Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been quick to support Christian Porter after allegations of rape were made against him, writes investigations editor Ross Jones.
*CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses rape
NATURE ABHORS A VACUUM.
The Press Gallery and the wider commentariat aren’t too enamoured either.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the cameras there was no way he would authorise an independent inquiry into the goings-on of chief lawman Christian Porter:
‘Scott Morrison has rejected growing calls to launch an independent inquiry into a historical rape allegation against his attorney general, Christian Porter, who has proclaimed his innocence.’
He showed the world an apparently empty magician’s box, waving it this way and that, poking his arm clean through it to demonstrate its incontrovertible emptiness.
Morrison reckons the NSW police checked out the allegations against Porter and found nothing:
“They are the competent and authorised authorities to make the judgments about any such allegations. And they have made their conclusions. That’s where the matter rests.”
The problem for Morrison is the vacuum can never win and accordingly, the Porter vacuum filled instantly with speculation.
Naturally, speculators are trying to figure out how the box actually works. Had Morrison been spruiking at the Easter Show, he could not have triggered more intrigue.
Mirrors? False bottom? Did the NSW police, dressed in sparkling finery, act as the PM’s able assistant?
One line of speculation was sparked by Mr Internet himself, Malcolm Turnbull.
Turnbull might have been an abject failure in government, in part because he was dealing with a cohort of grade five yobs, but he cannot be accused of being a dill.
According to The Guardian:
‘[Turnbull] said because there had not been a coronial finding, all that was currently known was the complainant was deceased. Turnbull said there needed to be an inquest examining factors that might have led to the woman’s death.’
If Spycatcher is suspicious, it behooves the rest of us to pay attention.
Some things don’t seem to hang together.
NSW police issued a statement in which they said Porter’s alleged victim first reported her complaint to them on 27 February 2020.
Police said detectives then met with her on “at least” five occasions over the next three months. That takes us to the end of May.
Less than a month later, on 23 June, detectives received an email from the alleged victim in which she advised she did not wish to pursue the matter:
‘On 23 June 2020, the woman sent detectives an email indicating she no longer felt able to proceed with reporting the matter, citing medical and personal reasons.’
The next day, the alleged victim was dead.
Surprisingly, given their long history with the complainant and their knowledge of her fragility, NSW detectives, after receiving the 23 June email, did not contact her by phone to check on her wellbeing.
Or to verify it was actually she who wrote and sent the email.
The circumstances of the complainant’s death have not been made public.
It had been widely reported that her friends and family believe it to be suicide.
On Tuesday 2 March, The Guardian reported:
‘Close friends of the woman say she took her own life.’
By Thursday 4 March, The New Daily was reporting:
‘The family of a woman who alleged Attorney-General Christian Porter raped her in 1988 wants an inquiry into her death.’
According to News:
The death of a woman at the centre of a historic rape allegation involving Attorney-General Christian Porter is still under investigation, it has been revealed.
The 49-year-old is believed to have taken her own life in June last year in Adelaide.
Today, the South Australia State Coroner David Wittle said he was delivered an investigation file by SA Police two days ago, on March 1.
Porter reckons he first became aware of rumours that allegations were being made against him in November 2020, but it was just in the “vaguest terms”.
This beggars just a bit of belief as NSW Police thought the matter of sufficient importance to launch Strike Force Wyndarra in February 2020.
Police don’t just call operations “Strike Force Anything” without a reason. Once one of these beasts is formed, it generates a mountain of information requiring scarce time and resources, not to mention onerous reporting requirements.
If the Strike Force involved the Attorney General, multiply all this by N.
This is definitely top brass stuff, not a few detectives in cheap suits.
Yet the public is being asked to believe that nothing at all leaked, apart from scraps of a vague rumour to the AG between February 2020 and November 2020.
Into the vacuum, we go.
If you would like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Investigations editor Ross Jones is a licensed private enquiry agent and the author of 'Ashbygate: The Plot to Destroy Australia's Speaker'. You can follow Ross on Twitter @RPZJones.
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