PLEASE NOTE: Tampering With Evidence was created on 27 June 2017 and is a work in progress. Last edited October 2020.
PLEASE NOTE: In Tampering With Evidence File No 13, at point 5.8 (a) the words “or damaging the equipment by spilling a liquid into it”, have been removed.
This indicates that, when Dr Hughes (arbitrator to my case) used those words (“or damaging the equipment by spilling a liquid into it”) in the draft of my award, he had clearly not read my submission regarding my TF200 EXICOM telephone because that submission recorded the many flaws in Telstra’s original, fraudulently-manufactured TF200 report, which falsely stated that a ‘sticky substance, possibly beer’ had been spilt into the phone and it was that ‘substance’ that had caused my phone to lock up (see below).
Tampering With Evidence File No 14, on page 28, at point 5.8 (a) suggests however that Dr Hughes had read my TF200 EXICOM report on this issue, even though he then refused my request to employ Mr Paul Westwood (see Chapter Two below), a document researcher from Canberra, even though I had offered to pay for Mr Westwood’s services and even though he had already provided his qualifications and signed the arbitration confidentiality agreement.
By 5 May 1995, I had made a number of unsuccessful attempts to submit two small submissions to the arbitrator, Dr Hughes, via the Golden Messenger courier service, but Dr Hughes refused to accept them. Those two submissions were based on 24,000 FOI documents I had received, from Telstra, too late to be able to use them in the arbitration process. My submissions included my explanation of why Telstra’s TF200 EXICOM report had been deliberately and falsely concocted in order to stop the arbitration resource unit from investigating the 055 267230 service line that my previous TF200 EXICOM phone had been connected to, and which the second TF200 EXICOM was also connected to, because the second phone was now causing the same lock-up problems that Telstra claimed had been caused, in the first phone, by the allegedly ‘wet and sticky’ substance that Telstra technicians had allegedly discovered, when they had ‘examined’ it, eleven months earlier.
On 12 May 1995, Warwick Smith’s official media release declared that my arbitration had been a ‘major success’ and then, on 28 November 1995, six months later, I received new EXICOM TF200 telephone evidence that proved what I had hoped Paul Westwood would prove, which was that the fault that was causing all the problems with my telephone was a manufacturer’s technical fault within the actual phone, and had therefore definitely not been caused by any ‘wet and sticky’ substance spilt inside the phone itself, after all.
Perhaps, if I had not telephoned Dr Hughes to tell him the good news – which I believed finally proved my innocence; if Dr Hughes and John Pinnock had admitted to Laurie James, the President of the Institute of Arbitrators Australia, that I was correct (see Prologue Chapter Three and Four, and that my phone problems had not been caused by my allegedly ‘drunken behaviour’ that Telstra’s TF200 report alleges caused the phone problems, but was that those problems were caused by faults within Telstra’s own equipment then, once Mr James had heard what I had gone through over the previous years, he may well have suggested that the TIO should demand that this part of my arbitration claim be reassessed.
Furthermore, Dr Hughes revealed a serious flaw in his character when he allowed Mr Pinnock to use his (Dr Hughes’) wife in the way he did.
I discussed these events with John MacMahon, AUSTEL’s General Manager of Consumer Affairs, because, at first, both Mr MacMahon and AUSTEL’s Bruce Matthews had been involved in the investigation into why this service line, in particular, had so many lock-up problems affecting calls going out as well as coming in, but they had then claimed that AUSTEL could not get involved in my arbitration process. At that time I did not know that Dr Hughes had actually provided AUSTEL with a copy of his findings in relation to my claim so that AUSTEL could use those findings when the government discussed legislative matters related to the arbitration process, even though some of the legal information that Dr Hughes had provided to AUSTEL, had been partly based on an arbitration process where Telstra (the defendants) had falsified their defence.
As stated below, the documents at AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings, leave no doubt whatsoever that, even before I signed my arbitration agreement on 21 April 1994, AUSTEL public servants had already found in my favour.
As shown above, tampering with legal evidence after it has been provided to an arbitration process for assessment is a serious crime: in my case, that illegal tampering included the introduction of a foreign substance into my telephone after it had been collected by Telstra from my premises and then the production of a deliberately falsified report about that phone, which was then submitted to the arbitrator during my official arbitration process, supposedly conducted under the ambit of the Victoria (Australia) Arbitration Act 1984. If this is not a crime, then what is?
When I phoned AUSTEL’s Cliff Mathieson, a public servant at the government communications regulatory department, to talk about this hang-up fault on 26 April 1994, Mr Mathieson suggested he and I carry out a series of tests on the phone line. His plan was for me to would hang up and count aloud, from one to 10, while he listened. This first test proved he could hear me count right up to 10. He suggested we try it again and count even further this time. Still the same situation: he could hear me right through the range as I counted. Then he suggested I switch the phone on that line with a phone connected to another line. I did this and we repeated the counting test, with exactly the same results. It was apparent to both of us: the fault was not in the phone itself, but somewhere in the Telstra network. Mr Mathieson suggested that, as I was in arbitration at the time, I should bring this fault to the attention of Peter Gamble, Telstra’s chief engineer. Lindsay White, a Telstra whistleblower, named Peter Gamble, in a Senate, estimates committee hearing, as the man who said he and Telstra had to stop the first COT five claimants (including me), at all cost, from proving our claims (see Senate Hansard ERC&A 36, Front Page Part One File No/23 dated 24 June 1997).
