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Chapter Seven – The Day of the Jackal

Absent Justice - The Day of the Jackal

A copy of Telstra’s arbitration briefing paper dated 12 December 1994 (see Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1) was used as part of Telstra’s defence of my arbitration claims. As discussed on the Destruction of Evidence page (Personal Attacks against me are addressed in the AFP transcripts of our second AFP interview (See Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1), Telstra’s senior fault manager (the Telstra executive/technician who continually thwarted my phone and fax complaints) claimed that my faxes didn’t reach the arbitrator’s office number on 23 May 1994 because both fax service lines were busy at the time. He concluded by saying the arbitrator’s office:

“was probably busy at the time when Smith attempted to send his facsimile and the incident was not the result of a network problem (reference document 4.10)”. (See Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 and AS-CAV 82)

Contained in exhibit Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 is a copy of my Telstra account for 23 May 1994 which shows the seven faxes I sent that day did transmit to the arbitrator’s office fax number 03-614 8730 and thus they charged me accordingly.

Also discussed on Destruction of Evidence is the letter written by Michele Phillips to Graham Schorer concerning this same Telstra technician asking questions and running interference between COT members.

The Telstra technician and other members of Telstra are aware that at least 81 phone calls intended for my business in one two-month period were diverted elsewhere, other than to my business.

When Darren Kearney, senior policy analyst and consumer liaison officer for AUSTEL, visited my business in Cape Bridgewater on 19 December 1995, I used Telstra’s own data to prove to him that these 81 calls were diverted, even though I had not authorised the installation of any call diversion equipment to my service. To say that Mr Kearney was shocked at this call diversion evidence is an understatement.

I believe I have every good reason to demand the arbitrator and the TIO explain why these privacy issues were allowed to continue long after my arbitration should have addressed these issues. The transcripts of my oral arbitration with Telstra and the arbitrator show these breaches should have been included in the arbitrator’s findings.

Because this call diversion issue may confuse some people, here is an example using Telstra’s own documents (see Hacking-Julian Assange File No/38-A and 38-B). On 17 August 1993, File No/38-A is related to the Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre (Victoria) and explains how the line was continually dead when they rang my 1800 number four times on 17 August 1993. Even so, I was charged for these four calls, all in the space of a single 28-second period. Hacking-Julian Assange File No/38-A and 38-B - See File No/38-B is a copy of my phone account for these non-connecting calls showing I was charged, even though Telstra’s own memo, Hacking-Julian Assange File No/38-A and 38-B - See File No/38-Astates the four calls did not connect.

Since the malicious-call tracing equipment, which locked up the line for 90 seconds (see Hacking-Julian Assange File No/39), was not removed from my phone line until 18 August 1993, how could the community house have been connected four times in a 28-second period when each incoming call needs a set-up period after each call has terminated? It is clear from other FOI documents, and Telstra’s own technical consultants supported this, that no calls could have connected under these circumstances at any time, between 26 May and 19 August 1993, while the call tracing equipment was still connected. So, to where did these calls divert?

Hacking-Julian Assange File No/40A shows from this documentation that shows this 90-second period was required between each call while this equipment was being used.

The group from the Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre arrived for their holiday in January 1994. Later, two letters arrived from members of this group, complaining that my customer coin-operated gold phone service was most unsatisfactory. They wrote that the phone was “taking money under false pretences”, not connecting long enough for callers to properly complete their calls and the line kept “going dead” (see Hacking-Julian Assange File No/40A).

In summary: It is widely accepted by Telstra, the government regulator and the arbitration technical consultants that calls being registered into my business could not have connected for 90 seconds after a successful call terminated. Yet Telstra billed me for calls that came through within that 90-second period. I still have the 83 full sets of data confirming that this did occur. David Kearney was shocked at this evidence, but although I provided conclusive proof to the arbitration process it was never investigated.

It is important to raise the connection between this Telstra technician, the arbitrator and my diverted telephone calls because Garry Ellicott believed they were linked to the interception of my faxes. It also seems that the technician acted in a most unprofessional manner when dealing with serious phone faults and privacy issues and it appears his actions allowed many valid complaints (not just mine) to go unaddressed.

As discussed on the Destruction of Evidence page, a decade later this particular technician was still actively obstructing complaints and protecting Telstra. Why?  On 28 January 2003, a letter from a TIO officer to Telstra states:

“That a Telstra technician Tony Watson is currently assigned to his case, but appears unwilling to discuss the issues with Mr Lewis due to his contact with the previous Camp Owner, Mr Alan Smith.”

However, back in mid-1995, as more and more FOI documents arrived after my arbitration, I found it harder and harder to just shut the door and walk away. I became increasingly convinced I was set up and the victim of a deliberate act of sabotage. This was not just in relation to the ‘sticky beer in the phone’ episode, but also in relation to non-addressed faxed claim documents. Why I wondered, did the arbitrator not make any findings regarding these lost faxes, both before and during the arbitration process?

These lost faxes included valuable evidence, but they had somehow been lost in Telstra’s network, en route to the arbitrator’s office for assessment by the resource unit and by Telstra’s defence unit. These two episodes became the focus for my driving force behind my persistence in trying to uncover the truth. Wasn’t it obvious to the arbitrator that Telstra wanted to hide the faulty line from the resource unit in case they stumbled on the truth of the fact that it was Telstra’s lines that were causing the problems?

The only way any of the members of COT could prove their cases was by using documents buried in Telstra’s archives; how likely were they to get their hands on them? Six weeks before I signed my arbitration agreement, AUSTEL’s own investigations into my complaints were hampered. Open Letter File No/12, and File No/13 shows that, as a government communications regulator, AUSTEL had a duty of care to inform the government that, if they were unable to access documents from Telstra under legislation (section 335 [1] of the Telecommunications Act 1991), then what hope did the COT cases have of fully supporting their claims?

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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

“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

“…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

“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

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

– Edmund Burke