Geezlouise has just sent an update to contributors to the Ashbygate Trust, including details of its new website and recent investigation activity.
Dear Ashbygate Trust members,
It has been nearly two weeks since we last communicated in this format. Thank you for your patience. Time seems to have vanished in front of our eyes and we wish we could have achieved more, nevertheless what follows will bring you up to date with what has been happening thus far.
In the week and 1/2 that has passed since the trust became a living entity we have:
- received over 70% of pledges;
- incurred expenses to the total of $550, that have been covered by Independent Australia;
- engaged the pro bono Services of private investigators and a defence lawyer;
- initiated investigations along several paths;
- established our digital home which is available to view at ashbygate.com.au; and
- undertaken a lot more research/collation of information and covered a fair amount of administrative grunt work.
As much as any of you, I am aching for the truth of what has transpired to become more widely known, and what it says about the current state of politics and the media to be more transparently understood. Unfortunately, it is a reality of the investigative process that it is difficult to predict the course and speed at which it can be run. We would all like things to progress faster than they are — indeed, we would all have preferred it if the media and authorities had done their job in the first place, nevertheless we are now actively progressing our enquiries and absent any explosive new information can report on the following developments.
The issue of how James Ashby came to be employed by Peter Slipper remains clouded. Whether this was simply an unfortunate decision on Peter Slipper's behalf or a targeted placement with malice aforethought is an issue that warrants closer scrutiny. To this end investigators are putting together a more comprehensive understanding of James Ashby's activities and movements prior to his gaining employment in Peter Slipper's office. Progress has been made in identifying and understanding a modus operandi that adds credence to the proposition that the targeting of Peter Slipper, as identified by Justice Rares, was not a random or isolated event.
It was a consensus decision that effort should be expended trying to secure evidence provided in the trial of Ashby V Commonwealth/Slipper but not made publicly available. It is our belief that access to many of the texts submitted into evidence would prove very useful to furthering our understanding of how the plot was constructed. This is, as anticipated, proving to be a typically bureaucratic endeavour. However, as the tireless Vincent tells me: "a faint heart never won a fair maiden". We persevere.
A meeting with a forensic handwriting professional looking was not as fruitful as we had hoped. While his off the record opinion did not discount the theory we are pursuing, it was not something that, in his words "would stand up in court".
We are continuing with research that is building a clearer picture of the financial situation of several of the protagonists. Generally, this provides a good foundation that assists with understanding the motivations of the different people involved. More specifically, it creates further understanding, and consequently more questions, around the decisions and actions of James Ashby and counsel representing him, regarding the timing and methods by which they prosecuted the case.
I trust you are all well aware of the need to avoid telegraphing our moves and the necessity of being acutely sensitive to the ambition of those who would like to see us wasting our precious resources defending spurious court actions — it's not like there is no precedent for that! To this end, these updates will necessarily err on the side of caution. We would like to share with you more thoroughly where we think this is going and what we think is the anatomy of this scandal, but to do so in this format, without the proof we have yet to find, would be counter-productive.
As soon as we have anything at all that is publishable you will be the first to know. You will all be emailed any article prior to its distribution.
David will be dusting off his accounting skills and executing the bank reconciliation over this weekend. Once he has completed this substantial task, we will be sending out digital copies of your unit trust certificates with hard copies to follow.
Finally a huge thank you to everyone for the notes of encouragement and support. From the heart wrenching to the humourous, from the informative to the inspiring, the flood of emails carrying your best wishes, advice, ideas and even information relevant to the case has been phenomenal. The demonstration of citizen action in pursuit of a worthy cause, with nothing to be gained personally, has rekindled a sense of community and the belief that normal everyday citizens can still have a positive impact on the money fuelled monstrosity that is the corporate/media/political industry we quaintly still refer to as a democracy.
(Click here to become a member of the Ashbygate Trust.)
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