Breaking the Brotherhood-Digging up the bad old days of systemic police corruption and graft supported by the Government of the time


Background Information

FEATURE Moonlight State: The honest cop who helped blow the whistle on Australia’s most corrupt police force by Mark Willacy | ABC News | 12 Jun 2017 – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-12/four-corners-moonlight-state-afp-protected-chris-masters/8607314

FEATURE The Bagman, the secret codes, and the payments to a secret brotherhood of bent cops by Mark Willacy | ABC News | 12 Jun 2017 – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-12/fitzgerald-inquiry-files-reveal-inner-workings-of-corrupt-cops/8600046

Fact Check: Did Joh Bjelke-Petersen instigate the Fitzgerald inquiry? | ABC Fact Check | 20 Nov 2014 – http://www.abc.net.au/news/factcheck/2014-11-20/did-joh-bjelke-petersen-instigate-the-fitzgerald-inquiry/5889002

Journalism Matters: Fitzgerald inquiry resulted from basic reporting | The Courier-Mail | 7 Oct 2014 – http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/journalism-matters-fitzgerald-inquiry-resulted-from-basic-reporting/news-story/f34f2b0a95d86007fe12a9bd1a5c6c8a

Moonlight Reflections by Chris Masters | Griffith Review | Aug 2008 – Chris Masters reflected on the making and remifications of the Moonlight State investigation. https://griffithreview.com/articles/moonlight-reflections/

Queensland: Ten Years After Fitzgerald | Background Briefing | 16 May 1999 – http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/queensland-ten-years-after-fitzgerald/3565808

The Fitzgerald Inquiry | Crime & Corruption QLD | 1989 – The Fitzgerald report was tabled in Parliament in July 1989. It made over 100 recommendations covering the establishment of the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission and the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) and reform of the Queensland Police Force. Download the report here: http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/about-the-ccc/the-fitzgerald-inquiry

Police inquiry turns blowtorch back on accusers by Paul Bongiorno | The Bulletin Archives | 26 May 1987 – https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1363645-the-bulletin-police-inquiry-turns-blowtorch-back.html

Sir Joh says PM has dingoed out on electorate | SMH Archives | 28 May 1987 – https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1363976-smh-sir-joh-says-pm-has-dingoed-out-on.html

RELATED 4 CORNERS PROGRAMS

Beyond Bethany | 3 Mar 2008 – Twenty years on Chris Masters assesses the Joh Bjelke-Petersen legacy. Watch Online

The Moonlight State | 11 May 1987 – Chris Masters’ investigation into Queensland police corruption led to the Fitzgerald Inquiry, resulting in over 100 convictions and the police commissioner being jailed. Watch Online


“The Joke” was a system of protection involving illegal gambling, bookies, and brothels in QLD for more than a decade, probably decades


Updated June 12, 2017 14:19:00

It was Queensland, the year was 1987, and the State’s police force was riddled with corruption. The brotherhood of crooked cops who gave the green light to illegal gambling and prostitution believed they were untouchable.

“The level and systemic nature of it, reaching to all levels, including the highest political levels, was truly a shock to me.” Leading Criminal Investigator

There was a conspiracy of silence, from within the Queensland Government and all the way up to the highest levels of the force. The nature and the extent of the corruption sickened the honest cops, who operated in a world where they could trust no-one

Breaking the Brotherhood – Monday 12 June 2017

“‘Break his camera and break his mouth too!’ was the order.” Chris Masters, ‘The Moonlight State’ (1987)

It was Queensland, the year was 1987, and the State’s police force was riddled with corruption. The brotherhood of crooked cops who gave the green light to illegal gambling and prostitution believed they were untouchable.

“The level and systemic nature of it, reaching to all levels, including the highest political levels, was truly a shock to me.” Leading Criminal Investigator

There was a conspiracy of silence, from within the Queensland Government and all the way up to the highest levels of the force. The nature and the extent of the corruption sickened the honest cops, who operated in a world where they could trust no-one.

“There were times that I actually feared for my life and for the life of my family. It was clear to me that we had institutionalised corruption taking place.” Undercover Operative

A small band of brave crime fighters, and their families, took the enormous risk to trust a journalist with the State’s darkest secrets. The result was ‘The Moonlight State’, perhaps the most explosive true story ever told on Australian television.

“There is another side to the Sunshine State. Despite some wholesome attempts to pretend otherwise, the Queensland Government has not managed to stop the devil at the border. In the Sunshine State, sex is a great little earner.” Chris Masters, ‘The Moonlight State’ (1987)

Chris Masters’ landmark report prompted one of the most important anti-corruption investigations in Australian history, the Fitzgerald Inquiry, which led to the jailing of the Queensland Police Commissioner.

