Jacksonville ethics: The presumption of innocence

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Ace investigative blogger Peter Wicks sends an open letter to Senators Brandis and Abetz, asking them to explain their inconsistent attitude towards the presumption of innocence.

Open Letter To Senators Brandis And Abetz

Peter Wicks

Peter Wicks
PO Box 6362
Rouse Hill Town Centre
Rouse Hill NSW 2155

Senators Brandis and Abetz,

I am writing to you both in the hope that you may be able to share with myself, and my readers, some of your expertise on the presumption of innocence.

It has come to my attention, via the News Ltd press yesterday, that there are calls for Kathy Jackson to resign from the Health Services Union, for numerous allegations of corrupt practices.

I am also aware that there have also been calls for her partner, Michael Lawler, vice president of Fair Work Australia, to resign also. This has come as a result of allegations of him interfering with a Federal Investigation and after revelations emerged that he would not co-operate with the KPMG investigation initiated by FWA — in effect, allegedly refusing to co-operate with his own investigation.

I understand that the leader of your Party, Tony Abbott, has made his opinion of Kathy Jackson quite clear, comparing her to Joan Of Arc — saying she is heroic, and worthy of great admiration. I also note that it was Tony Abbott that appointed Michael Lawler to his current position. However, I also trust that you are both entitled to form your own opinions on this matter, and are not required to share the opinion of your leader.

My views on both of these cases are well known and I think I have published enough material for people to determine my opinion on their innocence or guilt.

However, right from the outset of this matter, I have held onto the belief of the notion of “innocent until proven guilty”. This is a belief and is, in fact, a right in this country, that I have held onto throughout the Peter Slipper investigation and indeed the investigation into Mal Brough; and I have also clearly held onto this opinion throughout the campaign against Craig Thomson.

Given your continued calls, or demands, for Craig Thomson to resign – calls that were made on the flimsiest of evidence, and based on an investigation that has been shown to be fatally flawed, to the point of it being worthless – I seek your expertise on the Lawler and Jackson cases. Especially considering the overwhelming trail of evidence on Jackson, in particular, and also bearing in mind that there appears to be more evidence against Lawler than there ever was against Thomson.

I also note that you both spoke out regarding Peter Slipper, and demanded that he step down from his position based on allegations that were seemingly ignored whist Slipper was a member of the Liberal Party.

With these things in mind, I am interested, as are my readers, to know whether you apply the same rules to Kathy Jackson, and Michael Lawler, as you have seemingly applied to Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson.

Whilst I encourage the media to give Jackson and Lawler the same level of scrutiny as they afforded Craig Thomson in order to show balance, I would not like to see them being portrayed as guilty before being given the opportunity to defend themselves in court. Kathy Jackson may even show up for court to do that.

My readers and I await your response and public statements on this issue, as the presumption of innocence is a right that the majority of Australian’s hold dear.

Thank you for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Wicks

PS: You can follow Peter Wicks on Twitter @madwixxy or read his blog Wixxyleaks. See the full investigation into Jacksonville.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
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