Continued from INTRODUCTION Kangaroo court is a work in progress last edited May 2019
The following link > Kangaroo court – Wikipedia says a kangaroo court is often held to give the appearance of a fair and just trial, even though the verdict has, in reality, already been decided before the trial begins. This could be because of the biases of the decision-maker, or because the structure and operation of the forum result in an inferior adjudication. A common example of this is when institutional disputants (‘repeat players’) have excessive and unfair structural advantages over individual disputants (‘one-shot players’). It is clear from our INTRODUCTION page and the following chapters that COT arbitrations were orchestrated kangaroo courts.
It will be clear to most, if not all the readers that Wikipedia’s definition of a kangaroo court explains precisely what happened in the Casualties of Telstra arbitrations. If you are ever told that the COT cases’ arbitration issues are covered by confidentiality clauses in the arbitration agreements, and so should therefore not be discussed publicly, this is a total fabrication to stop interested parties from investigating the validity of our claims.
Was the concealment collusion?
COT Case Graham Schorer shows in our > 20130627133948062. link that, although the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) warned Telstra that Graham Schorer (COT spokesperson), of Golden Messenger Courier services, had a valid claim against them for misleading and deceptive conduct under section 52 of the Australian Trade Practices Act and advised Telstra should settle with Mr Schorer, Telstra ignored the AGS. For the next NINE years, Telstra went on a deliberate campaign to destroy Mr Schorer’s credibility and his finances even though they knew the AGS was right.
On age 23 of the government communications regulatory draft findings on Golden Messenger (see 20130627133948062: it notes:
“Telecom Minute of 30/3/88 states that advice from Legal and Policy Headquarters indicate that Golden Messenger appeared to have a case against us…and…the Australian Government Solicitor had advised Telecom that Golden Messenger is likely to be successful in establishing that Telecom engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct contrary to the Trade Practice Act and that consequence of lost calls or calls not getting through was likely to lead to an immediate loss of business in relation to that call and potential loss of future business from the customer”.
Exhibits 20111025143553046 and 20130627133948062. were not released to Graham until October 2008, fourteen years too late to be used in his arbitration or during the Senate Estimates Investigation into why relevant documents were being withheld from Graham during his arbitration. In other words, if AUSTEL had provided their adverse findings against Telstra to Graham and the Senate Estimates Committee during that 1997/1999 Committee investigation, it would be fair to say that the Committee would have immediately ensured that Telstra didn’t pressure Graham into accepting compensation of only 33% of his arbitration claim and that 33% did NOT include the thousands upon thousands of dollars Graham had wasted on legal fees to prove something that the government regulator had already proved.
After viewing the above conflict of interest issue, and what we have disclosed in the INTRODUCTION page, you might conclude Graham was afforded more than two extra years (than the other three claimants) to prepare his arbitration claim, because Dr Hughes understood what he and/or his fellow partners allowed during Graham’s previous Federal Court battle with Telstra, i.e., not disclosing the Australian Government Solicitor’s 1990 letter to Telstra acknowledging Graham had a valid claim against Telstra and recommending Telstra to settle with him. Did knowing of the concealment of this very important document from his previous client weigh heavily on Dr Hughes’ shoulders and thus sway his judgement to allow his past client so much extra time to prove a claim that the government solicitor had already proved four years previously?
Of course, my thoughts as to why Dr Hughes blindly discriminated against us three other claimants is pure speculation, because the TIO, who employed Dr Hughes, has never explained why Mr Schorer received different treatment to us, although we all signed the same agreement.
The fact that Dr Hughes’ arbitration resource unit has admitted to withholding relevant Telstra related arbitration documents from being investigated during the COT arbitration process (see Open letter File No/45-H and Open letter File No/46-F to 46-K), and nothing came of this admission, suggests there is more to Telstra allowing Dr Hughes to become the COT arbitrator than meets the eye.
