Independent Commission against Corruption

Joe Hockey’s defamation case against Fairfax gets underway

Joe Hockey is suing Fairfax for a series of articles, one of which said he was a “Treasurer for Sale”.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Treasurer Joe Hockey could not allow “scurrilous and false allegations?about corruption” reported by Fairfax Media to remain unchallenged,?his lawyers have told the opening of a defamation trial.

Mr Hockey says Fairfax Media defamed him in a series of articles in The Sydney Morning?Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times about his relationship with?a Liberal Party fundraising body the North Sydney Forum, published on May 5, 2014.

His barrister, Bruce McClintock, SC, told the Federal Court Mr?Hockey’s case is that Fairfax Media editors were motivated to publish?”extraordinarily serious allegations” that they “knew were false”?because they had to publish a correction to an earlier article about?Mr Hockey.

“It was an act of petty spite,” Mr McClintock said. In that article, published on March 21, 2014, the papers said Mr?Hockey repaid money to Australian Water Holdings, a company that has?been the subject of an investigation by the Independent Commission?Against Corruption.

In fact it was the North Sydney Forum that repaid?the money. The papers ran an apology the following day. Subsequent emails and text messages between Fairfax Media editors and?political reporters show the decision to publish the “Treasurer for Sale”?series of articles was a “calculated plan” written to “exact?revenge”, Mr McClintock said.

In a series of text messages, Herald editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir?told The Age editor-in-chief Andrew Holden that he was angry at being?contacted at 2.15am by Mr Hockey’s staff.

“They have a f—ing hide,” he said. “I feel pissed off they called me?so early.”

Holden replied: “The simplest approach is to dig into NSF? in that?story you can run Hockey’s claim he knew nothing ? beyond that, f—?him.

“Amazing they freeze us out and then think they have the relationship?that allows them to call in the middle of the night.”

Goodsir said: “Are we not better to have a red hot go at the issue?next week, and really go for it ? after the day we’ve had, I ain’t?going to run this ? but am more than keen to develop a North Sydney?Forum plan for next week.”

He instructed Herald state political editor Sean Nicholls to dig into?the North Sydney Forum.

On March 27, Goodsir wrote: “F—ing Brilliant ? given what?Andrew and I endured last week with Hockey, I want to have this nailed?to the cross in more ways than one ? keep digging Sean? I have long?dreamed (well, only since last Friday), of a headline that screams:?Sloppy Joe! I think we are not far off, but perhaps even more serious?than that.”

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Proof the left wing don’t respect democracy

The left wing in New Zealand, ably assisted by a biased media have constantly harped on about Fiji holding elections, returning to democracy and doubting that Frank Bainimarama would even hold elections.

Well he has, they were free and fair and he won!

So what do they now say?

Malcolm Harbrow shows just exactly what the left wing actually thinks about democracy:

Fijians went to the polls yesterday in the first democratic elections in eight years. And with slightly more than half the ballots counted, it looks like they’ve given dictator Voreqe Bainimarama a clear majority. There’s been no allegations of fraud, so it looks like the result is the clear will of the Fijian people.

I’m appalled. I thought Fijians were better than that. Bainimarama seized power at gunpoint, silenced the media, and used intimidation, beatings and torture to retain power. And Fijians voted for him? I guess you get the government you deserve…

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Anti-corruption laws a good start but missing important component

Judith Collins has introduced anti-corruption measures in a new law brought before the parliament.

unfortunately it doesn’t include provisions for the creation of an Independent Commission Against Corruption, something sorely needed with electoral act breaches going uninvestigated by police, mis declared donations and pecuniary interests and the like.

I think the law could be strengthened by putting such a provision in and perhaps they could get a good judge like Judge Tony Adeane to handle it.

Justice Minister Judith Collins has unveiled a range of law changes to crack down on corruption, organised crime and bribery in New Zealand.

The minister tabled the Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Legislation Bill in Parliament this afternoon.

It includes requirements for banks to report international transactions, new identity theft offences, and harsher penalties for private sector bribery and corruption offences.

Mrs Collins said the changes would give law enforcement agencies more power to deal with organised crime and corruption, and would help New Zealand fulfil its international obligations.

“New Zealand is consistently regarded as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. However we cannot afford to be complacent — we must remain vigilant,” she said.

If the bill passed into law, banks and financial institutions would have to help Government detect money-laundering by reporting all international wire transfers of more than $1000 and all physical cash transactions of more than $10,000 to the police’s Financial Intelligence Unit.

Maybe they could help Labour find out who trousers the cash from Donghua Liu and other donors?? Read more »

Show us the money

This morning on Q+A David Cunliffe had his cods kicked black and blue by Susan Wood over his connections to Donghua Liu and the missing donations.

David Cunliffe tried to bat that off by blaming everyone else and then bizarrely claiming Labour will act with transparency…yeah? …what about those two donors of Cunliffe’s he has yet to declare…how is that transparent?

He also strangely decided that the burden of proof for proving the donations lies with Donghua Liu.