Unaware of these orders to stop us five COT cases (at all cost), I switched the phones back to their original lines and phoned Mr Gamble, but did not tell him Mr Mathieson and I had already tested two phones on the 055 267230 line. Mr Gamble and I then carried out similar tests on the 055 267230 line. Mr Gamble said he would arrange for someone to collect the phone for testing purposes on the following day. FOI K00941, dated 26 March 1994, show someone (name redacted) believed this lock-up fault was being caused by a problem in the RCM exchange at Cape Bridgewater see Tampering With Evidence File No 1-A to 1-C. Document K00940, dated the day the tests were performed with Mr Mathieson and Mr Gamble, suggests that Mr Gamble believed the problem was caused by heat in the exchange see (File No-B) where document folio R37911, states:
“This T200 is an EXICOM and the other T200 [which was connected to my 267267 line] is an ALCATEL, we thought that this may be a design ‘fault???’ with the EXICOM so Ross tried a new EXICOM from his car and it worked perfectly, that is, released the line immediately on hanging up. We decided to leave the new EXICOM and the old phone was marked and tagged…” (see File No 1-C).
On 27 April 1994, Telstra collected my so-called faulty TF200 EXICOM telephone. Documents I later acquired, under FOI, show Telstra was aware this telephone fault often occurred in moisture-prone areas like Cape Bridgewater and they also knew that the local exchange suffered from heat problems. When I received my copy of Telstra’s 12 December 1994 defence of my government-endorsed arbitration process, I found it included a 29-page report titled TF200. This document reported Telstra’s laboratory testing showed the lock-up problem with my service lines was due to my actual TF200 phone.
Six years after my arbitration was supposed to have fixed this problem, I discovered this lock-up issue was not fixed at all, even though Telstra claimed to investigate it on 27 April 1994. At this time, they disconnected the EXICOM TF200 phone from the fax machine and replaced it with another EXICOM TF200, which remained connected to the fax machine until August 2001, when Telstra and I tested the 55 267230 lines, again, and proved that it was still locking up.
Photographs included in Telstra’s report show the outside of the phone was very dirty. According to the laboratory technicians, when they opened the phone up, the inside was wet and sticky. Analysis of the substance showed that it was beer and the conclusion was that beer caused the hookswitch to lock up. The obvious implication here was that my drinking habits were the cause of all my phone problems. The laboratory technicians appeared not to know that the government communications regulatory department and I had already tested two different phones on that line and still found the same fault.
Telstra FOI folio D01026/27 (Tampering With Evidence File No 2) confirms Telstra knew there were lock-up problems in moisture-prone areas affecting the EXICOM T200s manufactured after week seven of 1993. This document confirms one of the known lock-up side effects to this problem was that, while the line was that in locked-up mode, the line remained open so one party could hear the room noise of the locked-up party, after the call was, supposedly, terminated. Document D01026 confirms that instead of destroying these faulty EXICOM phones, Telstra allowed their technical staff to re-deploy some 45,000 phones back into service in areas where local technicians believed moisture was not a problem.
During my government-endorsed arbitration, I received Telstra document FOI folio number R37911, under FOI. This document shows that on the day after retrieving the TF200, Ross Anderson, a Telstra technician from Portland, tested the TF200 EXICOM fax phone at least 18 times without it once displaying this lock-up fault. Telstra FOI document folio K00942/3 Tampering With Evidence File No/1-C
Tampering With Evidence File No/1-C suggests the lock-up problem could have been related to heat or moisture or a combination of both. There is no mention in this document suggesting that alcohol spillage might have caused this problem.
After Mr Anderson completed his testing on 27 April, the phone took a further nine days to reach Telstra’s laboratory. It arrived on 6 May and laboratory testing did not commence for another four days. Ray Bell, the author of the TF 200 report, was adamant at point 1.3, under the heading Initial Inspection, that:
“The suspect TF200 telephone when received was found to be very dirty around the keypad with what appeared to be a sticky substance, possibly coffee.” (See Tampering With Evidence File No 3)
A second photo received by me, under FOI, is a photo taken from the front of the same TF200 phone, confirming a note I placed on the phone was quite clean when it was received at Telstra see Open Letter File No/37 exhibits 3, 4, 5 and 6.
This report raises a number of questions. When the phone left my office, it was quite clean. Why did it arrive at the laboratory in such a filthy state? How did the beer get inside the phone? Who would have a reason to pour beer into the phone and why? If the addition of beer was not deliberate, how did it get inside the phone? The main aim of Telstra’s submitted report, used as evidence, was to prove Telstra’s service was not the fault.
