Review of illegal surveillance possibly illegal, too

A media release by the Independent member for Nelson, Tasmania, reveals the O’Farrell Review into the illegal prison surveillance of Jeff Thompson would possibly be illegal itself. The following is a media release issued yesterday by Nelson Independent, Meg Webb, MLC.

Independent Member for Nelson Meg Webb said the Rockliff Liberal Government today did an embarrassing backflip on the O’Farrell Review into Tasmania Police Surveillance.

“On October 6, I wrote to Premier Rockliff asking that he confirm the O’Farrell Review into illegal Tasmania Police surveillance could be lawfully conducted,” Ms Webb said.

“Today we have seen some embarrassing backside covering from the Government, with the admission that the review could not be undertaken lawfully and will require legislative change to occur and a longer timeframe for delivery.”

Ms Webb said the O’Farrell Review remain inappropriate due to the perception of a conflict of interest for the former Solicitor General at the time the illegal surveillance took place.

“Today we learn the Review was on track to possibly be unlawful itself. Who was responsible for getting the legal advice on this?

“This review should always have been entirely independent of Tasmania Police and had a much more comprehensive scope for investigation.”

Mr Webb said the Tasmanian people already had every reason to lack confidence in the validity of the O’Farrell Review as a genuine investigation of illegal police surveillance.

“Today our level of confidence just sank even further.”

Ms Webb said her letter to the Premier included a range of questions, including:

Are you aware of the current suppression/non-publication orders in place in the Jeff Thompson matter, and that much of the hearing in the Thompson matter which will be relevant to the O’Farrell review occurred in a closed court?

How will the O’Farrell review access, use, communicate and publish the critical information concerning the application for the warrant, the supporting affidavit and relevant communications relating to the application for the warrant in the Jeff Thompson matter?

Can you guarantee that the activities of Mr O’Farrell in conducting the proposed review are entirely lawful?


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9 Responses to Review of illegal surveillance possibly illegal, too

  1. donald wakeling says:

    Thanks Andrew, I do now remember the sequence.

  2. Jerry Fitzsimmons says:

    Andrew, I note your quotes from the “Webb” letter dated October 6th to the Tasmanian Premier provide food for further thought on this apparent corrupt review and I would encourage every one of your readers to read in full this very well scripted letter. Better still, would it be possible to provide a post in full of this letter for comment. This is a great example of the work of an independent politician and it demonstrates the lack of moral fibre in the party politicians who should have been on to these issues many years ago. Well done Meg Webb MLC.

  3. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich says:

    The Tasmanian government and its legal advisors who are responsible for this travesty of justice should be immediately removed and punished .

  4. Owen allen says:

    Bring on a Federal Commission of Inquiry into Tasmania.
    For an ex Premier, Leader of Opposition at the time to tell me, Tasmania Police are too corrupt to do anything about.
    What does that say, what does that tell you.
    You think I am lieing, telling bullshit. I tell you, that is why I followed my path in Tasmania and never backed down. A society that allows corruption to dominate without rebuke deserves to be dominated. I did my best and I am still at it for the sake of justice, and spread of even more corruption, that is what men, warriors are supposed to do in society. Tasmania appears to be imploding and may destroy itself. Owen.

  5. donald wakeling says:

    When will the Tasmanian Government Premier, Attorney General and Police Minister face the fact that this review is and was always a flawed project from the moment is was conceived by the Police heirarchy. Apart from this recent concern for it’s legal validity, it ought never have been accepted or even entertained by the Minister for Police or the Attorney General. The very serious matters that were disclosed before Justice Brett of disgraceful , Police proceedures clearly gave rise to the need for a full publicly conducted enquiry to be established by the appropriate organs of Government. Instead, this review of proceedures, was set-up by the very body to be reviewed: the Police themselves !!! “We’ll investigate, scrutinise and judge our own conduct. Oh, and we’ll appoint someone well known to us to do the job “.
    What was the tax-payer, citizen-elected Attorney General and her Police “Minister” ,or, God forbid, the Premier, doing while their employed police Commissioner created this blatent farce? Answer: nothing, but the same heads down and look the other way; Just exactly what they did and are continuing to do with the horrendous justice failings in the parliamentary tabled Etter/Selby documents.
    But there’s worse. Who will they engage to do the review? None other than the former Solicitor General, O’Farrell, now at the Bar. The same O’Farrell who, at a meeting with Attorney General and the Premier, was the only one of the three to ask for and be given a copy of the Letter/Selby documents. The same O’Farrell who had already,in respect of the criticism of police investigations of the Sue Neill-Fraser case, publicly declared that he was confident of the integrity of the police. Even the lengthy introduction/preface to the Review’s Terms of Reference states that the Police have done no wrong!
    What a Review?? What a public disgrace!!.
    Tasmanians, where is your Leaders’ moral compass where is their sense of Justice or even the ability or will to administer it?

    • Geraldine Allan says:

      Don a correction, it was not the ETTER/SELBY papers. Rather, it was the “white paper” then S/G O’Farrell retained for a week before returning to Richter, Ash & McLaren.

      • donald wakeling says:

        Thanks Geraldine. Was it not just after that the police picked up Megan Vass from a bus stop and took her to a police station ?

        • andrew says:

          Sorry to butt in…but no… that was just prior to the March 10 broadcast of the 60 Minutes interview. Police pre-empted the broadcast and wanted to discredit her.

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