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Friday, November 09, 2012

No justice for Allan Kessing

Bloodless was the word that came to mind for Allan Kessing after reading Minister for Justice Jason Clare's letter refusing his pardon application.You can see why when you read this summary in The Australian and the analysis in Chris Merritt's article
and this commentary today. 

For the minister to sign off on this - in effect with sayonara, goodbye, farewell to Kessing-is pathetic. Coincidentally (?) as another minister rejects Andrew Wilkie's whistleblower protection bill as not properly balanced, but has nothing ready to put on the table five years after the 2007 election when the appalling treatment of Kessing and the lack of protection generally for whistleblowers were such big deals to Labor. 

Kessing didn't but someone did pass the report to journalists at The Australian-and brought to public attention the scandalous state of security at Sydney Airport. There were many  areas of concern regarding the evidence and the conduct of the case. Kessing admitted subsequently he had talked and shown a copy of the report to then Opposition MP now government minister Albanese and his staff.
Mr Clare's letter to Mr Kessing says the involvement of Mr Albanese's office, if proved, would not establish Mr Kessing's innocence. But because he did not reveal the link with Mr Albanese at his trial Mr Clare had been advised that "as a matter of public policy, it is not appropriate for the royal prerogative of mercy to be exercised to pardon a person who seeks to raise a doubt about his or her conviction by raising matters that were deliberately not raised, and tested, by them at trial".
Mr Kessing's assertion that he was innocent of the charge of which he had been convicted meant "the claim that the leaking of the reports was in the public interest is irrelevant to a consideration of your moral or technical innocence of the offence".
No minister has said a word in the 30 months since the government received the Australian Law Reform Commission report that recommended the repeal of the draconian s 70 of the Crimes Act that renders the public interest irrelevant to disclosure of information without authorisation.

Amazingly Allan Kessing still smells the wattle and sleeps through the night. You have to wonder how others manage.


  1. Anonymous11:38 am

    The stangest, among many, aspects of this matter is the deafening silence from all the pollies.
    Both sides have skin to lose but it is worth noting that Albanese have never uttered a word, publicly about his meeting/s with Kessing. In Sept 2009, when the meetings were made public at the Parliament House presser, his office immediately issued a one line statement, NOT DENYING the meeting/s but merely stating "that his office dealt with the matter appropriately at the time" or words to that effect.
    Since then not a syllable from The Hon. AA though Sen. Ludwig did sterling flack work in Senate Estimates when Sen. Xenophon referred to the matter, leaping in with "The Minister has denied this.." to which Sen Xenophon replied, "Really, when?".
    Ludwig then blustered "I'll have to check Hansard.." surely knowing full well that there was no such record since The Hon. has said nil, nada, nowt,zilch.
    It is interesting if one visits his site and puts 'kessing' in the search box -
    to save the effort here is the result -
    Search results for "kessing"
    Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.

    Sez it all, really.

  2. Anonymous9:41 pm

    Today’s news, that the Gillard government has refused a pardon to Allan Kessing, is not just another nail in the coffin of any shred of decency from the Australian establishment, it was totally predictable.

    The judgement was delivered by Gillard puppet, Jason Clare:

    But let's scratch the surface a little.

    This is directly about Schapelle, and the revelations of The Expendable Project. This is about an honest and decent man standing tall against the Howard regime's cover up of truth at Sydney Airport, and equally, against the sacrifice of Schapelle's life.

    This is about a courageous man spelling out what Keelty was doing, that the airport was awash with criminals (from top to bottom), and that there was no way that Schapelle could be guilty. This was a man choosing truth, ahead of self interest.

    Everything that The Expendable Project has published has proved him to be 100% correct in every assertion.

    The reality is that the Gillard government had already picked sides. From the moment that they refused to accept a copy of the Transit Report from the Expendable team in August 2011, they closed ranks around the corrupt in Howard's regime: those who perverted the course of justice, perjured themselves, and routinely lied to the public. Those who sold an innocent life.

    From that moment, from the moment they decided that The Expendable Project had to be suppressed rather than embraced, they chose to stand by the corrupt and the criminal, and against truth. They chose political expediency, and the interest of their buddies, ahead of integrity and justice.

    Having taken that path, there was no way they would pardon Allan Kessing, because doing so would endorse every word of truth he has spoken... and de facto, the Expendable Project.

    Listen to those words of truth from Allan himself, here:

    Then weep for Australia, as well as for a betrayed but brave daughter of this land... Schapelle.

  3. I'm sticking with Kessing-unsure of the rest.

  4. Anonymous12:28 am

    Unsure of the rest?? You have seen the expendable project website yes? You say you are a lawyer right? Maybe you just dont want to address it, is that right?

  5. There are plenty of venues to consider your proposition:
    "This is directly about Schapelle, and the revelations of The Expendable Project." To me it is all about Allan Kessing.
    Thanks for your interest.

  6. Anonymous1:47 pm

    I have seen your other blogs here where people mention Expendable Project, but you seem to ignore it, every time. Seriously why are you ducking and weaving it? The reason the Australian government went after Kessing is because his damning report showed that Keelty made a false statement 2 weeks before Schapelle's verdict. But as a "lawyer" one would think you would do some research on Expendable and you would come back with your what your findings were. But you can keep ignoring it while a young woman rots in a Bali prison for a crim she did not commit. You mate have got your blinkers on ....

  7. This line of comment now closed. Yours etc, blinkers.

  8. @foicentric12:21 pm

    This is very sad news. The Kessing case is not only an example of failure of whistleblower protections but reveals much about the veneer of national security. After 9/11 there was great emphasis on protection of citizens and corresponding increase in national security budgets. When Kessing revealed weaknesses in airport security, government demonstrated a greater interest in the whistleblower than answering to systemic weaknesses in the system. It is a national pastime for governments, with revelations in the public arena, to go after leakers.
    Governments are sometimes about the appearance of doing something and when revealed the punishment is great. Cases like those of Kessing and Wilkie serve governments as a deterrent to all public servants. It is one of few areas of bipartisanship and one that is spoken much of in opposition than in government. It's a good soundbite that disappears quickly into the ether when in government.

  9. Martin W,
    I think readers are familiar with what you regard as my failure to understand this is all about Ms Corby. Thanks.

  10. Anonymous9:54 am

    If Mr Albanese would have done his actual job on receiving Kessing’s report, then this sorry saga would have played out more favorably for Kessing. Albanese’s deliberate impotence has created zero traction within the body politic – but what a sorry state of affairs when a report concerning urgent issues of national security is taken to a senior minister – and he merely shrugs.
    That was a sad day. The refusal to grant Kessing a pardon is simply another one in a long list of sad days.

  11. You'll find Mr Albanese was an opposition front-bencher at the time but your observation is no less valid.

  12. Anonymous9:44 pm

    I neglected to say 'shadow' minister because I presume that Albanese's responsibility towards national security was, at that time, on a par with any elected representative who is privy to such an important disclosure. i.e obligatory?

    It could be argued that he(Albanese)had less obligation to act than any then current cabinet minister - but nonetheless - he still had more obligation (and a mandate)to act than Kessing did - and he failed him.

    Remember it was after having his report suppressed and ignored by superiors inside customs that Kessing turned to Albanese.

    The message to citizens is clear: Don't go to your elected representative for help!