As soon as I read this beer-in-the-phone report, I put in a request to the arbitrator, asking to see a copy of all the laboratory technician’s handwritten notes so he could see how Telstra had actually arrived at their conclusion. I had appointed my own forensic document researcher to look over the documents when I received them and he provided me with his CV credentials, as well as signing a confidentiality agreement, stating he would not disclose his findings to anyone outside of the arbitration procedure. Although I passed all this information on to the arbitrator, the only response I received from the arbitrator and Telstra was a duplicate copy of the report I had already received as part of Telstra’s defence.
On 28 November 1995, six months after my arbitration ended, I received Telstra’s arbitration TF200 EXICOM report. This report confirms Telstra carried out two separate investigations of my EXICOM TF200 telephone, two weeks apart and the second test report, dated between 24 and 26 May 1994, proved that the first one, the report provided to the arbitrator, was not a true account of the testing process at all, but a total fabrication. Photos and graphs by Telstra laboratory staff proved wet beer introduced into the TF200 phone dried out completely in 48 hours. As mentioned above, Telstra collected my phone from my business on 27 April 1994, but it was not tested until 10 May – a gap of 14 days. Various pages (see Tampering With Evidence File No/5) confirm that, even though Telstra knew its second investigation proved the first arbitration report, dated between 10 and 12 May 1994, was more than fundamentally flawed, it still submitted the first flawed report to the arbitrator as Telstra’s true findings.
The marked Telstra FOI documents folio A64535 to A64562 (see Tampering With Evidence File No/5), are clear evidence that Telstra did do two separate TF200 tests on my collected phone two weeks apart. FOI folio A64535 confirms with this handwritten Telstra laboratory file note, dated 26 May 1994, that when wet beer was poured into a TF200 phone the wet substance dried up within 48 hours. The air vents within the phone itself allowed for the beer to escape. In other words, how could my TF200, collected on 27 April 1994, have been wet inside the phone on 10 May 1994 when it was tested at Telstra’s laboratories?
Another disturbing side to this tapering with arbitration evidence by Telstra is that for many years before this tampering took place, I was a volunteer for the Cape Bridgewater Country Fire Authority (CFA). Chapter Seventeen in Absent Justice Draft 1, shows that during my arbitration Telstra twisted the reason I could not be present for the testing of my TF200 telephone at my premises on a scheduled meeting on the morning of 27 April 1994. Telstra only reported in their file notes (later submitted to the arbitrator) that I refused to allow Telstra to test the phones because I was tired. There was no mention in these file notes that I advised the fault response unit that I had been fighting an out-of-control fire for 14 hours or that my sore eyes made it impossible to observe such testing by Telstra. I fought the fire the previous evening from 6 pm to 9 am the following morning.
It is clear from our Tampering With Evidence page that not only did Telstra set out to discredit me by implying I was just too tired to have my TF200 phone tested, but after Telstra removed the phone, it was tampered with before it arrived at Telstra’s Melbourne laboratories: someone from Telstra poured beer into the phone. Telstra then alleged, in its arbitration defence report, that sticky beer was the cause of the phone’s ongoing lock-up problems, not the Cape Bridgewater network. This one wicked deed, along with the threats I received from Telstra during my arbitration, is a testament that my claims should have been investigated years ago. So, even though I carried out my civic duties as an Australian citizen, over and beyond by supplying vital evidence to the AFP, as well as fighting out-of-control fires, I was still penalised on both those occasions during my arbitration.
And then, as if all this un-addressed skulduggery and secret plotting has not been difficult enough to live with for these past twenty-four years, let us take a look at the senior Telstra engineer who organised the removal of my tampered-with TF200 phone and then arranged things so that it would be held in his office from that day, 27 April 1994, until 6 May 1994 when, finally, it actually reached Telstra’s laboratories. It is important to look at this engineer because it turns out, this was the same Telstra Chief Arbitration Engineer who swore under oath, in his Witness Statement of 12 December 1994, that the Service Verification Testing process that he conducted during my arbitration had met all of the mandatory Government requirements but, somehow, the CCAS data for the day in question does not show that any SVT processes as being conducted at all, neither in connection to my phone lines nor according to Government specifications nor, for that matter, according to ANY specifications at all. Then the plot thickens, because it turns out that this is also the same Telstra engineer who, during a Senate Committee hearing on 24 June 1997, (see:- pages 36 and 38 Senate – Parliament of Australia was named by an ex-Telstra employee (Lindsey White) as the person who told Mr White that I was one of the Five COT Cases, who had to be stopped at all cost from proving our arbitration claims and, astonishingly, this is, again, the same Telstra engineer who visited my business on 6 April 1995 with the TIO-appointed arbitration resource unit, but then refused to conduct any of the suggested tests on the service line, at my business, that this tampered-with TF200 had been connected to.
Chapter Four Blowing the whistle see pages 5163 to 5169 SENATE official Hansard – Parliament of Australia. proves beyond all doubt that systemic criminal conduct did exist within the Telstra Corporation prior to and during our arbitrations.