Further to this collusive behaviour, before the arbitrations commenced, the arbitrator and TIO also held secret meetings with the defendants, and during this meeting discussed the removal of a number of clauses in the arbitration agreement which had been previously endorsed by the government, the clauses were removed from that government-endorsed agreement to the detriment of the claimants without notifying the government as Chapter Six Arbitrator / Part Two and exhibit Open letter File No 54-A shows. It was only when the claimants wanted to appeal their awards was it fully understood what had really taken place at this secret meeting. The administrator of the process refused to provide any documents held by his office during these pending appeal processes. When these arbitration related documents were finally released, they arrived after the statute of limitations had expired. Among these documents was a copy of the arbitrator’s draft award (his alleged findings) and a copy of his final award. It is apparent the arbitrator’s technical findings in his draft award were compiled before my arbitration claim documents were even sent to the DMR Group in Canada in April 1995. This confirms the findings in both awards (a mirror-copy of each other) were prepared by a source other than DMR Group Canada. The TIO’s 9 March, 1995 letter stipulates that only DMR Group Inc (Canada) would be used as the official principal independent technical consultants.
Julian Assange’s contact with Graham Schorer raises a number of interesting questions, in particular the question of whether or not the collusion between Telstra and other parties associated with our arbitrations, that Julian Assange raised, could be associated with a previous, covert arrangement that those same silent partners had reached, where they agreed that the COT arbitration process would be set up so that the arbitrator would actually not have any control over the arbitration? This is, obviously, a very important question because it is directly related to advice that the administrator of the arbitrations, John Pinnock, (see INTRODUCTION page) officially provided to the Government, on 26 September 1997, after most of the arbitrations were concluded COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA – Parliament of Australia – page 99, when he warned that:
“Firstly, and perhaps most significantly, the arbitrator had no control over that process, because it was a process conducted entirely outside the ambit of the arbitration procedures”.
It must, however, be noted here that even now, 2019, the Government has STILL not advised the COT Cases why there arbitrations were not conducted under the terms of reference that all parties had agreed to.
There is no amendment attached to the arbitration agreement the claimants signed that allows the arbitrator to conduct those particular arbitrations entirely outside the ambit of the arbitration procedure – and neither is it stated that the arbitrator will have no control over the process once the claimants signed those individual agreements.
Don’t Shoot The Messenger
Sadly, in hindsight we – were being Graham Schorer, Ann Garms, Maureen Gillan and me, did shoot the messenger unaware by reporting to Warwick Smith (the administrator of the arbitrations) what the hackers had wanted to provide to us and that we did not want any involvement in this type of conduct actually resulted in the hackers being apprehended.
The statements made by the hackers to Graham Schorer – that both Telstra and the government were concealing relevant documents from the COT cases (see Spoliation of evidence – Wikipedia – are possibly some of the most important statements made during our four arbitrations. In Graham Schorer and my case, the damage caused by withholding Exhibits 20111025143553046 and 20130627133948062. from Graham and AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings, from me during our two arbitrations was devastating. This can, again, be seen by the following statements made by Sue Hodgkinson, the TIO-appointed resource unit’s financial officer regarding my claim.
Prologue Evidence File No/17 shows Ferrier Hodgson Corporate Advisory (FHCA), the TIO-appointed arbitration resource unit, documented, in part, Telstra’s arbitration defence issues and my claim issues, while unaware of AUSTEL’s true findings (supplied ONLY to Telstra), which were completely different to the findings Telstra supplied the public and the arbitration process. These two conflicting reports which represented a type of collusion between Telstra and AUSTEL is possible the unethical conduct Julian Assange was trying to warn the COT Cases about.
For example: on page two of exhibit Prologue Evidence File No/17, when referring to my Telstra arbitration claim, Sue Hodgkinson (FHCA) states, in bullet form, her appraisal of the authenticity of my claim material:
- “Most of the allegations are unsubstantiated and many are not verified by statutory declaration.
- “Smith has relied upon records kept in his diaries as his primary record of complaints.
- “The magnitude of fault complaints reported is unsubstantiated and appears overstated.”
Ms Hodgkinson is correct: I did not supply all of the required technical information to support my arbitration claim. This, of course, is mainly due to Telstra’s unethical conduct of withholding that information from me during my arbitration, even though I made requests under FOI between February 1994 and April 1995.
Firstly, because I did not receive the promised documents to support my arbitration claim, I could not substantiate my claims. Secondly, how could I verify my claim in a statutory declaration under oath if I did not have the evidence to swear that the evidence is correct? “Smith has relied upon records kept in his diaries as his primary record of complaints,” is correct.
