his friends were really telling Graham Schorer is, that if we did not accept the documents he was offering (free of charge), then we could kiss our arbitration’s goodby. Without proof, we could not win our claims.

Graham, in his role as the COT spokesperson, has always been adamant since receiving TIO Evidence File No 3-A (which was obtained years after the conclusion of my arbitration) that this the document Julian Assange was referring to when he said documents he had seen that show ‘we four COT four Cases had been singled out by Telstra and others’ targetted. TIO Evidence File No 3-A is the only document I have ever seen that actually names all four COT Cases and their businesses names that Telstra’s lawyers singled out so that we could not possibly win against Telstra (see page 5169 SENATE official Hansard) i.e., the “COT Case Strategy” which spuriously advised Telstra how to conceal relevant technical documents from the first four COT Cases under Legal Professional Privileged even though the documents were not privileged. My name Alan Smith and my business Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp is one of the four cases singled out for this special unlawful treatment. The “COT Case Strategy” is discussed in more detail below.

Former NSW (Australian) Supreme Court judge calls for investigation Judge Anthony Whealy presided over the Keli Lane trial in 2010. (ABC: Supplied)

Judge Anthony Whealy

The revelations have prompted Mr Whealy to call for an investigation.

“It looks like a very serious matter that requires investigation,” he says.

“This is damning material to suggest there’s been a breach of the duty of disclosure.”

Even if the recordings do not contain anything incriminating, Mr Whealy says they are still relevant material for the defence.

“The point is an obvious one: if someone is under surveillance to see whether their behaviour indicates some sort of guilty action, it’s equally important from a defence perspective to show they haven’t been doing anything that’s untoward,” he says.

“While the prosecution might want to seize on one incident or one conversation, the defence are entitled to say ‘let’s look at it overall and see what the behaviour of this person is’, and from that, to say ‘there is a lot of innocent behaviour’, so they are entitled to get that material part.

“But it seems the defence has been deprived of the opportunity to do this.”

Absent Justice - Justice Felix Frankfurter


I have used the wording by Judge Anthony Whealy of the Supreme Court of New South Whales who presided over the Keli Lane trial in 2010, because of the similarities of his statements concerning full disclosure of documents during litigation and what happened during the COT arbitrations. Former United States Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter is also noted as having said:

“if one man can be allowed to determine for himself what is law, every man can. That means first chaos, then tyranny. Legal process is an essential part of the democratic process”.

Dr Hughes (when he was the arbitrator hearing my claims) did not demand to know why I was threatened, during my arbitration, with the withholding of my requested discovery documents, sought under the FOI Act. What is so disturbing about this, is that when Dr Hughes learned I continued to assist the Australian Federal Police’s investigations into Telstra’s unauthorised interception of my telephone and faxes – and that Telstra did carry out its threat and stopped releasing FOI documents – he also forgot his official promise to COT spokesperson Graham Schorer made during our pre-arbitration hearing. During this meeting, Graham raised Telstra’s previous unethical conduct towards the COT cases and Dr Hughes stated “as arbitrator, he would not make a determination on incomplete information” (see Telstra’s minutes from this meeting [page 3 – second line] My Story Evidence File No 14). It is now confirmed, throughout this website, absentjustice.com, that Dr Hughes did, indeed, make a determination on incomplete information.  This is serious enough, but what about the most important document of the whole arbitration process, which was also concealed, i.e, the Portland and Cape Bridgewater telephone exchange logbook which AUSTEL (the then government communications regulator) used in order to prepare their own covert adverse findings against Telstra (see AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings). My correspondence to Dr Hughes in November 1994, even advised him that the Commonwealth Ombudsman was unable to force Telstra to release this document (under the FOI Act of 1994) even after they had written to Telstra’s CEO Frank Blount, demanding it’s the release. For what reason did the arbitrator ignore my pleas to access this most relevant discover document? Surely, he would have realized at this period of time during the arbitration that by ignoring not just my pleas for this logbook to be released, but also the pleas of the Commonwealth Ombudsman Office that he would be making a determination on incomplete information? 