But the whole story of how the whistle was blown has never fully been told. Now the key players who put their trust in Chris Masters have come forward to tell their story, on camera, for the first time.

“I’m sitting there with my wife at home, because I knew when it was going to air, and I’m watching it. And I had this silly grin on my face, but it was also teary because we actually made it, we survived. The story got to air.” Whistleblower

“I believe that fate brought (us) together and that something had to be done.” Undercover Operative

The program also reveals the shocking lengths corrupt police went to, to try to silence the whistleblowers, and reporter Chris Masters.

“My son had been walking home from school and a car had pulled up beside him and told him that his father was going to be killed.” Undercover Police Officer

“Things got very scary, and a very powerful syndicate of organised criminals and corrupt police realised that they had an illicit empire to protect and they started to play nasty.” Chris Masters

Thirty years on from ‘The Moonlight State’, leading law enforcement figures warn that every police force today must remember the lessons of those dark days so they can never be repeated.

Breaking the Brotherhood, reported by Mark Willacy and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 12th June at 8.30pm EDT. It is replayed on Tuesday 13th June at 10.00am and Wednesday 14th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.

First posted June 12, 2017 13:43:00


Moonlight State: The honest cop who helped blow the whistle on Australia’s most corrupt police force – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


Moonlight State: The honest cop who helped blow the whistle on Australia’s most corrupt police force

June 12th, 2017 Updated about 2 hours ago

It was an unusual assignment, and Australian Federal Police officer Dave Moore wasn’t happy about it.

“I had a call to go and visit the assistant commissioner,” he recounted.

“He asked me to keep a lookout for a bloke by the name of Chris Masters from Four Corners.”

To Mr Moore, babysitting a journalist was not part of his remit.

“I’ll be honest, I told [my assistant commissioner] I didn’t want to do the job,” he said.

But an order was an order.

It was 1987, and the AFP hierarchy had information that Masters was in danger.

He wasn’t at risk from the criminal underworld, but from the corrupt members of the Queensland police.

“It was made very clear that they were concerned for Chris’s safety,” said Mr Moore, speaking for the first time about the AFP’s secret role in protecting the Four Corners reporter.

“So we put the resources of the AFP, discreetly, behind keeping a lookout for Chris.”

‘We were being watched and shadowed’

Masters was getting too close to a brotherhood of bent cops and their network of graft and corruption, an arrangement known as “the Joke”.

What was the Joke?

The Joke was a vast system of graft and protection involving illegal gambling, starting price bookmakers, brothels and massage parlours that stretched back decades in Queensland.The dirty money flowed to the police, particularly to several senior members of the infamous Licensing Branch, who in exchange for regular cash payments turned a blind eye to vice.

In its later and most lucrative form, the Joke was administered by Jack Herbert, who, by the time it all came crashing down, was passing on nearly $60,000 a month in protection money to police.

Herbert was estimated to have received more than $3 million in payments.

In early 1987 The Courier-Mail ran a series of articles about unchallenged vice in Brisbane.

Then in May, The Moonlight State program was broadcast on Four Corners, revealing that police were being bribed to protect vice in Queensland.

The next day the acting premier Bill Gunn called a judicial inquiry.

The Fitzgerald Inquiry would run for two years and hear from more than 300 witnesses.

Evidence from the inquiry would lead to four government ministers and police commissioner Terry Lewis being jailed.

Other police would go to prison, while senior officers — including the assistant commissioner Graeme Parker — would give evidence in exchange for indemnity from prosecution.

The Fitzgerald Inquiry would also lead to the establishment of Queensland’s first anti-corruption body.

Stretching back several decades, the Joke was a system of protection payments that flowed from brothel owners, SP bookies and illegal gaming operators into the hands of corrupt police.

It was worth millions, and the Joke’s tentacles reached right to the top of the Queensland force.

In late 1986, early 1987, Masters had been sniffing around Brisbane’s red light district of Fortitude Valley for weeks talking to pimps, prostitutes and disgruntled police.

His inquiries were making the brotherhood nervous.

“We were being watched and shadowed,” Masters recalled.

“I didn’t really know that until Dave started to point out people who were surveilling me.”

Mr Moore says he first met Masters “up at the Tower Mill [Hotel]”.

“It became quite apparent to me that there was someone paying quite a lot of attention to Chris across the road,” he said.

“We later found out it was a hired vehicle which was being used by officers of the [Queensland] Police Force.”