And thirdly, FHCA could not have noted “The magnitude of fault complaints reported is unsubstantiated and appears overstated,” had the government communications regulator (AUSTEL) also provided the arbitrator and me with a copy of its AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings (see above), as it did Telstra. The arbitrator’s findings would then have been completely different, in regards to my claims.
The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s director of investigations clarified, in many letters to Telstra, that Telstra was defective in its FOI responses. This resulted in Telstra refunding me approximately 70 per cent of the unnecessary costs involved in trying to obtain my FOI documents during my arbitration. Those costs had to be proven by me and assessed by loss assessors, GAB Robins, appointed by the Commonwealth Ombudsman. This was not a compensation payment: I had to support each receipt of cost involved in trying to access that information through lawyers and professional advisors.
How could anyone, from the arbitrator to Sue Hodgkinson and Telstra, have doubted the magnitude of my fault complaints or stated they were unsubstantiated when the government itself, using documents officially accessed from Telstra, showed my business suffered significantly due to Telstra’s deficient service? AUSTEL stated:
“Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp has a history of service difficulties dating back to 1988. Although most of the documentation dates from 1991 it is apparent that the camp has had ongoing service difficulties for the past six years which has impacted on its business operations causing losses and erosion of customer base.” (See point 209 in AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings)
If this evidence had been available to the arbitrator, he would have had no option other than to pay me more than triple the amount in his award. The government communications regulator had already found in my favour before I entered the arbitration process.
As further testament to how badly Telstra’s defective FOI process affected my arbitration, 18-months after the arbitration was deemed finished the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s director of investigations clarified, in many letters to Telstra, that Telstra was defective in its FOI responses. This resulted in Telstra refunding me approximately 70 per cent of the unnecessary costs involved in trying to obtain my FOI documents during my arbitration. Those costs had to be proven by me and assessed by loss assessors, GAB Robins, appointed by the Commonwealth Ombudsman. This was not a compensation payment: I had to support each receipt of the cost involved in trying to access that information through lawyers and professional advisors.
The day before the Senate committee uncovered the COT Strategy (see below), they also told under oath, on 24 June 1997 see:- pages 36 and 38 Senate – Parliament of Australia/from an ex-Telstra employee and then-Whistle-blower, Lindsay White, that, while he was assessing the relevance of the technical information which had been requested by the COT claimants, he advised the Committee that:
“In the first induction – and I was one of the early ones, and probably the earliest in the Freehill’s (Telstra’s Lawyers) area – there were five complaints. They were Garms, Gill and Smith, and Dawson and Schorer. My induction briefing was that we – we being Telecom – had to stop these people to stop the floodgates being opened.”
Senator O’Chee – “What, stop them reasonably or stop them at all costs – or what?”
Mr White – “The words used to me in the early days were we had to stop these people at all costs”.
Senator Schacht – “Can you tell me who, at the induction briefing, said ‘stopped at all costs” (See Front Page Part One File No/6)
The It is clear from Mr White’s statement he identified me as one of the five COT claimants that Telstra had singled out to be ‘stopped at all costs’ from proving their my against Telstra’. One of the named Peter’s in this Senate Hansard is the same Peter who swore under oath, in his witness statement to the arbitrator that the service verification testing at my business premises had met all of AUSTEL’s specifications, when it is clear from Arbitrator File No/110 that Telstra’s own Customer Call Analysis System (CCAS) data for 29 September 1994 show NONE of the mandatory required 20-tests calls to each of my service lines 055 267 267, 055 267230 and 055 267260 were generated into my business and held open for the required period of 120-seconds for each completed call. In simple words, the SVT process at my business was not carried out according to the government communications regulatory mandatory specifications. Telstra is fully aware Peter (on page 38 of this Hansard) received advice from AUSTEL, on 11 October and 16 November 1994, regarding the Service Verification Tests (SVT) being grossly deficient. AUSTEL demanded Telstra advise what it intended doing about this deficiency see Front Page Part One File/No 24-A to 24-B. No second SVT tests ever took place at my business during my arbitration. However, in November 2002 (eight months after I sold the business) Telstra tested the business for the new owners, concluded the wiring, cabling and the Telstra-installed infrastructure was corroded and the whole holiday camp was rewired.
