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John Passant

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March 2010



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Our legal system and theirs: Hu, Hicks, Habib, Haneef…

Isn’t it dreadful what the Chinese have done to Stern Hu? Nothing like that could ever happen in Australia. After all we are a democracy and have an impartial judicial system.

Before we jump on the anti-Chinese bandwagon, let’s examine this in a little more detail.

Stern Hu admitted his guilt. But, say defenders of our pure democracy and its legal system, he was forced to do that.

The Chinese held him without access to lawyers or consular staff for months.

Unlike David Hicks? David was held virtually incommunicado for six years and only pleaded guilty to trumped up charges and consequent restrictions on his freedoms to escape the hell hole of Guantanamo Bay.

Then Prime Minister John Howard refused to defend Hicks, merely commenting that the evidence against him was solid. Not solid enough of course to see him before a real judge and a real jury. 

Remember Mamdouh Habib? He is suing the Australian government for his treatment in Guantanamo Bay and in other countries. According to an AAP report in the Brisbane Times:

[Habib] claims Australian authorities were complicit and sometimes present during torture he allegedly endured while detained in Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, Egypt and Pakistan. Mr Habib was captured in Pakistan in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. He was transferred to Egypt and then the US military camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Or maybe Mohamed Haneef is a shining example of Australian justice. The Australian Federal Police  detained him for 12 days without charge or access to the Courts under Australia’s anti-terrorism laws.  He was only released after the Director of Public Prosecutions decided he had no case to answer. 

Refugees are another example of where our legal system fails. It was Labor in 1992 who began the mandatory detention regime for asylum seekers, people who commit no crime in seeking refuge here.

To stop refugees getting access to our courts Australian Governments (both Liberal and Labor) have excised  parts of Australia from the reach of our legal system. 

In other words refugees are the new jews, denied rights other people in Australia have.

Trial by your peers is one of the democratic features of our justice system. In some jurisdictions a criminal trial can be heard without a jury.

Some critics say part of Stern Hu’s trial was held in secret.  We have a secret process in Australia when a jury is asked to leave so the parties can debate admissibility of evidence. It’s called a voir dire.

When commercial in confidence evidence is given it too can be in secret.

So Stern Hu gets ten years for pleading guilty to accepting bribes. I’m with Bob Brown on this. He said:

Australian authorities should investigate Rio Tinto to find out where that money has gone and who else was involved. 

The Australian Federal Police may also want to investigate Rio Tinto’s part in allegations of bribery and use of commercial secrets as Australia is a signatory to the UN Convention Against Corruption.

Rio Tinto is reported to have received multi-billion dollar advantages from the activities of Hu and his fellow accused.

Actually I would go further.

Instead of attacking unionists forced to strike against rotten mining companies like Rio Tinto and BHP, why doesn’t Julia Gillard unleash the Australian Building and Construction Commission on these two companies to get to the bottom of the bribery allegations.

If that means calling the Chief Executives in without lawyers and forcing them to give evidence under oath, and jailing them for refusing to testify, then so be it.

Sounds far fetched doesn’t it?

Well actually that is precisely the fate that awaits building worker and unionist Ark Tribe whose only crime was to attend a lunch time meeting over safety and refuse to tell Gillard’s goons what happened at that meeting.

So when the Rudd’s of the world start to complain about China’s treatment of Stern Hu, remind them of Hicks, Habib, Haneef and the thousands of refugees imprisoned for no crime. 

Ask them about Ark Tribe and the fact he is about to become a political prisoner for striking unless building workers take action around Australia to prevent that. 

Australian justice is like Chinese justice – it represents the interests of the rich and powerful.

Readers might also like to look at Sick the ABCC on to BHP and Rio Tinto.



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Comment from Peter Curtis
Time April 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Use the bikie gang laws too

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