If you click on Summary of events, you will notice that I have gone to great lengths to NOT name various Telstra employees that knowingly made false witness statements to the arbitrator concerning my telephone problems. However, it has been almost impossible not to name one employee on this Absentjustice.com page (see below), as pages 36 and 38 Senate – Parliament of Australia show, because he was named by Telstra whistleblower Lindsay White as having officially advised him five of the COT cases (and naming me as one of the five) had to be stopped “at all costs” from proving our arbitration claims.

Although the following 24 and 25 June 1997 Senate Hansard discussed immediately below is also discussed elsewhere on this website we ask that you also read this version again because it further confirms we were COT Cases had to be stopped at all cost from receiving out legally requested arbitration FOI documents. As stated in the introduction above, without discovery documents there is no justice for those denied access to them as was in the case during the COT arbitrations.

Absent Justice - Australian Senate

On 24 June 1997 see:- pages 36 and 38 Senate – Parliament of Australia/from an ex-Telstra employee and then-Whistle-blower, Lindsay White, that, while he was assessing the relevance of the technical information which had been requested by the COT claimants, he advised the Committee that:

“In the first induction – and I was one of the early ones, and probably the earliest in the Freehill’s (Telstra’s Lawyers) area – there were five complaints. They were Garms, Gill and Smith, and Dawson and Schorer. My induction briefing was that we – we being Telecom – had to stop these people to stop the floodgates being opened.”

Senator O’Chee then asked Mr White – “What, stop them reasonably or stop them at all costs – or what?”

Mr White responded by saying – “The words used to me in the early days were we had to stop these people at all costs”.

Senator Schacht also asked Mr White – “Can you tell me who, at the induction briefing, said ‘stopped at all costs” .(See Front Page Part One File No/6)

It is clear from Mr White’s statement he identified the same four COT Cases which included me plus COT Cases Garry Dawson, who had also been singled out to be ‘stopped at all costs’ from proving his arbitration claim against Telstra’.

As a further testament, that Julian Assange was right on target when he said Telstra and others were out to destroy us COT cases is a statement made on 23 March 1999, almost five years after most of the arbitrations had been concluded in the Australian Financial Review (newspaper) which reported on the conclusion of the Senate estimates committee hearing into why the COT Cases were forced into a government-endorsed arbitration without the necessary documents they needed to fully support their claims i.e.

“A Senate working party delivered a damning report into the COT dispute. The report focussed 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.”

I doubt there are many countries in the Western world governed by the rule of law, as Australia purports to be, that would allow a group of small-business operators to be forced to proceed with a government-endorsed arbitration while allowing the defence (the government who owned the corporation) to conceal the necessary documents these civilians needed to support their claims. 

During the conclusion of the previously discussed independent Senate Committee investigations (see above) on 6 March 1999, there were twenty-three senators who were either directly involved or who were provided with regular updates in relation to those investigations into why the COT cases were forced into arbitration without the necessary documents they needed to support their claims.  Out of those twenty-three, the following six individual Senators all made official statements (See > Sen Alan EgglestonSen Mark BishopSen Ronald BoswellSen Kim Carr,  Sen Chris Schacht and Sen Richard Alston) which all formally record how those six senators believed that Telstra had ‘acted as a law unto themselves’ throughout all of the COT arbitrations.

Absent Justice - Justice for All

The following link at Assange Defense is a more updated account of what is currently happening to Julian Assange as he fights the system that wants him destroyed.

Back to the collusive practices of those conducting the COT arbitrations of 1994 to 1999.

In a 10 February 1994 letter, John MacMahon, AUSTEL’s general manager of consumer affairs, acknowledges receipt of nine audio tapes from Telstra and states that these tapes, related to the “taping of the telephone services of COT Cases”, were passed on to the Australian Federal Police (AFP). The Federal Court did not issue a warrant for this taping and no warrants were issued in either of the Australian states where the tapings took place. This taping was carried out illegally. And, it was carried out during a legal resolution process that involved the COT members.