This is the same Peter who somehow had the power to direct a Government Regulator regarding who they could release this known faulty SVT information to and who they could not release it to see Arbitrator File No/98 even though the Government Regulator (AUSTEL) knew that the inaccurate SVT results were being used to support Telstra’s arbitration defence of at least four COT Cases claims (which included me)
Didn’t the statements made under oath by Lindsay White to the Senate Estimates Committee on 24 June 1997, mean anything at all regarding the advice he received from this Peter that we FIVE COT cases had to be stopped at all cost from proving issues such as the falsified arbitration SVT witness statements to the arbitrator (see Telstra’s Falsified SVT Report)?
While the following ‘COT strategy’ has been discussed elsewhere on absentjustice.com we have also raised it here because of the promises we received from AUSTEL (now ACMA) that Freehill’s, who put that strategy together, would not be used in any way, in connection with our arbitrations. As absentjustice.com shows, however, not only were Freehill’s appointed as Telstra’s main arbitration defence lawyers, and not only did they produce the COT strategy, but they also assisted Telstra in drafting the COT Arbitration Agreement that was used for the first four COTs to go through the process. In simple terms, the promises made to the four COT Cases concerning the use of Freehill’s, and the COTs’ rights to have an independently drafted arbitration agreement never eventuated. It is, therefore, most important that the 25 June 1997 SENATE Hansard record is raised here, again.
On 25 June 1997, the day after the Senate committee were told we five COT cases had to be stopped at all cost from proving our claims, a number of senators discussed Telstra’s legal firm and its COT strategy, dated 20 September 1993. This strategy advises how Telstra can conceal technical information from the four COTs under Legal Professional Privilege, even though the documents were not privileged (see SENATE Hansard, page 5169). The COT strategy is available at Prologue Evidence File 1-A to 1-C
The author of this COT strategy is the same lawyer with whom I was forced to register each of my phone complaints, in writing, before Telstra would address these problems. NONE of the fault information I provided to this lawyer, concerning ongoing telephone problems and Telstra’s response to those problems, were ever released to me during my arbitration.
To add further insult to these injustices, on 12 September 1994, as part of the arbitration process, I was obliged to meet with Telstra’s consulting forensic psychologist in Portland’s Richmond Hotel so he could analyse my mental health as part of Telstra’s defence of the arbitration process. One of the most important issues I raised with him was the trauma I suffered at the hands of the legal firm that hired him. He appeared to listen carefully to what I described and he said being directed to register phone complaints, in writing, with Telstra’s lawyer, before they would be investigated, was most disturbing. I provided confirmation that losing six incoming calls in a single day was common. Writing to a lawyer, explaining lost calls, was more than just soul destroying, it just about broke my will power to carry on. He said he was shocked Telstra and its legal firm forced this on me and agreed this would certainly affect my mental state over the many months I had to do this.
However, when Telstra’s lawyers, which the government assured us would not be used in our arbitrations (see Prologue Evidence File No/2), provided this clinical psychologist’s witness statement to the arbitrator, it was only signed by a lawyer from this legal firm. It bore no signature of the psychologist and didn’t contain his concerns regarding me having to first contact this legal firm, in writing, before Telstra would address my telephone problems.
The most alarming points about this unsigned witness statement are:
- Before the psychologist met with me, Telstra’s lawyers provided him with a copy of the Cape Bridgewater Bell Canada International (BCI) addendum report stating 13,590 test calls were carried out, over a five-day period, into the Cape Bridgewater RCM exchange, using the TEKELEC CCS7 monitoring equipment. This report stated the test calls had a 99 per cent success rate.
- Neither the psychologist nor the arbitrator was told tests through the Cape Bridgewater exchange was impracticable: the nearest exchange that could accommodate the TEKELEC CCS7 equipment was the Warrnambool exchange, 120 kilometres from Cape Bridgewater (see Telstra’s Falsified BCI Report ‘masked identities’)
Had the psychologist known the 13,590 tests calls, allegedly carried out by BCI, could not terminate through the TEKELEC CCS7 monitoring system at Cape Bridgewater, his assessment of my mental state would have been somewhat different. He, too, might have been distressed if he had been aware Telstra misled and deceived him prior to him assessing my mental state.