After we four COT cases had signed our arbitration agreement, neither AUSTEL, as the government communications regulator nor the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman (the administrator of our arbitrations) warned us that our arbitration fax and phone interception issues would be broadcast to the media as well as discussed in parliament, as our Australian Federal Police Investigations link show was the case.
Now let me make the following point quite clear, AUSTEL (now the Australian Communication and Media Authority – ACMA) was back then, and still is, promoted as Australia’s independent communications regulator, so I believed that they would reveal the truth, not just for me but also on behalf of all of Telstra’s customers. That, however, did not happen because not even one of the bureaucrats from AUSTEL/ACMA spoke up back then and, since then? Still, none of them have ever commented on the situation the COTs found themselves in.
Imagine, however, if even just one of the many bureaucrats from AUSTELL/ACMA had come forward and actually told the truth about the cause of my ongoing telephone problems, as they should have, of course, I would still own and be operating my beloved Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp. All I needed was just that one brave and honest bureaucrat, and I would have been able to appeal the arbitrator’s appalling findings that claimed that there was then, and had never been, anything wrong with the phone system that my business was connected to
Cliff Mathieson, one of these AUSTEL/ACMA bureaucrats, and I carried out a series of tests in relation to my TF200 EXICOM touchphone service, using two different but identical phones. And what did those tests reveal? Mr Mathieson reported, quite clearly, that both phones showed exactly the same locking-up fault after each test call was terminated! Mr Mathieson’s conclusion was that the communication problems I had been experiencing were not connected to either of my two phones, but were occurring from within the Telstra network itself.
Another discovery that was later made revealed that, when this proven EXICOM fault was then discussed as a major arbitration issue, as explained in our Tampering With Evidence page, the TF200 that had been taken from my premises was, surprise, surprise, secretly tampered with and that deliberate interference then meant that, as part of my arbitration, there was never any investigation of the Cape Bridgewater Telstra network and, as shown below, even Ziggy Switkowsky, who was later became Telstra’s CEO, refused to investigate this matter in any way or on any level.
Concealing A Crime
This sort of tampering with evidence, after a claimant has provided it to an arbitration process, including (again, in my case) changing that evidence into a different format, must really be one of the worst crimes a defendant (in this case, the Telstra corporation) could have committed against an Australian citizen. So why, when evidence of this tampering was provided – twenty years ago to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (John Pinnock), the Chair of the TIO’s Counsel (The Hon Tony Staley), the Chair of the Telstra Board (David Hoare), and Telstra’s then-CEO (Ziggy Switkowski AO), was that evidence not investigated immediately?
At point 3, in the conclusion of this bogus report prepared and signed off by Telstra’s Manager Technical Liaison Customer Equipment Division he noted:
“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”.
Why didn’t the Telstra board do anything about that evidence as soon as they discovered that it had been tampered with? Why didn’t they immediately remove that evidence from their arbitration defence of my claims as soon as their internal investigation unit had clarified that Telstra had indeed acted outside of the law as exhibits Open Letter File Nos/36, 37 and File No/38 show? This clearly raised a most important question: why has the Telstra Board not advised the current Australian government that Telstra has both a legal and a moral obligation to rectify these wrongs as soon as possible?
Perhaps the most important aspect of the exposure of this fraud is that the findings from Telstra’s internal investigation into this matter also show that, although the phone was collected from my premises on 27 April 1994, it was not tested until 10 May 1994, a sixteen-day time-lapse that appears to have been the reason for this internal review of their arbitration defence on this matter. The findings of that arbitration review describe how the second series of tests were actually carried out between 24 and 26 May 1994, and those tests proved that wet beer (and wet coca-cola) that had been deliberately poured into my telephone, had all dried out within forty-eight hours, a fact that totally contradicts the so-called ‘evidence’ first provided by Telstra)?
Just as importantly, why is it that the current Telstra board has also done nothing about these proven claims, since they know that it was Telstra’s own findings that confirmed that my claims were correct, including my claim that the telephone that Telstra collected from my premises was perfectly clean when they took it away and so the ‘dirty, greasy substance’ later found to be ‘all over the phone’, and the ‘sticky substance’ found inside the phone, could only have been put there by Telstra employees, after it left my premises but before it arrived at Telstra’s laboratories?
Tampering With Evidence File No 6 is a confidentiality agreement, dated 16 April 1995, prepared by Paul Westwood, Forensic Document Services Pty Ltd (FDS), in response to my request for his assistance in establishing the truth regarding my claims that Telstra’s TF200 report was fraudulently manufactured in order the gain a criminal advantage over me during my arbitration.
Had the arbitrator allowed FDS to investigate the beer matter, this Canberra-based forensic unit may well have uncovered what Telstra uncovered on 22 and 24 May 1994: Telstra manufactured the original arbitration report, which is provided to the arbitrator, in order to blacken my character as a drunk unable to run a business. Of course, exposing this fraudulent conduct by Telstra during my arbitration, instead of trying to expose this fraud over the past two decades, would have delivered me the justice I was entitled to. However, the arbitrator disallowed me the chance to prove my case. This rebuke came regardless of me having assisted the arbitration process by allowing Telstra and their forensic documents specialist (John Holland) access to my diaries.