Despite these investigations, the AFP did not officially provide findings of Telstra’s surveillance or monitoring activities to the victims of those crimes. Today, Telstra has still not been held accountable, not even for those illegal tapings that took place during my arbitration process with Telstra. If the AFP or the government had pursued these questions, I would not be still searching for answers today.

The AFP interviewed me about this matter on a number of occasions in 1994 and although they were unable to show me the documents and tapes AUSTEL had given them, it appeared they were taking my problems with Telstra and my arbitration seriously. In one interview, I showed them an FOI document that shows the writer knew where a caller usually rang from even though, on this occasion, the caller was phoning from a different number, “somewhere in Adelaide”. The police were concerned that a caller was identifiable even when calling from a different number. In their transcripts of this meeting, the AFP state, “you were live monitored for a period of time. So we’re quite satisfied that there are other references to it.” (See Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1). Even though I supplied these 26 September 1994 transcripts to the arbitrator, he made no finding with regard to it.

These transcripts also confirm that Telstra threatened me early in my arbitration process: If I continued to co-operate with the Australian Federal Police by providing them with documents in the manner I was Telstra would stop supplying me with the FOI documents necessary to support my arbitration claim.

Check this is correct. The commercial settlement was before the arbitration? I had thought it came after.

In July 1994, I advised the arbitrator, in writing, that Telstra was refusing to supply any more FOI documents because I had given documents to the AFP to assist their investigations into Telstra’s unauthorised interception of my telephone conversations. This was when I began to suspect the arbitrator was not independent; he did not respond to any of my letters with regard to this serious breach of law.

My suspicions heightened when the arbitrator also passed no comment when Senator Boswell asked Telstra why they had threatened me this way (as recorded in the Senate Hansard Estimates committee report dated 29 November 1994). Why was I penalised for carrying out my civic duty by assisting the Australian Federal Police with their official investigations? Once it was clear that the (ungraded) arbitrator would not be asking any of these most pertinent questions, I knew for sure, months before the arbitrator handed down his award, that my arbitration was futile.

What is so appalling about the withholding of the FOI documents is that no one in the TIO office or government has ever investigated the disastrous impact on my overall submission to the arbitrator. Relevant information was withheld from me: information vital to support my claims before the arbitrator. The arbitrator and the government (who at the time fully owned Telstra) should have initiated an investigation into why an Australian citizen was heavily disadvantaged during a civil arbitration process merely for assisting the AFP in their investigations into Telstra’s illegal interception of that citizen’s telephone conversations.

During his 20 September 1995 speech in the Senate, Senator Ron Boswell, National Party, stated:

“The Federal Police also found there was a prima facie case to institute proceedings against Telecom but the DPP [Department of Public Prosecutions], in a terse advice, recommended against proceeding.” (See Senate Evidence File No 1

Telstra had neither a legal authority to intercept our telephone conversations nor an intercept permit for our faxes. No judge in Australia would grant Telstra (as defendant) permission to intercept legal documents pertaining to the claimants or allow anyone to use Telstra’s network to screen faxed documents. And there was no illegal activity that might warrant clandestine tapping.

Prior to my signing the arbitration agreement, I advised the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman (the administrator to the arbitrations) it would be impractical for the arbitrator to commence my arbitration until after the AFP concluded their findings. Graham Schorer and I, as part of our arbitration claims, were seeking compensation from Telstra regarding the breaches of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979. The TIO said he would tactfully carry out his own investigations, along with the arbitrator, and that his and the arbitrator’s investigations would not impede on the present AFP investigation.

There is not one single word in the arbitrator’s award concerning the evidence my claim advisor and I submitted showing Telstra intercepted my telephone conversations without my knowledge or consent.

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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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“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

“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

“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

“…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

“…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

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

– Edmund Burke