But please remember, in the same Senate Hansard, dated 24 June 1997, in which Lindsay White says he was told to “stop these people at all costs”, similar injustices COT case Sandra Wolfe experienced during a Mediation Process in the early 199o’s are discussed. These injustices included her having a warrant executed against her by Telstra employees under the Queensland Mental Health Act (see pages 82 to 88, Introduction File No/9). Had Sandra not acted in the manner she did, it is possible she could have been lost in an institution for the insane. Addressing Telstra, Senator Schacht says:
“No, when the warrant was issued and the names of these employees were on it, you are telling us that it was coincidental that they were Telstra employees.” (p87)
Is this warrant issued under the Queensland Mental Health Act, against Sandra Wolfe, akin to the false information provided by Telstra to the clinical psychologist before he assessed my mental health? In my case, the consultation by this psychologist was not conducted in private surroundings, but in the Portland Richmond Henty Hotel’s saloon bar! When I questioned this psychologist’s his reason for him choosing this public venue for this consultation his remark was his appointment had been at short notice and he had been unable to require a suitable venue for the date in question. In simple terms, not only did Telstra the defendants in the COT arbitrations control the flow of what documents were provided to the COT Claimants as the above Senate Hansard shows, Chapter Seven Arbitrator / Part Two shows they controlled what relevant procedural documents were also supplied to the arbitrator. Add this into the mix and the fact they also could determine where the arbitration clinical psychologist would hold his assessment process and it becomes obvious the government endorsed arbitration was just a total facade.
The Australian Communications Regulator, AUSTEL, the Arbitrator, Dr Gordon Hughes, the TIO, John Pinnock, and numerous Coalition Government Members of Parliament have all known about this deceptive Telstra behaviour for more than twenty-two years, just as they have all known that it occurred during a Government-endorsed arbitration, and just as they have known that this was part of a plan for Telstra to gain an advantage in the whole arbitration process, and create serious detriment to all the COT Cases.
After reading the first draft of my manuscript which discussed Telstra’s beaches of the law and the use of the COT strategy against the COT Cases during their arbitrations, Senator Carr noted, on 27 January 1999:
“I continue to maintain a strong interest in your case along with those of your fellow ‘Casualties of Telstra’. The appalling manner in which you have been treated by Telstra is in itself reason to pursue the issues, but also confirms my strongly held belief in the need for Telstra to remain firmly in public ownership and subject to public and parliamentary scrutiny and accountability.
“Your manuscript demonstrates quite clearly how Telstra has been prepared to infringe upon the civil liberties of Australian citizens in a manner that is most disturbing and unacceptable.” (See Arbitrator Evidence File No 66)
Senator Kim Carr again criticised the handling of the COT arbitrations on 11 March 1999 as the following Hansard link shows. Addressing the government’s lack of power, Senator Carr stated:
“What I do make a comment on is the question of civil liberties and the rights of citizens to approach this parliament and seek redress for their grievances when corporate power, particularly in a publicly owned corporation, has been abused. And there can be no question that that is what is at the heart of this issue.”
And addressing Telstra’s conduct, he stated:
“But we also know, in the way in which telephone lines were tapped, in the way in which there have been various abuses of this parliament by Telstra—and misleading and deceptive conduct to this parliament itself, similar to the way they have treated citizens—that there has of course been quite a deliberate campaign within Telstra management to undermine attempts to resolve this question in a reasonable way. We have now seen $24 million of moneys being used to crush these people. It has gone on long enough, and simply we cannot allow it to continue. The attempt made last year, in terms of the annual report, when Telstra erroneously suggested that these matters—the CoT cases—had been settled demonstrates that this process of deceptive conduct has continued for far too long.” (See > http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/chamberhansards1999-03-11)
Senator Schacht was possibly very vocal when he stated:
“I rise to speak to this statement tabled today from the working party of the Senate Environment Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Legislation Committee—a committee I served on in the last parliament—that dealt with the bulk of this issue of the CoT cases. In my time in this parliament, I have never seen a more sorry episode involving a public instrumentality and the way it treated citizens in Australia. I agree with all the strong points made by my colleagues
on both sides who have spoken before me on this debate. What was interesting about the Senate committee investigating this matter over the last couple of years was that it was absolutely tripartisan—whether you were Labor, Liberal or National Party, we all agreed that something was rotten inside Telstra in the way it handled the so-called CoT cases for so long.