It is also important to note that, like the Westwood confidentiality agreement, the fax imprint on the two pages identifies the sender and the date as 19 April 1995 but the receiving party is not identified. Since the name of this legal firm was the TIO-appointed special counsel to my arbitration it is surprising that, when they saw these photos, they didn’t immediately and officially call for an enquiry into why Telstra fraudulently manufactured this report. There was, however, no such enquiry. It is also important to note that when I asked the TIO, in December 1995, to investigate this further, freshly received evidence, that request was denied.
A very sinister aspect of this story brings the intentions of both the TIO and the arbitrator into question, as they were alerted to the fresh evidence, received under FOI and confirming Telstra deliberately fudged their original TF200 arbitration defence report, six months after my arbitration on 28 November 1995 and within the appeal time.
John Pinnock, TIO, refused to investigate and, as I show Arbitrator Part Two, he knowingly deflected the truth surrounding the late arrival of this fresh evidence in his letter, dated 27 February 1996, to Laurie James, the then-president of the Institute of Arbitrators Australia.
That 27 February 1996 letter from the TIO to Laurie James attacked my credibility. The TIO deliberately misinformed Mr James that I had telephoned the arbitrator’s wife at 2 am:
“Mr Smith has admitted to me in writing that last year he rang [the arbitrator’s] home phone number (apparently in the middle of the night, at approximately 2.00am) and spoke to [the arbitrator’s] wife, impersonating a member of the Resource Unit.” (See Arbitrator File No /49, page 3)
If I did write to the TIO, as he alleges in his letter to Laurie James, why didn’t the TIO produce my letter? The reason is, of course, that I never wrote any such letter. And just as deceitful is the fact that the TIO’s letter to Laurie James was copied to the arbitrator.
This conclusive evidence, which I supplied to the TIO before he wrote to Laurie James, is located in Main Evidence File No 26, 27, 28 and Senate Evidence File No 22 and File No 23. Who advised the TIO that I telephoned at 2 am? The telephone account for the evening in question (also in Arbitrator File No /49) confirms I called at 8.02 pm. It is bad enough to see the lies told regarding the actual time that I made this telephone call, but it is perhaps even worse to discover that my reason for making that call was concealed from Mr James. I had phoned the arbitrator to alert him I received, on that day (28 November 1995), vital arbitration documents I should have received during my arbitration and these documents definitively prove Telstra’s TF200 EXICOM arbitration defence report was manufactured to pervert the course of justice.
Later, I informed the TIO about my exciting find and that I tried to contact the arbitrator to pass on the news. I also explained why I gave the arbitrator’s wife the arbitration project manager’s name, instead of my own, to prevent her being alarmed. I asked him what he would do with this proof that Telstra had fabricated the beer in the phone story. The TIO responded flatly that my arbitration had run its course and he did not intend to involve his office in any further investigation. He said I should go to the Supreme Court of Victoria if I wished to take it further. It was exciting to read that Telstra staff proved beer could not have stayed wet and sticky for 14 days – the time between the TF200 EXICOM leaving my premises and arriving at their laboratory. It was already evening but, in the heat of the moment, I rang the arbitrator’s home number. His wife answered and told me he was overseas and not due to home for some days. I was caught on the back foot; in my excitement, I had not considered the arbitrator would not answer the phone. I assumed the arbitrator had discussed the Parliament House rumours concerning his use of a non-credible agreement with his wife. I thought if she knew who was calling, she might be afraid I was ringing to accuse the arbitrator. Impulsively, I gave her the name of John Rundell: one I knew the arbitrator was familiar with – that of the arbitration project manager.
Between 28 November 1995 to May 1999 (well within the statute of limitations), I continued to ask John Pinnock (TIO) and the Hon Tony Staley, chairman of the TIO council, to investigate why Telstra was allowed to rely upon this fraudulently manufactured TF200 EXICOM report. No one assisted me in this matter. Surely the arbitrator would have discussed my telephone call with his wife and been told by her that I had telephoned at 8.02 pm and I was, at all times, courteous and respectful.
Tampering with legal evidence after it has been provided to an arbitration process for assessment is a serious crime: in my case, that illegal tampering included the introduction of a foreign substance into my telephone after it had been collected by Telstra from my premises and then the production of a deliberately falsified report about that phone, which was then submitted to the arbitrator during my official arbitration process, supposedly conducted under the ambit of the Victoria (Australia) Arbitration Act 1984. If this is not a crime, then what is?
