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Chapter Three – Screening Faxed documents

We have used the 29 October 1993, faxing exhibit example below because it so clearly highlights the faxing problems the COT Cases were having months before the arbitration in April 1994, was set up to fix these ongoing faults.  Graham Schorer of Golden Messenger Courier Service and I were still having problems sending faxes between our respective offices in 1993, as this document shows. This Telstra internal FOI document K01489, confirms that while Telstra was testing my Mitsubishi fax machine (using the office of Golden Messenger as the testing base which notes:

‘During testing the Mitsubishi fax machine some alarming patterns of behaviour was noted”. This document further goes on to state: “…Even on calls that were tampered with the fax machine displayed signs of locking up and behaving in a manner not in accordance with the relevant CCITT Group fax rules. Even if the page was sent upside down the time and date and company name should have still appeared on the top of the page, it wasn’t’

During a received call the machine failed to respond at the end of the page even though it had received the entire page (sample #3) The Mitsubishi fax machine remained in the locked up state for a further 2 minutes after the call had terminated, eventually advancing the page out of the machine.

More to the present time:

Numerous documents on this website absentjuctice.com show that this same locking up faxing problem was still being experienced by the new owners of my business in November 2006, thirteen years after Telstra generated the 29 October 1993 series of tests. Surely, if the arbitrator Dr Gordon Hughes, had been made aware during my 1994/95 arbitration that this faxing problem was going to continue for twelve years after my arbitration he would not have brought down the decision he did?

January 1994: A Telstra arbitration liaison officer faxed this document to the TIO in relation to the appointment of an assessor for the Fast Track Settlement Proposal. The words across the top of this document, in the space that should record the sender’s business identification, are absent, and it records only the wording “Fax from” then followed by the fax number. The Scandrett & Associates Pty Ltd report discusses this “Fax from” issue (see Open Letter File No/12 and File No/13). 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. Who were the faceless people who were soon termed the “forces at work”?

Accountant Selwyn Cohen sent me a fax on 21 January 1994 stating:

“I refer to your facsimile of 10.42am on 17th January 1994. The fax cover sheet refers to 7 pages being sent. Unfortunately, I only received 2 pages. Please forward the remaining 5 pages to enable me to begin the required work.” (See AFP Evidence File No 2-A to 2-C)

During my Fast Track Settlement Proposal, I received a reply from Telstra’s solicitors on 28 January 1994 in response to my letter challenging Telstra for incorrectly charging me for non-connected short duration calls. Telstra’s solicitors state, “Customers will be charged only for calls which are answered … unanswered calls are not charged.”

Stedman Cameron, Lawyers & Solicitors wrote to me on 2 February 1994, stating:

“We note that you did not receive two pages at all and only the number 2 from the third page and the signature from the last page of the facsimile sent to you at approximately 2.23pm on the 1st February, 1994. It was successfully sent approximately two hours later.” (See AFP Evidence File No 2-A to 2-C)

Telstra’s FOI document (M34363) dated 4 February 1994 was not made available to the arbitrator or me during my arbitration, even though Telstra’s FOI numbering system (M followed by a number) clearly indicates to Telstra and the TIO’s office that I was still reporting problems with my fax transmissions during my FTSP process (see Hacking-Julian Assange File No/24).

On 8 February 1994, The Hon Michael Lee, Minister for Communications, writes to the Hon Duncan Kerr, Minister for Justice:

“I am writing to inform you that members of the group known as the Casualties of Telecom (COT) have contacted my Office regarding the Australian Federal Police enquiries into voice monitoring by Telstra of their telephones. Both Mr Graham Schorer and Mr Alan Smith of COT have informed my Office that they have information on Telstra’s activities in relation to these matters.” 

Absent Justice - My Story - Australian Federal Police

AUSTEL writes to Telstra on 10 February 1994 stating:

“Yesterday we were called upon by officers of the Australian Federal Police in relation to the taping of the telephone services of COT Cases.

“Given the investigation now being conducted by that agency and the responsibilities imposed on AUSTEL by section 47 of the Telecommunications Act 1991, the nine tapes previously supplied by Telecom to AUSTEL were made available for the attention of the Commissioner of Police.” (See Destruction of Evidence / Perverting The Course of Justice/Illegal Interception File No/3)

From 10-15 February 1994, we lost any chance we may have had for a Senate inquiry into, what the COT members believed, the unethical way Telstra continued to treat us. By mid-February 1994, it appeared that not only was Telstra treating us with sheer contempt, but also they were doing this in full view of the Senate. The COT members began to believe that no single person or organisation, anywhere in Australia, had the courage to initiate a judicial inquiry into the way Telstra continued to thumb their noses at the government.

Imagine having to write to Telstra’s solicitors, to lodge my phone complaints! Was this Telstra’s way of breaking my morale? Consider having to report every telephone fault, in writing, to a solicitor.

As discussed in Arbitrator Part One, the TIO wanted to use a legal arbitration agreement, which he informed the government and claimants his own legal counsel (who was also the then president of the Institute of Arbitrators) drafted, completely independent of Telstra. He maintained that the commercial assessor was fully qualified to arbitrate on the four COT cases, which, as Arbitrator Part Two shows, he was not. Our assessor was to become our arbitrator.

We COT members registered our disagreement with this through the TIO (the appointed independent administrator of the Fast Track Settlement Process). We made it very clear to the TIO that the four of us were already involved in a signed and agreed commercial process and we saw no clear reason for changing that situation. We believed an arbitration process would certainly never be ‘fast-tracked’. It was bound to become legalistic and drawn out and we knew none of us had the finances to go up against Telstra’s high-powered legal team in such a process. We believed the whole idea of arbitration was raised simply to suit Telstra’s agenda.

Between 6-8 February that year, Graham Schorer had a telephone conversation with the TIO. Graham wanted to discuss the reasons the COT four were rejecting the arbitration process. The TIO dismissed our reasons immediately. The TIO said his primary role was Telecommunications Ombudsman and that he had spent too much time focusing on his secondary role as administrator of our FTSP. He was concerned his office had incurred considerable expense because of this administrating role and he told Graham that Telstra was refusing to reimburse those expenses. He also indicated that his office would not continue to incur expenses on our behalf.

Furthermore, he informed Graham that if the COT four did not abandon their commercial agreement with Telstra, then Telstra would pull out all stops to force us into a position where we would have to take them to court to resolve our commercial losses. Telstra, the new arbitrator and the TIO were all aware that none of us had the financial resources to enter into a court case.

My then-accountant Selwyn Cohen informed me that faxes from my office were not arriving complete; pages were missing. He recommended I should neither move from the commercial process into arbitration while these phone problems were ongoing nor sign the agreement while the AFP were investigating this unlawful interception of my telephone and faxing problems.

I met with the TIO in March 1994 after this consultation with Selwyn and said it was an unworkable process while the phone problems were still there and while I was raising interception as a claim issue.

The arbitration process should have been put on hold until it was shown the faults had stopped and the AFP had concluded their findings. It was impossible for the arbitrator to call for interception documents at the same time the AFP was asking for the same.

The TIO’s response was that we must sign the arbitration. As if this wasn’t disastrous enough, the TIO added that if we decided to take legal action in an attempt to compel Telstra to honour their original commercial assessment agreement, then he would resign as administrator of the procedure. This would force the conclusion of the Fast Track Settlement Process and commit us to each taking legal action, with no other alternatives, to resolve our claims. The TIO did not care about the claimant’s rights.

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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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“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

“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.”

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

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

– Edmund Burke