The plan to frame Chris Masters

As Masters got closer to cracking the Joke, the police brotherhood knew it had to destroy the Four Corners reporter before he destroyed them.

“They took him extremely seriously, to the point where they were on the brink of literally setting him up,” said Matthew Condon, the author of a three-book series on police corruption in Queensland.

“The plan was that they would plant an underage boy in Masters’ hotel room in the city and ultimately, whether they could prove it or not, the mud would have been thrown against Masters to discredit him.”

Masters would only be told of the plan to stitch him up many months later, after The Moonlight State had gone to air.

“I learnt of it through [former rugby league player] Tommy Raudonikis. He’d heard of it from a police mate and he then tipped off my brother Roy who told me,” Masters said.

“But when it was all supposed to happen I wasn’t in Brisbane, I was back in Sydney.”

The plan revealed the lengths the corrupt Queensland police brotherhood was prepared to go to protect the Joke.

It had flourished for years under the stewardship of a man known as “the Bagman”.

Jack Herbert was a former police Licensing Branch detective who for years was the conduit between the crooks and the cops.

He doled out hundreds of thousands in bribes to corrupt police.

Masters travelled the state speaking to and interviewing people about the Joke.

On May 11, 1987, The Moonlight State went to air on Four Corners.

“The pivotal thing about The Moonlight State and why it caused an earthquake was that for the first time, what Masters achieved, was a link between criminal figures, the underworld and corruption and police,” Condon said.

“That’s what caused so much drama and why it was an astonishing piece of television journalism.”

For Masters, the day after The Moonlight State would bring fresh drama.

“I wake up to the sounds of my own heartbeat,” he said.

“These are scary moments, sometimes the worst moments because you’ve done your best, you’re pretty much exhausted, but then a whole new battle begins.”

That battle would become the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

It would run for two years, hear from 339 witnesses and see the police commissioner, Sir Terence Lewis, jailed and stripped of his knighthood.

Also convicted were senior police and Valley kingpin, Gerry Bellino, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for paying bribes.

As for Jack “the Bagman” Herbert, he escaped jail by rolling over and telling all to the inquiry.

Watch Four Corners’ Breaking the Brotherhood at 8:30pm on ABC and iView.

The Moonlight State, the 1987 report that prompted the Fitzgerald Inquiry, can be viewed in full on the Four Corners website.

Topics: law-crime-and-justice, police, qld, australia

First posted about 4 hours ago

Contact Mark Willacy


en.wikipedia.org

Fitzgerald Inquiry – Wikipedia


The Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct (the Fitzgerald Inquiry) (1987–1989) into Queensland Police corruption was a judicial inquiry presided over by Tony Fitzgerald QC. The inquiry resulted in the deposition of a premier, two by-elections, the jailing of three former ministers and a police commissioner who was jailed and lost his knighthood. It also led indirectly to the end of the National Party of Australia‘s 32-year run as the governing political party in Queensland.

History

The inquiry was established in response to a series of articles on high-level police corruption in The Courier-Mail by reporter Phil Dickie, followed by a Four Corners television report, aired on 11 May 1987, entitled “The Moonlight State” with reporter Chris Masters. Both reports highlighted prostitution, gambling and possible police corruption.[1] With Queensland‘s Premier of 18 years, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, out of the state, his deputy Bill Gunn ordered a commission of inquiry the day after the television report was broadcast.

The allegations aired in the media were not new; they had surfaced from time to time and some news organisations had been forced to pay damages to aggrieved people who alleged their reputations had been damaged (Bjelke-Petersen himself was notoriously litigious in response to unfavourable press coverage). Ian Callinan drafted the terms of reference for the inquiry as well as appearing before it.[2] While the terms of the inquiry were initially narrow, restricted only to the specific allegations raised against specific persons named in the media over a period of just five years, Fitzgerald used his moral authority to lever the inquiry into a position of being able to inquire into any relevant matter. The terms of reference for the Commission were extended twice.[1]

This enabled him to set a new precedent for commissions of inquiry and Royal Commissions in Australia generally, using innovative methods such as indemnities from prosecution for key witnesses to secure vital evidence. The inquiry was initially expected to last about six weeks; it instead spent almost two years conducting a comprehensive investigation of long-term, systemic political corruption and abuse of power in Queensland. Public sittings were held on 238 days, hearing testimony from 339 witnesses.[1]

On 28 August, a Licensing Branch sergeant, Harry Burgess implicated Jack Herbert, and assistant commissioner Graeme Parker. Parker confessed and implicated police commissioner Sir Terry Lewis on 16 September.[3]

The inquiry would eventually outlive the Bjelke-Petersen government. Mike Ahern became the new Premier after Bjelke-Petersen was deposed by his own party.[4] Evidence revealed by the investigation (including testimony from Bjelke-Petersen himself) caused significant political damage and an internal power struggle within the National Party, resulting in Bjelke-Petersen resigning as Premier after his unsuccessful attempt to have the Governor of Queensland sack all of his ministers after they deposed him as party leader.