How do you publish a true account of what really happened during a government-endorsed arbitration, where the arbitrator minimised the defendant’s financial liability – to the detriment of the claimant? How does an ordinary citizen expose this high-profile arbitrator i.e., Dr Gordon Hughes, who allowed his wife’s name to be used in a letter written by John Pinnock (the then Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman), to the president of the Institute of Arbitrators Australia, stating I admitted ringing his wife at 2 am in a letter when no such admission was made. Worse, Dr Hughes received a copy of John Pinnock’s letter and knew this 2 am statement was false and written to discredit my character and prevent the president of the Institute of Arbitrators Australia, Laurie James, from investigating my claims against Dr Hughes. Allowing his wife to be brought into a situation such as an investigation by the institute, while aware what was being said about the alleged 2 am phone call was untrue, shows Dr Hughes is clearly lacking in character. Why didn’t Mr Pinnock provide Mr James with a copy of my letter? Because he couldn’t: NO such letter was ever written.
A second look at Telstra’s 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/36, 37 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. The following nonfeasance link > http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/nonfeasance suggests Zingy 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.
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.
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 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.
Although we have addressed the following BCI impracticable Cape Bridgewater tests in our Burying The Evidence page it was most important we repeat it again here in Chapter Four Tampering With Evidence.
It was during a Senate Estimates Committee hearing, in the presence of Mr Pinnock (TIO) that Senator Schacht questioned Telstra’s John Armstrong concerning my claims that the BCI Cape Bridgewater tests were fabricated stating: “…As a result of those complaints, did you find that Telstra had to take any action in respect of the BCI report to rectify any inaccuracies or shortcomings in the system”
“Yes. The basis upon which it was put that the report was fabricated was an apparent clash of dates, as I recall, with two sets of testing. This goes back a couple of years. I believe that claimant raised the matter with the TIO. Telstra went to Bell Canada and raised the clash of dates with it. As I recall, Bell Canada provided a letter saying there was an error in the report”.
Senator Schacht –
“Can you please provide us a copy of that letter from Bell Canada…and…I will put that question on notice”.
Long before Mr Armstrong spoke to Senator Schacht however, Telstra and John Pinnock had already been provided with clear proof that Bell Canada International Inc. could not possibly have used the TEKLELEC CCS7 monitoring system they claimed to have used at Cape Bridgewater, which means, of course, that they could not possibly have carried out any testing at all, on any of the five days they claimed to have carried out that testing, because neither the Cape Bridgewater exchange nor the main Portland exchange could handle the CCS7 system, and the Warrnambool exchange, which was 116 kilometres away, was the closest exchange that could use this system.
If this relevant information had been provided to the Senate as part of Telstra’s response to Senator Schacht questions On Notice, then the Senator would have demanded, on notice, that Telstra explain as to why they had allowed such a fundamentally flawed report to be submitted to the COT arbitration process.
Bell Canada International Inc
We repeat statements at different times through our various pages because of the complexity of our COT story. The Bell Canada International report along with the Melbourne clinical psychologist segment discussed below is one of those occasions where we needed to raise it again even though we have discussed in our Absentjustice chronology of events page. In some cases, Telstra appointed a clinical psychologist to swear, under oath, in witness statements attesting to something they knew might not be the case. During my own arbitration process, Telstra supplied a renowned Melbourne clinical psychologist with a technical report they knew was fundamentally flawed, before he interviewed me as part of the arbitration process. After my arbitration was concluded, a witness and I visited this psychologist, in his Queen Street, Melbourne, office and provided him with the truth surrounding this falsified report originally prepared by Bell Canada International Inc. (See Telstra’s Falsified BCI Report) Even though this report proved he was misled and deceived by Telstra before he assessed my mental state, he declined to assist me.
The BCI report alleged that, for a number of hours each day from 5 to 9 November 1993, they generated 13,590 incoming calls to a TEKELEC CCS7 monitoring system installed at the Cape Bridgewater RCM exchange, with a success rate of 99.9 per cent. When Dr Gordon Hughes (the arbitrator) prepared his 11 May 1995 award in my case, he states he placed the BCI report into evidence. The fact that Dr Hughes and the clinical psychologist read this report (see below), before they prepared their individual findings is testament my claims concerning the conduct of my arbitration must be transparently investigated by the appropriate authorities. Providing false information to a clinical psychologist, during litigation and before interviewing me prior to reporting back on my mental state, is unconscionable conduct of the worst possible kind. Of course, after reading the report, the psychologist includes remarks like, “In my professional opinion his preoccupation has become a clinical obsession.” Who wouldn’t think I was mentally unstable, after reading that an international, world standard, communications company from Canada tested the Cape Bridgewater RCM exchange and officially reported they found it to be up to “world standard”.
Two formal, witness statements, dated the 8 and 12 of December 1994, prepared by Telstra technicians, Chris Doody and John Stockdale, confirm the nearest exchange that could accommodate the TEKELEC CCS7 monitoring system was 116 kilometres from Cape Bridgewater in Warrnambool (south-west Victoria).
Furthermore, on 24 October 1997, Telstra provided false information to the Senate estimates committee secretary attesting the BCI Cape Bridgewater Report as factual and that my information provided to the Senate was incorrect. Knowingly providing false information to a Senate estimates committee hearing On Notice is an act of contempt of the Senate.
