Craig Thomson's battle came closer to a conclusion today, with 49 charges against him being dropped today in the Melbourne County Court, but him being found guilty of 13 charges of theft for amounts totalling just $3,500. Meanwhile, other HSU figures are being let off by police after allegedly stealing millions. Peter Wicks from Wixxyleaks reports.
TODAY (15/12/14) in Melbourne, Craig Thomson faced court for the verdict in his long, dramatic and extremely expensive fight against charges of fraud that amounted to less than $25,000.
Meanwhile, Kathy Jackson the woman who claims to have blown the whistle on his spending that is in question has been dragging out her court case where she faces civil action for approximately $1.4 Million.
Alarmingly Victoria Police have yet to lay charges against Jackson but have spent countless hundreds of thousands of dollars pursuing Thomson to this point.
You could be forgiven considering the amounts of money involved that Victorian Police would probably turn a blind eye to a drug lord like Pablo Escobar and spend vast amounts of taxpayer dollars chasing the guy sitting on his couch with a bong in front of the TV.
Once again the charges against Thomson were cut back even further as Thomson was found not guilty of 49 charges of fraud and two of theft, with another charge of theft being withdrawn. However, Judge Carolyn Douglas has found Thomson guilty of 13 charges of theft, adding up to a grand total of approximately $3,500.
Thomson will have to wait until Wednesday for sentencing to know if he'll be able to spend Christmas with his family.
It is worth noting a few things however. Firstly, the charges Thomson has been found guilty of, $3,500, are less than 1 per cent of the figure being touted when this whole trial by media began, and is less than half of what Tony Abbott expects taxpayers to cough up to promote his book.
It is also worth noting that all of the charges relate to cash withdrawals from ATM's using the credit card. All of the charges relating to signed credit card slips and credit card expenditure have been quashed.
There has been talk in the press already of Thomson "getting off on a technicality", and I can understand why some would spin it that way. However, if we are talking about technicalities, we must also remember that Thomson was arrested without a legitimate arrest warrant and he was found guilty previously of charges that the magistrate allowed to be reworded by police in court without giving him the opportunity to defend himself against the new charges.
We will now have to wait to see what sentence Thomson is given on Wednesday.
Meanwhile in a prison cell in NSW, Michael Williamson must be shaking his head in disbelief.
Williamson is currently serving five years for acts of fraud against the Health Services Union that amounted to just under $1 million. Nobody questions the fact that Williamson needed to be punished for what he did — after all, anybody who defrauded money from lowly paid workers deserves what they get.
However, it is clear that the NSW Police don’t think so — certainly not while we have a Coalition Government in charge in NSW and Attorney General George Brandis in Canberra on the phone trying to push things along to his liking.
Williamson was convicted for less than $1 million, yet it seems others involved were let off the hook despite taking vastly more than Williamson.
As NSW police were mounting their case against Williamson others involved were ensuring their immunity from criminal prosecution was signed off on.
Last Thursday, former HSU procurement manager Cheryl McMillan was ordered by a NSW court to repay the union $3.7 million, including interest and legal costs. Union supplier Alf Downing was also ordered to pay $4.3 million to the union including interest and costs.
You may recognise these names from some my previous articles, I have been calling for action against them for a long time now as the police seemed to be ignoring them and the press seemed uninterested. Alf Downing you may remember even owns himself an island resort, as I reported back in January last year.
Both of these cases involve alleged frauds several times greater than those found against Williamson.
So why the lack of interest?
It turns out the police had, in fact, granted Ms McMillan and Mr Downing immunity from criminal prosecution so that they would spill the beans on the man they suspected of taking around 15 per cent of their combined takings. You could be forgiven for thinking it should have been the other way around, however this is how justice works under Coalition supervision, it seems, where being a Labor politician appears to be a crime in itself.
As for Richard Hew, the other supplier suspected of acquiring vast amounts of members funds, it seems the police have no interest whatsoever in pursuing him as they already have their man. So much for justice.
It would appear that a link to the Labor Party has the miraculous ability to turn a small fish into a big fish, when the illusion of justice is being presided over by those in the Liberal Party.
Did I hear someone say witch hunt?
You can follow Peter Wicks on Twitter @madwixxy.
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