The Great Telecard Coverup

By Margo Kingston November 24, 2000 Source: Webdiary SMH It had to be dragged out of them, but officials from the Department of Finance today made some big admissions on the Reith Telecard affair under pressure from the Senate estimates committee. Try as they might to dodge, waffle and prevaricate, the masters of cross-examination, Labor Senators John Faulkner and Robert Ray, shed a little bit more light on the great coverup. The scandal broke in the Canberra Times on Tuesday October 10, nearly a year after Finance discovered the $50,000 fraud. The very next day, the Prime Minister announced that DPP Damian Bugg had decided to prosecute no-one over the […]

A Bugg in the farce of the Reith Telecard affair

By Margo Kingston Source: Webdiary SMH November 22, 2000 Every year Senators get to quiz bureaucrats and statutory officers on their performance and the success or otherwise of government policies. It’s called “Senate Estimates”, is designed to ensure that public money is well spent and is one of many reasons why the Senate is the last hope for Parliament, representing the people, to get answers not spin doctored by the executive (the Prime Minister and his ministers). Freedom FROM information is the executive’s motto but in Senate estimates, evidence is under oath, so those under the gun have to be more careful than politicians are with the truth. Today, the […]

The small matter of prosecution on the Telecard Affair.

By Margo Kingston Source: Webdiary SMH October 16, 2000 To fill you in on DPP Damian Bugg to date. His brief statement of last week made no mention of whether he would charge anyone apart from Reith and son but the Prime Minister’s office advised us today that Mr Bugg had decided not to prosecute anyone, including X and Y. Solicitor-General David Bennett QC, briefed by John Howard to advise on civil liability, has reserved his position on whether Miss X or Mr Y are civilly liable. He says Miss X’s actions ”would, at first sight, give rise to an action against her for unjust enrichment”. She could also be […]