The fact that Telstra’s lawyer signed the arbitration witness statement on behalf of the clinical psychologist (see below), and submitted the document into the arbitration, without the clinical psychologist signing it; proves this matter should have been investigated during my arbitration, along with why my faxes were not reaching their intended destination.
To add further insult to these injustices, on 12 September 1994, as part of the arbitration process, I was obliged to meet with Telstra’s consulting forensic psychologist in Portland’s Richmond Hotel so he could analyse my mental health as part of Telstra’s defence of the arbitration process. I found the process of being interviewed by a psychologist, in the saloon bar of the local hotel, shockingly uncomfortable and embarrassing, especially when he kept spreading out different cards on the table as part of this clinical, forensic testing process.
I found the process of being interviewed by a psychologist, in the saloon bar of the local hotel, shockingly uncomfortable and embarrassing, especially when he kept spreading out different cards on the table as part of this clinical, forensic testing process. It was such an appalling experience that, afterwards, I wrote to Frank Blount (who was Telstra’s CEO then), Dr Hughes (the arbitrator) and Warwick Smith, describing what I had been forced to endure. Still, however, no-one even attempted to look for answers on my behalf. In fact, no-one even tried to explain why the psychologist and I hadn’t been allocated a private room. To make matters worse, this is just one of many examples of how the Australian Government minders, and those administering the COT arbitrations, completely ignored Telstra’s gross misconduct.
It was such an appalling experience that, afterwards, I wrote to Frank Blount (who was the then Telstra’s CEO), describing what I had been forced to endure at the hand of this psychologist (see Introduction File No/12). As it turned out, my letter was written on the same day that Senator Ron Boswell began to demand answers from Telstra’s legal directorate: the Senator wanted to know why Telstra had threatened to withhold FOI documents from me after I had assisted the Australian Federal Police with their investigations into Telstra’s unauthorised interception of my telephone and faxes (see Senate Evidence File No 31).
Still, however, there was no attempt made to find out why this psychologist conducted my interview the way he had and nor did anyone confront Telstra about the threats that had, by then, become a reality. In fact, no-one even tried to explain why the psychologist hadn’t been allocated a private room at the hotel, where he could have conducted the interview. To make matters worse, this is just one of many examples of how the Australian Government minders, and those administering the COT arbitrations, completely ignored the basic rights of the COT Cases, who had all already suffered so much, for so many years, before their arbitrations even began.
One of the most important issues I raised with this psychologist was the trauma I suffered at the hands of the legal firm that hired him. He appeared to listen carefully to what I described and he said being directed to register phone complaints, in writing, with Telstra’s lawyer, before they would be investigated, was most disturbing. I provided confirmation that losing six incoming calls in a single day was common. Writing to a lawyer, explaining lost calls, was more than just soul-destroying, it just about broke my will power to carry on. He said he was shocked Telstra and its legal firm forced this on me and agreed this would certainly affect my mental state over the many months I had to do this.
However, when Telstra’s lawyers, which the government assured us would not be used in our arbitrations (see Prologue Evidence File No/2), provided this clinical psychologist’s witness statement to the arbitrator, it was only signed by a lawyer from this legal firm. It bore no signature of the psychologist and didn’t contain his concerns regarding me having to first contact this legal firm, in writing, before Telstra would address my telephone problems. The witness statement includes comments such as, “In my professional opinion his preoccupation has become a clinical obsession.”
The most alarming points about this unsigned witness statement are:
- Before the psychologist met with me, Telstra’s lawyers provided him with a copy of the Cape Bridgewater Bell Canada International (BCI) addendum report stating 13,590 test calls were carried out, over a five-day period, into the Cape Bridgewater RCM exchange, using the TEKELEC CCS7 monitoring equipment. This report stated the test calls had a 99 per cent success rate.
- Neither the psychologist nor the arbitrator was told tests through the Cape Bridgewater exchange was impracticable: the nearest exchange that could accommodate the TELELEC CCS7 equipment was the Warrnambool exchange, 120 kilometres from Cape Bridgewater (see Telstra’s Falsified BCI Report ‘masked identities’)
Had the psychologist known the 13,590 tests call, allegedly carried out by BCI, could not terminate through the TEKELEC CCS7 monitoring system at Cape Bridgewater, his assessment of my mental state would have been somewhat different. He, too, might have been distressed if he had been aware Telstra misled and deceived him prior to him assessing my mental state.
Please click onto the following link Telstra’s Falsified BCI Report and form your own opinion as to the authenticity of the BCI report and/or my version that clearly shows the Cape Bridgewater test was impracticable.
The evidence which supports the report is attached as BCI Telstra’s M.D.C Exhibits 1 to 46
On 18 August 2001, Senator Alan Eggleston (see also An injustice to the remaining 16 Australian citizens wrote to me, noting:
“I am very concerned with your statement in the 6 August letter that you are in possession of two in-camera Official Committee Hansards, relating to this issue, dated 6 and 9 July 1998. Furthermore, that you intend sending these confidential Hansards to Mr Brian Pickard, Ms Sandra Wolfe’s solicitor.
