Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bureaucrats to decide if police investigate Bishop over expenses

In Australia, the police are supposed to be independent, and charge ANYONE who has committed crimes, fraud, theft or any other criminal activity, irrespective of what position in society they hold.

In actual fact, what they (the police) are supposed to do, and what they actually do are two different things.

In Australia, the criminal elite are involved in politics, defrauding the masses of literally hundreds of millions of dollars annually in each state, without the intervention of police.

The police are totally 'owned' by politicians, and the banks.

It's not a 'conspiracy theory' but rather a fact.

The headline article from The Age publication illustrates that the bureaucrats will decide whether to lay charges against Bronwyn Bishop, and NOT the corporation commonly referred to as the 'police'.

Wouldn't it be that easy if that was the case with ALL you (unlawful) speeding fines.

Australia's politicians are literally the criminal elite, untouchable by law.

From The Age on 18 Jul 2015:

Bronwyn Bishop expense scandal investigation in the hands of Finance Department

Labor asks AFP to investigate Bronwyn Bishop

The Speaker's alleged misuse of taxpayer funds during a helicopter ride to Geelong may come under the scrutiny of the Australian Federal Police.

Finance Department bureaucrats will decide whether a police investigation into Bronwyn Bishop's expenses scandal goes ahead.

Labor on Friday asked the Australian Federal Police to investigate whether the federal Speaker misused her taxpayer-funded entitlements when she chartered a $5227 chopper to travel the short distance from Melbourne to Geelong to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser.
Speaker Bronwyn Bishop.
Speaker Bronwyn Bishop. Photo: Andrew Meares
The Australian Federal Police says it has also received a number of referrals from members of the public concerning the scandal.

But it says the ball is in the Finance Department's court.

"There is a protocol – the Minchin Protocol – which was established in 1998 to handle complaints regarding the use of entitlements by federal parliamentarians," and AFP spokesman said.

Bronwyn Bishop arrives by helicopter at a golf course for a Liberal fundraiser.
Bronwyn Bishop arrives by helicopter at a golf course for a Liberal fundraiser. Photo: Twitter @neilremeeus
"This is the agreed protocol for dealing with matters of this nature."

Under the protocol – named after former finance minister Nick Minchin – the department will conduct an internal audit to determine whether the allegations are credible. If it decides there has been serious and deliberate wrongdoing it can refer the case back to the police.

But it's understood Labor is not happy with the AFP's response and will write to it again on Saturday asking for clarification.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to make a statement on Bronwyn Bishop on Saturday.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to make a statement on Bronwyn Bishop on Saturday. Photo: James Brickwood
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to make his first public comments about the scandal later on Saturday. But Fairfax Media understands he is standing by his Speaker.

At a closed door event on Friday Mr Abbott reportedly dismissed the scandal as "village gossip". However the Prime Minister's office says that was not an accurate reflection of what he said.

Coalition ministers and MPs are quietly furious that the scandal has derailed their attacks on Labor over union corruption, and some have described her position as increasingly untenable.

But Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says he strongly disagrees with that assessment.

"From where I sit Bronwyn Bishop is doing a very good job as Speaker," he told Sky News on Saturday. "The key here is the Speaker has reimbursed the claim."

Mrs Bishop caved to political and public pressure and paid back the money, along with a $1300 fine, but has admitted no wrongdoing.

Labor believes the case hinges on whether Mrs Bishop signed a Presiding Officer's Charter Certification form. The form requires the Speaker to confirm that a charter is for her "office holder duties" and states that knowingly giving false or misleading information is a serious criminal offence.

Senator Cormann said he would have no oversight or involvement with his department's investigation.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon hopes the "choppergate" scandal will be a catalyst for broader changes to entitlements. He wants greater transparency and an independent umpire to deal with complaints. He also wants tougher penalties when mistakes are made.

Labor wrote to the AFP shortly after Fairfax Media exclusively revealed that the political lobbyist who was paid to arrange the chopper was the best friend of Mrs Bishop's most senior adviser, chief of staff and spokesman Damien Jones.

Late on Friday Mr Jones said Mrs Bishop would not comment on the referral until the AFP decided whether to investigate. 

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