I’ll bet you this right now…Donghua Liu can prove those amounts, and the dates and more importantly who handled the cash. that is why those amounts were in the statement.

I’ll also bet that Donghua Liu also gave much much more in brown bags filled cash…and if subpoenaed by a court will likely throw labour and their fundraisers under the bus in retribution for the scurrilous way they used him in parliament to score political points when their own hands were covered in muck.

You only have to look at the comments made by Trevor Mallard about “cash donations” to understand that people inside Labour knew very well how Donghua Liu donated to them and surmised that he may well have tried the same donation methods with National.

What is hilarious is that Labour supports the burden of proof being on abusers in family domestic violence cases to prove their innocence and on this issue David Cunliffe is taking the opposite line. ? Read more »

Labour’s donations credibility flushed down the Liu

The Herald on Sunday has managed to get their hands on a signed statement from Donghua Liu and met the challenge issued by David Cunliffe earlier in the week to put up or shut up.

Donghua Liu has put numbers, large numbers, to his claims of donations to the Labour party.

Millionaire businessman Donghua Liu spent more than $150,000 on the previous Labour government, including $100,000 on a bottle of wine signed by former prime minister Helen Clark at a party fundraiser.

The embarrassing revelations are contained in a signed statement from Liu, which the?Herald on Sunday?has obtained.

They come at the end of a horror week for Labour, already under pressure after the?New Zealand Herald?revealed that Liu paid $15,000 for a book at the same fundraiser in 2007. Labour has said it had no record of any donations from Liu. And leader David Cunliffe had to fight to keep his job after revelations he wrote a letter for Liu’s residency, despite previous denials.

This is getting serious. Labour still claims to have no knowledge of the donations and it is almost certain now that they have filed false declarations of donations in 2007.

Liu’s signed statement was dated May 3, two days after Williamson’s resignation. It said:

? Liu paid “close to $100,000” for wine at a 2007 Labour Party fundraiser;

? That he spent $50-60,000 hosting then-labour minister Rick Barker on a cruise on the Yangtze River in China in 2007; and

? That Liu visited Barker in Hawke’s Bay in 2006, having dinner with him at an exclusive lodge and then meeting for breakfast the next morning. Liu said he made a donation to Hawke’s Bay Rowing, which Barker was associated with.

Barker previously told the?Herald?that he could barely remember having dinner.

Last night Barker, now a regional councillor, said the revelations came “as a surprise and a complete reversal” of Liu’s previous comments.

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Stephen Franks on Labour’s Liu Legal problems

Stephen Franks has highlighted Labour’s little legal problems with the Donghua Liu revelations.

Since the link between Donghua Liu and David Cunliffe surfaced early this week there has been?widespread speculation?that Labour breached the law in failing to declare two campaign donations made by Mr Liu in 2007.

Though Labour maintains it has no records, the?Herald has reported?that in 2007 Mr Liu contributed $15,000 for a book signed by Helen Clark, and an unknown amount of money for a bottle of wine.

Under the current law, a candidate donation can include:

?where goods or services are provided by a candidate under a contract or arrangement at a value that is more than their reasonable market value, the amount of the difference between that value and the reasonable market value of those goods or services.?

Corresponding terms govern party donations.?Assuming the second donation was for more than $1500, they?would capture both of Mr Liu?s transactions. The candidate or responsible party agent who knowingly failed to report them could face up to two years imprisonment (section 207I of the Electoral Act 1993).

But?until 19?December 2007 the law governing donations was different. Until then the Electoral Act 1993 defined ?donation? to include goods or services provided?to?the party at an undervalue, but did not expressly capture a sale at an overvalue.

This loophole was partly closed by the Electoral Finance Act 2007 but untl then it was arguably legal not to report the alleged Liu donations if they were provided by way of auction price.

The?fact that the law was changed to capture the second transaction increases the strength of the?case that parliament realised there was a legal loophole under the old provision.

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Two books, a bottle of wine and now a luxury cruise down the Yangtze River, what else is there?

The Donghua Liu saga rolls on for Labour with a luxury river cruise and dinner down the Yangtze river, another undeclared donation or pecuniary interest.

A former Labour Party Minister who was wined and dined by Donghua Liu on a boat cruise in China has challenged the wealthy businessman to go public about allegations of donations to the party.

The?Herald?revealed this week that Rick Barker was hosted by Liu at a lavish dinner in Chongqing in 2007 and also presented a bottle of wine to Liu’s partner as an auction prize at a Labour Party fundraiser.

Mr Barker was the Minister of Internal Affairs at the time but has said he was unaware that Liu was a donor when he visited his cement business in Chongqing and was a dinner guest.

Responding to?Herald?questions yesterday, Mr Barker said he had a “growing frustration at the drip feed from Liu”.

“I have decided and advised other media that I am over fishing expeditions. Liu hurls accusations behind cover, protected by others and process,” the Hawkes Bay councillor said.