“I wish to remind you that evidence or documents taken in camera or submitted on a confidential or restricted basis cannot be disclosed to another person, unless by order of the Senate. This does not occur often, although the Senate, on 30 August 2000, did authorise the release of the Hansards of 6 and 9 July 1998 to the Victoria Police Major Fraud Group to assist in their investigations.
“The fact that you have received unauthorised confidential committee documents is a serious matter, but if you disclose these documents to another person, you may be held in contempt of the Senate. I would remind you that section 13 of the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987 provides for penalties in relation to these matters.”(See Senate Evidence File No 12)
in October 1997, when Telstra provided the Cape Bridgewater/Bell Canada International Inc. (BCI) report in response to questions raised by the Senate, on notice, Telstra already knew it was false but still no one has ever brought Telstra to account for that decision, even though their actions were in contempt of the Senate.
There are one set of rules for the Australian public and different set for those with the power to commit offences against Australian citizens in the most appalling manner and get away with it, scot-free. It is a fact that these in-camera Hansard documents record numerous senators condemning Telstra for their conduct in relation to all the COT claimants but only five of those claimants were able to secure a compensation deal. Frankly, this is something that most Australian’s would find most disturbing.
Just as bad, however, on 24 June 1997, the Senate Committee see:- pages 36 and 38 Senate – Parliament of Australia was told by an ex-Telstra employer turned 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 [me], 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 – “What, stop them reasonably or stop them at all costs – or what?”
Mr White – “The words used to me in the early days were we had to stop these people at all costs”.
Senator Schacht – “Can you tell me who, at the induction briefing, said ‘stopped at all costs” .(See Front Page Part One File No/6)
The It is clear from Mr White’s statement he identified me as one of the five COT claimants that Telstra had singled out to be ‘stopped at all costs’ from proving their my against Telstra’. One of the named Peter’s in this Senate Hansard is the same Peter who swore under oath, in his witness statement to the arbitrator that the testing at my business premises had met all of AUSTEL’s specifications, when it is clear from Arbitrator File No/110 that Telstra’s own Customer Call Analysis System (CCAS) data for 29 September 1994 show NONE of the mandatorily required 20-tests calls to each of my service lines 055 267 267, 055 267230 and 055 267260 were generated into my business and held open for the required period of 120-seconds for each completed call. In simple words, the SVT process at my business was not carried out according to the government communications regulatory mandatory specifications. Telstra is fully aware Peter (on page 38 of this Hansard) received advice from AUSTEL, on 11 October and 16 November 1994, regarding the Service Verification Tests (SVT) being grossly deficient. AUSTEL demanded Telstra advise what it intended doing about this deficiency see Front Page Part One File/No 24-A to 24-B. No second SVT tests ever took place at my business during my arbitration. However, in November 2002 (eight months after I sold the business) Telstra tested the business for the new owners, concluded the wiring, cabling and the Telstra-installed infrastructure was corroded and the whole holiday camp was rewired.
This is the same Peter who somehow had the power to force a Government Regulator regarding who they could release this known faulty SVT information to and who they could not release it to see Arbitrator File No/98 even though the Government Regulator (AUSTEL) knew that the inaccurate SVT results were being used to support Telstra’s arbitration defence of at least four COT Cases claims (which included me)
This same Peter refused to conduct any sort of testing at my premises. Both Peter and David Reid (an ex-Telstra technician, and now with Lane Telecommunications) were present to investigate on-site telecommunication arbitration information. Lindsay White, the whistleblower, admitted, under oath to senators, that Peter said I was to be stopped – at all cost – from proving my claim. Peter was able to pressure David Reid, part of the allegedly independent arbitration resource unit, not to test my three service lines that were experiencing ONGOING problems when they visited my business on 6 April 1995. From what happened on this day, it is apparent the government-endorsed arbitration process was designed – NOT to assist the COT cases in proving their claims – but to destroy the credibility of the COT cases’ claims in order to sell off the Telstra network, no matter how degraded the arbitration process found it was.
After viewing the Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp (SVT) CCAS data dated 29 September 1994 (see Arbitrator File No/110) Brian Hodge, B Tech, MBA (B.C. Telecommunications), on 27 July 2007, prepared a report and on page 23, (see Main Evidence File No 3) concludes:
“It is my opinion that the reports submitted to Austel on this testing programme was flawed, erroneous, fictitious, fraudulent & fabricated, as it is clear that no such testing has taken place as Telstra’s own call charge system DOES NOT record any such activities. Therefore the results are flawed or did not occur”
Didn’t the statements made under oath by Lindsay White to the Senate Estimates Committee on 24 June 1997, mean anything at all regarding the advice he received from this Peter that we FIVE COT cases had to be stopped at all cost from proving issues such as the falsified arbitration SVT witness statements to the arbitrator (see Telstra’s Falsified SVT Report)?
To be continued