The inquiry’s special prosecutor was Doug Drummond QC. It was Drummond who decided not to retry Bjelke-Petersen after the hung jury.

Findings

Fitzgerald’s report was submitted on 3 July 1989.[1] Based on the inquiry’s final report,[5] a number of high-profile politicians were charged with crimes; notably Queensland Police Commissioner (Sir) Terry Lewis was charged with corruption.

Bjelke-Petersen himself was charged with perjury in respect of evidence given to the inquiry. The jury in the case remained deadlocked, bringing about a mistrial.[6] In 1992 it was revealed that the jury foreman, Luke Shaw, was a member of the Young Nationals, was identified with the “Friends of Joh” movement and had misrepresented the state of deliberations to the judge. According to an ABC TV analysis, “A later inquiry conducted by Justice Bill Carter found the selection process had been manipulated by …ex-police officers …helping to put Joh before a jury led by Young Nationals member, Luke Shaw.”[7] A special prosecutor announced in 1992 there would be no retrial because Sir Joh, then aged 81, was too old.

Jack Herbert had been the bagman, collecting bribes for police commissioner Terry Lewis from 1980. Lewis himself had been a bagman for former commissioner Francis Bischof.[3] Lewis was convicted (and subsequently stripped of his knighthood).

Leisha Harvey former health minister, was charged with misappropriating of public funds as part of an investigation resulting from the findings of the inquiry. She spent one year in jail.[4] Don Lane, former transport minister, was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment for falsifying expense accounts.[4] Lane’s resignation resulted in the 1989 Merthyr state by-election. Brian Austin, another former health minister, was convicted of misappropriating public funds. Hinze’s resignation led to the 1988 South Coast state by-election.

The Queensland Police Special Bureau was formed on 30 July 1940 and renamed Special Branch on 7 April 1948. It was criticised for being used for political purposes by the Bjelke-Petersen government in the 1970s and 1980s, such as enforcing laws against protests (sometimes outnumbering the protesters or using provocateurs to incite violence so the protesters could be arrested[8]) and investigating and harassing political opponents.[9] It was disbanded in 1989 following a recommendation by the Fitzgerald Inquiry.[9] Special Branch destroyed its records before Fitzgerald could subpoena them.[9]

In large part due to public anger over the revelations in the Fitzgerald report, the National Party was heavily defeated in the December 1989 state election, which brought the Australian Labor Party to power for the first time since 1957.

Recommendations

The two most significant recommendations were the establishment of the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) and the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission which was to review electoral boundaries.[1] The need for Freedom of Information legislation in the state was noted, as was the need to review laws relating to public assembly and guidelines for the disclosure of pecuniary interests of parliamentarians. The CJC was to be responsible for investigating specific individuals mentioned during the inquiry.

The police culture of the state was also criticised. Aspects such as loyalty to fellow police officers, police not enforcing laws against other police and criticism of other police being impermissible[clarification needed] were condemned because they led to misconduct, inefficiency and contempt for the justice system.[1] Many of the inquiry’s recommendations were implemented by Wayne Goss, the first Labor Party Premier of Queensland in 32 years.

Cultural depictions

Bjelke-Petersen’s trial was later the subject of a TV movie, “Joh’s Jury“.[10]

Margot Hutcheson painted a picture of the inquiry, Wasn’t the Fitzgerald Inquiry Fun?[11]

In 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, the Fitzgerald Inquiry was announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland for its role as a “Defining Moment”.[12]

See also

References

Bibliography

  • Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct, “Fitzgerald Inquiry report”, Government Printer, Brisbane, 1989.

Further reading

FOR more than three decades, Queensland Police simply called it “The Joke”.

And for the crooked cops who were in on it, along with a cavalcade of pimps, gamblers, prostitutes, drug dealers and politicians, being part of the punchline was lucrative business.

When The Courier-Mail finally exposed the system of corrupt payments with the landmark reporting of journalist Phil Dickie in 1987, it was clear the operation had penetrated the highest echelons and darkest recesses of life in the Sunshine State.

Police Commissioner Terry Lewis and other corrupt officers were caught taking bribes from a pool fed by bookies and brothel owners, such as Geraldo Bellino.

