Perverted Justice - Piers Akerman -
27th September 2007
Comment - isn't it ironic that Mr Rudd is now claiming the moral high ground after rejecting the suggesting that the late former Labor Senator Bob Collins get a state funeral BECAUSE he was facing child sex charges! More at this link.
Serious allegations of obstruction of justice have been made against Federal Opposition leader Kevin Rudd in the Tasmanian Parliament.
The allegations were raised by former federal MP Michael Hodgman QC, the shadow Tasmanian Attorney General.
Quoting from a 3000-page audit prepared by senior Sydney barrister David Rofe QC of the long-running Heiner Affair which has dogged Queensland politics for nearly two decades, Mr Hodgman named Mr Rudd, former Queensland Premier Wayne Goss, and every living member his Cabinet, and a number of key public servants.
Mr Rudd was Chief of Staff to Mr Goss in March, 1990, when the Queensland Cabinet ordered the shredding of documents held by the Heiner inquiry into the rape of an Aboriginal girl, knowing that they would be required as evidence.
Mr Hodgman said Mr Rofe had identified 66 prima facie criminal counts during his two-year examination of material relating to the case.
He was only given time to refer to two of those counts, the destruction of evidence (S129 of the Criminal Code) and conspiracy to obstruct justice (S132 of the Criminal Code).
Mr Rudd was named in both.
Labor Senators twice blocked attempts by Queensland National Party Senator Barnaby Joyce to table the full 3000-page nine-volume Rofe report in federal parliament last week.
Mr Hodgman told the Tasmanian parliament that those responsible for the destruction of the public records conspired with intent to prevent their use as evidence to pervert the course of justice.
``This relates to an absolutely horrible incident where some 19 years ago a 14-year-old Aboriginal girl who was being held in detention at the John Oxley Detention Centre was viciously pack-raped by a group of several young thugs, he said.
``Two of them admitted to it but for some reason, nobody was ever charged.
``Worse still, one of the first deeds of the Goss Government was to shred the evidence when it was known there was going to be a judicial inquiry into what had gone on.
Mr Hodgman added: ``The plain fact of the matter is, having read the 66-count indictment ... I and others would be failing in our duty if we did not raise this matter and say there is a stench of corruption over the entire justice and legal system of Queensland while this scandal continues unresolved.
``It is bad enough that a 14-year-old indigenous girl in detention of the State is pack-raped in a detention centre. The State had a duty to protect her. They took her into custody and under international law and international treaties, including those dealing with the young, they had a duty to protect her.
He continued: ``But they did not ... not only was she viciously pack-raped, but her legal rights were abused and when persons endeavoured to have the matter inquired into and to ensure at least that the offenders were brought to justice, the new Government of the day, the Wayne Goss Government, ordered the shredding and destruction of all the evidence.
``Despite repeated requests and a letter to the most recent Premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie, signed by about 5 leading Australian lawyers including a former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, Sir Harry Gibbs, all of whom have said that this cries out for a proper inquiry, that Government has refused to do anything.
``Regarding the seriousness of the matter, I cannot put it better than Simon Crean put it when he made a comment to the effect that where it is alleged that you have covered up a child sex offence - as is exactly what happened in the case of another senior national figure - ex-Opposition Leader Simon Crean said: `You cannot have people in authority who have covered up for child sex abuse.
Mr Hodgman quoted a column by The Daily Telegraphs columnist Piers Akerman, in which he wrote: ``But what can be said about an Opposition Leader who may have been complicit in the illegal shredding of evidence?
``That is Kevin Rudd, Mr Hodgman said.
``If the ALP stands by the standards it applied to (former Governor General) Dr Peter Hollingworth, Rudd should resign and answer the questions that the Queensland ALP has worked hard to avoid for 19 years.