The Jacksonville saga continues as Kathy Jackson's trial for 70 fraud-related charges is postponed yet again, Peter Wicks reports.
MONDAY, 17 June 2019, was the day the chickens came home to roost for Health Services Union (HSU) members. The day a court at long last holds Kathy Jackson accountable for the allegations against her, as she stands trial.
But alas, it was not to be.
Once again – and I can see a collective rolling of eyes – the court case has been postponed. The can has been kicked down the road yet again.
This time, however, there was no mystery fire and no self-assessed need for psychiatric care.
Sources have claimed the reason for this last minute change of dates is because Jackson has a new lawyer who needs to be brought up to speed on the case — and let’s face it, that could take a while.
To give an indication of how much there is to catch up on, IA first published about this case way back in May 2012. The number of charges Jackson faces have reportedly had to be consolidated down to total 70 and the brief from the prosecution is a healthy 5,000 pages. There are 68 witnesses — and that’s just the defence witness list.
Needless to say, the new lawyer will certainly have their work cut out.
For those who have not been following what has become known as the "Jacksonville" saga, you may be wondering about the appointment of a new lawyer. It does seem strange considering there was an attempted bankruptcy declaration, as well as a court ruling that the combined multimillion-dollar assets of Jackson and Michael Lawler ruled out access to the services of Legal Aid. A lot of court time has been spent deciding whether Jackson has rags or riches.
Sources claim that Jackson has been granted access to Legal Aid services as she claims she and Michael Lawler have now separated.
You have to love the laws around separation. Once you become a "separated" couple you are financially independent, meaning one can be a billionaire and the other can start claiming Newstart or accessing government services, such as Legal Aid. You can still live together in the same house and possibly still have sex. To qualify as separated, it seems, you just have to have separate living quarters, such as a separate bedroom. Living together gets the nod, sex together scores a tick, but actually sleeping together is a no-no. If a couple accidentally falls asleep after sex does that then negate the separation?
However, Jackson may not be avoiding court this month, completely. It is believed that she is expected to appear in court and try and have the case thrown out on the grounds that the evidence to prove her case has been by destroyed by those who she claims have set her up. It is understood Jackson is now looking to claim individuals have destroyed the documents of evidence. Some years back, the claims were that a mystery flood accessed the union's storage facility and sought out the files that proved her innocence, and damaged them beyond retrieval. The files that appeared to show fraudulent behaviour and misappropriation of vast amounts of funds, however, were untouched.
Kathy Jackson faces 70 charges of "obtaining financial advantage by deception”, which is a fraud-related charge. These charges were laid after a lengthy joint investigation by Victoria Police and Australian Federal Police — an investigation several in the media denied was even taking place.
For those HSU members still waiting for justice to be served, patience is a virtue that they must measure by the truckload. Let's hope that patience pays off.
On another note, let's take this opportunity to explain something many that may not be understood about the Craig Thomson case.
Many pointed to admissions as evidence in court by Thomson’s lawyer as admissions of guilt related to claims of the services of prostitutes and so on. These admissions are not to be confused with confessions. An admitted fact may be that there is a witness making a claim, that doesn’t mean the person making the admission agrees with the claim that the witness is making.
Nobody in the mainstream media (MSM) seemed interested in explaining this in Thomson’s case, instead, preferring to misrepresent evidence given in that case as admissions of guilt.
This is relevant now as there is another matter still before the court in which the MSM has gone to great lengths to explain this area of legal proceedings. When George Pell’s lawyer spoke as if Pell had performed criminal sex acts on young boys, it was in relation to "admitted testimony" and were not "admissions of guilt", something that caused some confusion at the time but was quickly cleared up by the MSM.
Craig Thomson was not so lucky.
Hopefully, when Kathy Jackson finally faces trial, his luck will turn around.
Peter Wicks is a Federal Labor Party staffer.
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