The outcome here today is sad. There is no victory for citizens who have been harshly dealt with by Telstra.”
I respectfully remind the current Liberal and National Coalition Government of a newspaper article that appeared on 23 March 1999, in the Australian Financial Review, on the conclusion of the Senate Estimates committee hearing into why Telstra concealed so many arbitration documents from the COT cases:
“A Senate working party delivered a damning report into the COT dispute. The report focussed on the difficulties encountered by COT members as they sought to obtain documents from Telstra. The report found Telstra had deliberately withheld important network documents and/or provided them too late and forced members to proceed with arbitration without the necessary information,” Senator Eggleston said. “They [Telstra] have defied the Senate working party. Their conduct is to act as a law unto themselves.”
The Australian Government already has evidence confirming one of the main Telstra players Liberal Party Senator Alan Eggleston referred to when said, “They [Telstra] have defied the Senate working party. Their conduct is to act as a law unto themselves” was Sue Laver (now Telstra’s corporate secretary). I also have evidence proving Sue Laver was in possession of Senate working party COT case technical information confirming Bell Canada International Inc (BCI) could not have possibly conducted their alleged testing of the rural Portland and Cape Bridgewater exchange in November 1993 (See Front Page Part One File/No15-A). The Ericsson CCS7 testing equipment, which BCI stated was used at Cape Bridgewater could only have been used at the Warrnambool exchange, 118 kilometres from Cape Bridgewater (see Telstra’s Falsified BCI Report). The government and the Senate secretary sat on this evidence, after being alerted to Telstra’s contempt of the Senate (submitting this false BCI reporting to questions raised on notice by senators Chris Schacht and Ron Boswell). That the government was aware I could use these false tests in appealing this part of my arbitration award, and yet protected Telstra by ignoring this, is just one more example showing the COT cases were never meant to win our arbitration claims.
Why has Sue Laver not taken it upon herself, as Telstra’s corporate secretary, to advise the government that she was party to this Telstra Senate Estimates committee cover-up in 1998 and that it is time my claims are assessed on their merit?
Other government ministers have shown their disgust at the way Telstra was able to act as a law unto themselves as can be seen from Senator Mark Bishop’s statement shown below notes in the following link > aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/displaychamberhansards1999-03-11
Significant issues do arise. I think it is appropriate to refer to the final paragraphs of the committee report. In the second to last paragraph, the report of the committee tabled by Senator Eggleston says:
Estimates of Telstra’s costs in relation to the CoTs issue since the claims were made exceed $20 million ($14.285 million to 1997 and rising). Most of the expenditure has been spent, not on settlement but on administrative and legal costs. It became quite clear early in the process that the claimants had in fact been disadvantaged by malfunctions in their telephone system. It is difficult to understand why Telstra appeared to prefer to deny that there was a problem and then prolonged the difficulties in establishing the extent of that problem.
The final sentence reads:
In the Committee’s view Telstra should now seek to reach a negotiated agreement with the interested parties.
If fault is to be allocated at this very early stage of the final lap, that fault lies at the door of Telstra. It really is appropriate for Telstra, a $100 billion corporation, to stop using its monopoly power, to stop retaining the services of dozens of highly paid solicitors and to come to the table and to seek to reach a negotiated agreement with these four or five persons. It is simply outrageous that Telstra, which is still a public corporation, can spend something in the order of $20 million – Senator Boswell – Some $24 million.
Senator Mark Bishop – “I am informed by Senator Boswell it is 24 million – defending a claim when the claim before it is somewhere between $2 million or $4 million. This is simply an outrageous propostion and a waste of public money”.
It has since been shown in my own case: that Telstra’s lawyers were sending out witness statements to the arbitrator Dr Hughes, signed only by the legal firm and not the witness. The only thing Dr Hughes resource unit did was to send it back to the lawyers for the witness to sign.
