Commonwealth Ombudsman investigating @AFPmedia’s handling of #Choppergate affair: @Jansant reports

The Commonwealth Ombudsman is investigating the Australian Federal Police (AFP) (@AFPmedia) over their handling of the Bronwyn Bishop MP, #Choppergate affair, after a complaint was lodged by No Fibs co-publisher, Tony Yegles (@geeksrulz). The Ombudsman probe will include: “the AFP’s use of discretion in relation to its application of the Minchin Protocol” “the AFP’s explanation to you of the reasons why your complaint has not been accepted as a complaint”. In November last year, the former Federal Parliamentary Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop MP, chartered a helicopter to fly from Melbourne to Geelong to attend a Liberal Party fund-raiser, claiming the $5000 trip as official parliamentary business. The Hon. Bronwyn Bishop MP, […]

#choppergate ‘investigation’ Fact Check by @margokingston1

The AFP and the Department of Finance are playing pass-the-parcel on investigating the legality of Bronwyn Bishop’s helicopter trip to Geelong for a Liberal Party fundraiser. It’s a complicated game of obfuscation that counts on confusing voters. So here are the facts. 1. Applicability of the Minchin Protocol to the AFP When Labor and several members of the public referred the matter to the AFP for investigation it said no, because the Minchin Protocol demanded that Finance had carriage of such matters. Under pressure, the AFP altered its line to insist that it had “not refused to investigate”, had “sent these complaints to Finance for assessment” and “awaits advice from the Department of […]

Dear AFP, please investigate #Ashbygate at last, sincerely @GrahamPerrettMP

8 September 2014 Mr Tony Negus Commissioner Australian Federal Police GPO Box 401 CANBERRA ACT 2601   Dear Mr Negus Tony, Re: Potential Commission of Criminal Offences by the Honourable Mal Brough MP 1.  I refer to the attached correspondence in relation to this matter dated 21 December, 2012 and 19 March, 2013 containing information alleging criminal offences may have been committed by the Honourable Mal Brough MP. 2.  These potential offences came to light during the proceedings brought by Mr JamesAshby against Mr Peter Slipper in the Federal Court, which proceedings have now been discontinued by Mr Ashby. 3. On 23 June, 2014 you indicated by letter that as the Full […]

It’s time, Finance and AFP: Randall’s Cairns claim must be investigated

By Margo Kingston 20 October, 2013 OK, we’re starting to get to the pointy end of the political travel rorts scandal. My understanding of the Don Randall matter is this. In November 2012 the Perth MP and a family member flew to Cairns for an overnight stay. . He claimed the $5259 trip was “electorate business”. A week after returning from Cairns, on November 26, he updated his pecuniary interests register, saying:  “My wife and I have taken possession of the house at the Cairns location. We intend to rent the house as an investment.” When Fairfax revealed this after a tip-off from a citizen journalist, he said: “The claims relating […]

Abbott’s #Battlerort lines collapse under @bkjabour questioning

By Margo Kingston 9 July, 2013 Today’s original Abbott #BATTLERORT transcript was kindly transcribed by Dr Lachlan Hinds – @Doclach, and Brock Turner – @Turlow1. There are errors and lies throughout – have a go at finding them by reading the letters in EXCLUSIVE: Abbott forced to repay $9,400 he charged taxpayers to promote his book. Yesterday’s lie QUESTION: Did you claim travel expenses on your book tour? TONY ABBOTT: I did not. * (Transcript Source: Mr Abbott website) QUESTION: Mr Abbott, how is Peter Slipper incorrectly claiming $900 and offering to pay it back different from you incorrectly claiming $9000 worth of travel expenses and then paying it back? How […]

A familiar AFP smell over Slipper and #Ashby

Update 15 July, 2013 FINANCE STATEMENT ON SLIPPER SUMMONS: Pyne wrong on Lateline In the light of a media report this week which contradicted my report that someone other than the Finance Department referred the 2010 travel claim by Slipper to the AFP which resulted in his prosecution I emailed the Finance Department for clarification.This is their reply: UNCLASSIFIEDHi Margo,No, the Department of Finance and Deregulation did not refer this matter to the Australian Federal Police. The matter was separately referred to the Australian Federal Police by a third party. Regards, Tameena | Communications and Public Affairs * On Friday’s  Lateline, Mr Pyne stated that the Department of Finance had […]

Perrett urges AFP to investigate #Ashby now, adds Abetz to list

By Margo Kingston March 20, 2013 EXCLUSIVE Graham Perrett has written to the AFP demanding it resume its investigation into possible criminal activity surrounding the court action by James Ashby against the then Speaker of the House of Representatives Peter Slipper. He has also added Liberal Senator Eric Abetz to  the list of people the AFP should investigate for possible involvement in an alleged conspiracy to abuse the judicial system to bring down the government, referring to an email provided by a member of the public. On December 21 last year Mr Perrett referred Mal Brough, Christopher Pyne, Julie Bishop, James Ashby and Karen Doane to the AFP. On February 14, […]

Jane Cattermole asks: Why a different rule for Peter Slipper?

By Jane Cattermole 15th January 2013 Peter Slipper, for the latter part of his parliamentary career was much maligned and ridiculed by colleagues and members of the media alike. He was called a “turncoat”, a “rat”, ”Slippery” and was portrayed as “King Rat” on the front of a News Ltd tabloid complete with a digitally altered image of him with whiskers and a rat’s tail, and mockingly, dressed in a wig and gown. Despite the relentless gossip about his private life and the constant trashing of his reputation he took to high office impressively and most would agree that he was an exemplary Speaker. He showed fear and favour to […]

What is the “Minchin Protocol” that was denied to Mr Peter Slipper?

Matty Horan explained on Twitter: @margokingston1 It’s called the Minchin protocol because he came up with it after repaying thousands in wrongly claimed travel exes in 1996. — Matt Horan (@mattyhoran) January 10, 2013 and @margokingston1 p2 Daily Tele 15 March 97. Minchin repaid $3150 for travel allowance wrongly claimed during 96 election. Avail on newstext. — Matt Horan (@mattyhoran) January 11, 2013 Former Senator Nick Minchin was forced to repay $3,150 in travel allowances after admitting he breached a parliamentary convention during the election campaign in 1996. The convention says that ministers and shadow ministers are not allowed to claim travel allowance after their party leader’s policy speech until the […]

Tracing the Telecard affair

By Margo Kingston and Mike Seccombe Source: Webdiary SMH Date: October 22nd, 2000 DAY ONE Tuesday, October 10 The Canberra Times reveals a Federal Police investigation into Peter Reith’s $50,000 phone bill after he gave his number and PIN to son Paul for private calls. Howard says Reith revealed the fraud to him in May, nine months after Reith was told, and that he accepted legal advice from Attorney-General Daryl Williams to send the file to police. Howard says he wouldn’t give his Telecard to a family member but “I certainly don’t regard that as a hanging offence”. Howard says he doesn’t know how the fraud went on for five […]