The sad state of justice in Victoria

Two stories below:

A most revealing ultimatum from the Victoria Police

Cops told to choose sides -- the crooks or the law! Amazing that such an ultimatum needed to be issued

The state's top anti-corruption cop has warned police who are mates with criminals they must decide between the force and their friends. Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius revealed he was also concerned at links between serving members who were being used by disgraced former colleagues. "If someone feels that passionately about maintaining a relationship - and I want to be clear here, we're talking about avoidable relationships, we're not in the business of busting up families - it comes down to a choice," Mr Cornelius told the Herald Sun in an exclusive interview. "If you value your friendship more highly than your profession, you need to choose between your profession or that relationship."

Since last December, officers have been ordered to make known relationships with criminals, accused criminals, former members convicted or suspected of criminal behaviour and serving members under suspension. Officers' managers can direct a relationship to cease if they deem there is a risk.

The Police Association yesterday said the rules were a "sledgehammer to crack a walnut" but Mr Cornelius said almost all available officers had complied with the system. "It's also given a number of members the courage to say to these individuals, 'We're ruling a line here and I'm not going to associate with you any more'," he said.

Mr Cornelius added: "There are a number of former members convicted of serious criminal offences or suspected of serious criminal offences who seek to actively maintain relationships with serving police. "If there is any serving officer who thinks that relationship is being sought to be maintained for purely social or altruistic reasons, they're kidding themselves. They're being used."

The vast majority of disclosures were of unavoidable links with family members or people from community groups, he said. Mr Cornelius said most of the avoidable associations were with suspended serving police, relationships that are the subject of management plans. "Often these people have worked together for some time, indeed they might be friends, long-standing associates. You need to approach that with some sensitivity. "The critical thing is to make sure we know about it," he said. Mr Cornelius said the policy did not regulate professional contact with criminals - but professional officers were not friends with their informers.

Police Association secretary Sen-Sgt Greg Davies said he supported any measure aimed at stopping police fraternising with criminals. But he said the Police Regulations Act already had rules to deal with the wrongful release of confidential information. "This is all part of a very unhealthy, unhelpful and incorrect perception that there are corrupt police under every bed," Sen-Sgt Davies said. "It's a sledgehammer to crack a walnut."

Mr Cornelius said in the first six months of the policy there had been instances where police had been caught leaking confidential information to "persons of interest to us". "It's clear to us that in those cases, the individual police officers have not submitted declarable association reports in relation to those individuals. "Here is clear evidence that the member knew he or she was doing the wrong thing," Mr Cornelius said.


Another blot on justice in Victoria: A crooked Ombudsman, of all things!

A Labor party worker was fired on the basis of a totally unfounded Ombudsman's report. Crooked police; a bigoted "anti-discrimination" Tribunal: Where will it end? Has Victoria become part of the Middle East? Judging by the level of corruption, it is beginning to look like it

VEXNEWS has obtained a copy of the Department of Justice investigation into the Ombudsman’s allegations regarding Hakki Suleyman, who was adversely named in a recent report by the Ombudsman into the Brimbank council. So much so that in effect some in the media were impliedly arguing that Suleyman had forfeited his right to a) hold a job for which he is well qualified and ideally suited and had performed well in, b) participate in the political party of his choice and c) be involved in his local council.

It is a conclusion they must now reconsider unless they wish to be embroiled in defamation proceedings, in light of the findings of this independent investigation into the Ombudsman’s sensational claims.

Simply, the report vindicates and exonerates Suleyman from the serious claims made against him. It says he was involved - although makes it clear there’s no real evidence of it - in a move by some on the council to break a funding commitment to a soccer club. Hardly the biggest scandal in the world, even if it happened. The independent report makes it very clear that the move by some on the council was reconsidered by those pushing it once they had obtained advice on it. The path to hell may be paved with good intentions but in this case intending to make a council decision for political reasons but then thinking better of it can hardly be said to disqualify Hakki from his full civic rights to be a member of our community. Particularly given that he wasn’t even on the Brimbank council in the first place.

The independent report by the advisory panel damns and expressly repudiates the Ombudsman’s report in terms that most political observers will find stunning.

The advisory panel included a former Victorian Government Solicitor and an ex Chairman of the State Services Authority, two of the exact kind of people who would find themselves appointed Ombudsman should there be a vacancy.

They were investigating whether Suleyman should continue as a JP and found he ought not but that predictable finding is not really the most interesting part of the report.

Its their evaluation of the Ombudsman’s evidence and conclusions that is the juicy part.

Seldom has someone’s removal from office been such good fortune. [For the public light it shines on the Ombudsman]

More HERE.

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