The author of one of this internal Telstra memo to senior executives on 21 April 1993 (See Arbitrator File No 57) for instance, referred to raising the issue of court with the COT Cases i.e.;
“Don, thank you for your swift and eloquent reply. I disagree with raising the issues of the courts.That carries an implied threat not only to COT cases but to all customers that they’ll end up as lawyer fodder. Certainly that can be a message to give face to face with customers and to hold in reserve if the complainants remain vexatious”
Clearly six months before our settlement/arbitration process was signed, Telstra management intended to decide when claimants were becoming vexatious and that this would be when they would threaten the claimants with legal action. This decision, from a corporation continually held up to be a benevolent organisation and acting for the good of the Australian public; yet behind closed doors, Telstra management intended to turn legitimate claimants into lawyer fodder if they persisted with their claims.
If this is not enough skullduggery, consider Telstra’s executives were clearly aiming to muzzle the media regarding the validity of our claims. The sense of fear within the COT group was understandable, but it intensified once it became apparent that this government owned corporation had the COT cases under surveillance. This Telstra internal email dated 16 June 1993 discusses a TV news programme:
“Good news re channel nine news. Haven’t checked all outlets but as it didn’t run on the main bulletin last night, we can be pretty certain that the story died the death. I wish I could figure which phase it was that convinced [A TV journalist] not to proceed. Might have been one of Jim Holmes’ [Telstra Corporate Secretay] pearls… (See Arbitrator File No/93)
Telstra’s Corporate Secretary who apparently delved in pearl diving was also a member of the TIO Board during the period the COT arbitrations. What type of pearl was cast by this high-flying corporate secretary? Were they pearls of wisdom, financial pearls or another type of pearl that convinced a respected journalist to drop the COT story?
Why is this particular instance so important, that I raise here? The answer is simple. If indeed metaphorical pearls can convince a respected journalist to drop a story, cannot similar pearls be cast before other professionals assigned to the forthcoming COT case arbitrations, to entice them not to act independently? It is clear from documents on absentjustice.com that relevant adverse material against Telstra and others assisting Telstra, was concealed to prevent it being addressed during my arbitration.
The COT cases each lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in business losses but then, after going into arbitration to recoup those losses, we spent as much again in legal fees fighting Telstra in our arbitrations. Those who have read our INTRODUCTION and Kangaroo court pages might recall the memorable statement made by Mario Puzo’s character, Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather, when he says, “Lawyers can steal more money with a briefcase than a thousand men with guns and masks.”
Evan Whitton, a renowned Australian author and advocator for the rights of all Australians, no matter hat their colour or creed, has spent more than 30-years investigating crime, corruption and courts. The former journalist of the year maintains our judicial system is irreparably broken and claims criminal lawyers are morally bankrupt and lack integrity and scruples.
In his book, Our Corrupt Legal System: Why Everyone is a Victim (Except Rich Criminals), Mr Whitton argues that we should move from the British adversarial system to the European inquisitorial model, which is less open to corruption. (See https://www.smh.com.au/yes-the-law-can-be-an-ass-20100917l)
The High Court of Australia ruled on February 21 2019, that five years’ worth of suppression orders preventing the publication of Gobbo’s lawyer X identity would be lifted because the “public interest in preserving EF’s anonymity must be subordinated to the integrity of the criminal justice system” (see https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/01/lawyer-x-nicola-gobbo-named-as-police-informant-at-centre-of-victorian-scandal.
Of course, there will be some reading our story who will say the COT issues are different, not in the public’s interest and that we COT cases should move on. But these issues were of public interest between 1992 and 1998 when the COT cases exposed how Telstra’s ailing copper-wire network was destroying business operators all over Australia, as Manipulating the Regulator and Bad Bureaucrats File No/11 – Part One and File No/11 – Part Two pages show.
Chapter 7, “The first Broken Promise,” in Ann Garms’ (OAM) publication The Ultimate Betrayal is as far as Ann has got in telling her story. Sadly, Ann passed away on 14 July 2018, but I know she would want this part of her story told here.
By also clicking onto our absentjustice.com brief summary part 1 page you will be able to determine whether our story is true or false.