In December last year Khodr Moustafa Taha allegedly tweeted Victoria Police and said: ‘I’m going to hurt your officers.’
On 2 January police raided his home and according to the Herald Sun found threats to ‘journalists, bank staff and politicians, with intimidating images posted to Treasurer Joe Hockey and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and a death threat to US President Barack Obama.’ They also alleged that ‘one of his Twitter accounts featured a profile photo of an al-Qaeda flag.’
Among other things he has been charged with using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence.
On Monday this week a magistrate released him on bail because she couldn’t assess the risk and because it was unlikely he would be jailed even if found guilty. His days locked up already were possibly enough of a shock for him.
The Victorian Attorney-General, Martin Pakula, while not specifically commenting on the case, said that ‘… the government’s primary concern is the safety of our community, particularly given recent events.’ He also stressed that ‘… police and the community more generally are entitled to be respected and are entitled to the protection of the law.’
I agree. As luck would have it the other week I received the findings into my complaint to the Victoria Police Professional Standards Command about someone (possibly even a police officer) posting on my blog from Victoria Police Headquarters, using abuse language. My complaint about this particular aspect was twofold – the abuse of police resources and the foul language. Another complaint related to death threats, and a subsidiary point that these death threats could be the work of police friends or contacts of the police officer in Victoria.
Here is a summary of the issue from an article of mine about it on New Matilda.
Last October  I reposted an article from the socialist magazine Red Flag about a demonstration in Melbourne. The article included an explanation of throwing shoes at police that was plausible at the time but turned out to be a lie to the working class. It was one of the reasons I resigned from Socialist Alternative.
I received a torrent of abuse in the comments section of the article. One respondent threatened to kill me. They wrote: ‘They should put a bullet in you, for the good of everyone else.’ Another said, with just a hint of Alan Jones: ‘I hope you drown next time you go and do one of your little aquarobics classes friend.’
Another commenter who called themselves Dirty Unwashedc*nts (DUC) among other things said: ‘Never let the truth get in the way of a good story hey cockhead?’ There were other abusive comments from them.
It turns out the IP address that DUC was using was the Victoria Police Centre at 637 Flinders Street, Melbourne.
DUC also used a fake email address with the words ‘german sausage’ (not visible to readers) in it. Another post also used the same fake email address but from a different IP (presumably home) address. It would be reasonable, based on the use of the same fake and not public email, to assume that the two are the same person.
After a no doubt thorough, ongoing and detailed one year investigation I recently received the following response in relation to the first posting by DUC. ‘Finding: Unable to determine. The available evidence does not permit the investigator to establish whether the complaint is true or not.’ A second complaint along the same lines about a second posting from Police Headquarters was even more succinct. It merely said ‘Unable to Determine.’
In relation to the third complaint about the death threats the finding was ‘Unfounded: The available evidence clearly establishes that there are no grounds for the complaint whatsoever.’
So I have had two death threats against me, (and with ISP details of the posters) and a presumably Victoria police officer posting abuse and wasting police resources from Victoria Police Headquarters (where it may be that it is impossible to determine who that was but my techo friends could give advice on that, including why the name of a senior police officer is listed when you search the website number address) but the same person apparently posting from another private address. There is no indication the police followed through any investigation into the second german sausage address. In fact all they said in their response was what I have outlined above.
Notice the difference in treatment. Khodr Moustafa Taha allegedly tweeted Victoria Police and said: ‘I’m going to hurt your officers.’ Police raided his property, investigated all his online accounts and charged him with among other things ‘using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence.’
Yet when two people post on my blog ‘They should put a bullet in you, for the good of everyone else’ and ‘I hope you drown next time you go and do one of your little aquarobics classes friend’ there are no raids, no investigations, no charges, by either Victoria Police or, because I live in the A.C.T., the Australian Federal Police.
What explains the difference? Could it be that the police take seriously all threats against themselves but don’t want to waste their time on other threats, especially when it appears those making the threats aren’t Muslims and their target is just a socialist and that socialist has made a complaint against the police themselves? Even worse, could it be that when the police are doing the abusing police won’t investigate fully? No, that couldn’t be it. No, not at all. After all, according the Victorian Attorney General, the government’s primary concern is the safety of our community. Am I not entitled to the protection of the law, Attorney-General?
Journalists as we know deserve protection. Do you think I have received any? Maybe I am not Charlie after all. Je suis John.
One final question. Did Victoria Police investigate the link between german sausage at Victoria Headquarters and german sausage at a private address? If not, why not?
I don’t now why, but four legs good, two legs better comes to mind.