“If he has anything further to say about me, then he is to do so by way of a sworn affidavit. He can afford the legal cost,” Mr Barker said. “That way it’s open, upfront and should he say things that are untrue he can face the consequences of a legal response.”

He also said any further requests for comment should be accompanied by any affidavit signed by Liu.

Sources say Liu paid $15,000 at an auction for a book signed by Helen Clark in 2007. But it is unclear how much Liu paid for the wine and Mr Barker said he presented auction prizes several times at Labour fundraisers.

However, Mr Barker confirmed that the dinner with Liu was on a boat cruise which travelled down the Yangtze River.

“It was a surprise to me when I arrived at the boat. There was no prior indication,” Mr Barker said. He was also surprised that staff members from the cement factory he visited earlier were also on the ship. “The front office. The management team. Production workers. Supervisors and technicians. Cleaners and security staff, it felt like everyone from the cement factory and their partners were there. I felt like an intruder on a staff function.”

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Why won’t the Police act with complaints from the Electoral Commission?

Back when I was editor of Truth I OIAd the Electoral Commission about outstanding complaints they had sent to the Police for prosecution.

To date nothing has happened with those complaints.

Here is what I wrote back then. The sentiments and facts remain the same:

In our January 3rd issue we reported the following story. This has since been picked up by other media agencies, so we thought we would refresh your memories on how you heard it first at Truth.

Police are sitting on more than twenty open investigations referred to them for prosecution under the Electoral Act by the Electoral Commission.

Truth has obtained details under the Official Information Act that reveal Police seem to have no interest in prosecuting offences and breaches of the Electoral Act.

Of the 32 cases referred, 6 have lapsed because the prosecution time limit has expired.

62 dual vote referrals remain open and un-prosecuted.

Headline cases referred by the Electoral Commission that remain open with little or no progress are the Green party worker Jolyon White?s alleged vandalism of National?s signs at the 2011 election, several of Labour?s flyers including their ?Stop Asset Sales?, ?Prices are Rising faster than wages? and ?Ohariu Census? pamphlets.

Only 3 cases have been closed, with no action or prosecution resulting.

The Electoral Act is the governing act to keep checks on political parties and candidates. The Police do not appear to be interested in prosecuting these cases.

The new electoral cycle begins again this year with local body elections held in November and 2014 will see the next general election held

So far it appears that those referred by the Electoral Commission to the Police for prosecution have gotten away scot-free. ?? Read more »

Andrew Little just drew a great big target on thge backs of his Labour pals

Andrew Little has called for an inquiry into the Police not investigating political complaints. This is good stuff, the Police have ignored complaints from the?Electoral Commission for far too long.

The other phrase that we grew used to hearing last time LAbour was in power was the Police saying that something “wasn’t in the public interests to prosecute” usually when it related to an investigation over a Labour politician…like Helen Clark’s forgery and fraud with a painting, and Darren Hughes and his grooming activities, and numerous other complaints.

In terms of electoral complaints the Police just simply ignore them. There is more than 50 complaints that have never been investigated, most of them Labour politicians breaking the law.

So I agree with Andrew Little…let’s have at it.

Labour is calling for “high powered” independent inquiry into the way politically-charged cases are handled, saying the police decision not to prosecute John Banks needed to be investigated.

The call comes after the Act MP was found guilty last week of filing a false electoral return following a private prosecution by retired accountant Graham McCready, launched after the police claimed in 2012 there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

Labour’s justice spokesperson Andrew Little said the Government should launch an inquiry into why the police failed to prosecute, as well as into the way previous politically-charged cases had been handled, in order to ensure the integrity of the electoral system.”

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Yep, that’s about what the Green party are worth

Nathan Tinkler is being investigated and questioned by the Independent Commission Against Corruption in Australia. He is aggressive and dismissive of them.

Nathan Tinkler has always been a man in a hurry. His crash or crash through approach to life, which has seen the 38-year-old make and lose a fortune, was evident during his combative appearance at a corruption inquiry.

“Jeez, I’m starting to see why this has been going on for three weeks,” Mr Tinkler said testily not long after taking the stand at 12.30pm on Friday at the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

As soon as the commission adjourned for lunch, Mr Tinkler was overheard saying, ?This is some of the most boring shit I’ve ever seen.”

For someone on the stand that is pretty aggressive, considering he faces criminal charges if the ICAC finds against him.

When asked about donations, he had plenty?to say about various donations to political parties, including an apt description of his commitment to Green policies.

The former coal magnate was shown an expletive-laden email in which he complained that he had donated $45,000 to the Nationals and they had done “f— all” to approve his plans for a billion-dollar coal terminal in Newcastle.

“We had a bunch of deadbeats before and now we have a bunch of pricks scared to make a decision,” Mr Tinkler wrote in an email on April 20, 2011, in a reference to the former state Labor government and the newly installed Coalition.

The ICAC is investigating allegations that Mr Tinkler’s property development company Buildev donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Coalition before the last state election, in breach of the ban on political donations from developers introduced in 2009. ? Read more »