Vic Conte

The main beneficiaries were the police. Courier-Mail journalist Matt Condon, who has written a best-selling ­trilogy about that era, wrote The Joke was an “elaborate, multi-million dollar scheme of kickbacks from illegal gambling, SP bookmakers, brothels and escort services”.

At its zenith in the mid- 1980s, the system’s meticulous bookkeeper Jack “the Bagman” Herbert was raking in so much cash he was running out of places to store it in his luxury, riverfront apartment at East Brisbane.

By 1987, he was chan­nelling about $56,000 a month to police to protect SP bookmakers, casino and brothel operators from any serious law enforcement.

By then, the system was brazenly operating in the open, secure in its institutional hold on the police force and protection from the National Party government of then premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

Bagman Jack Herbert

Detective Sergeant Tony Murphy

Dickie’s investigative skills eventually shattered The Joke’s sense of impunity as he exposed the chain of money flowing to the police’s notorious Licensing Branch.

Reports in The Courier-Mail and an expose by ABC journalist Chris Masters on Four Corners led to the Fitzgerald inquiry, which finally finished The Joke in 1989 as three government ministers and police commissioner Terry Lewis were jailed.

Want to see more?( 6 more photos in collection )Continue to full gallery

In the final instalment of his trilogy, All Fall Down, Condon details a 1984 document written by serving police that provided forensic insight into The Joke’s structure, operation, breadth and membership.

It traced the system back to the 1950s, when the force was riven by factional fighting between Irish Catholics and the Masons.

The Joke then flourished under Frank Bischoff, who was commissioner from 1958 to 1969. Bischoff initiated Lewis, who was a young detective at the time, into the system and groomed him as a future successor.

Police Commissioner Frank Bischoff.

Notorious poker machine king, businessman and yachtsman Jack Rooklyn.

Lewis readily accepted his new duties, becoming one of the notorious Rat Pack, which included Herbert and detectives Tony Murphy and Glen Hallahan.

Murphy, who later rose to be assistant commissioner, allegedly coined the term The Joke and ensured that the Rat Pack controlled its operations. He was known as The Godfather.

The rest of The Joke operated as a series of autonomous cells led by an officer known as a “control”. Controls answered to another control on the level above them but would not deal with any other person, insulating the Rat Pack from being ­exposed. Citing the document, which was sent to then opposition police spokesman Kevin Hooper, Condon said the Rat Pack used police resources to corrupt politicians, government departments and leaders of industry.

“Illegal tapping of phones and use of sophisticated electronic surveillance gear, control of illegal gambling, prostitution at all levels and the keeping of comprehensive files on citizens of prominence are all ways in which this group of men are able to get appointed to high rank in the department,” the document said.

“There is not a level of ­society that these men do not have contacts and informants who work for them either through fear of exposure or for monetary gain.”

Hector Hapeta

Graeme Parker

 

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Six SA Cops arrested on theft and abuse of public office charges by ICAC


6 Coppers in SA wouldn’t have been stealing the drugs  or property they bust in raids would they? Surely not, stay tuned!

Updated with the charges.I have the names of these officers who are supposed to upload the law but have chosen to not name them just YET.

Charges include:

  • A 53-year-old man from Darlington – abuse of public office and aggravated theft
  • A 43-year-old man from Aberfoyle Park – two counts of abuse of public office, two counts of theft, and property damage
  • A 38-year-old man from Woodcroft – two counts of abuse of public office, two counts of aggravated theft and property damage
  • A 33-year-old man from Camden Park – abuse of public office and aggravated theft
  • A 31-year-old woman from Sellicks Beach – abuse of public office, aggravated theft and property damage
  • A 27-year-old woman from Woodcroft – abuse of public office and aggravated theft.

ICAC investigation: Six Adelaide SAPOL police officers charged with theft, abuse of public office

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://content6.video.news.com.au/RjcWoycTpSVlBQNMN88DLQj9OVeiSDYi/promo237443590&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

POLICE will probe into the culture of the alleged offending of six officers arrested in the first major bust by the state’s new ICAC and its potential causes, Police Commissioner Gary Burns says.

Speaking outside the Police Association of SA annual delegates conference this morning, Mr Burns said a police department review of the Operation Mantle team where the officers worked would consider “the circumstances that may have fostered this type of behaviour to make sure it doesn’t happen again or in any other Mantle team”.

He said the seventh member of the team, a senior constable who has not faced charges, was also under investigation.

Mr Burns said the investigations of those officers, who have been suspended on full pay, may put cases they were working on under threat and also revealed the charges relating to property damage involved the destruction of potential police exhibits.

“That’s part of what we are looking at now — what the broader impact on policing is, in particular if these particular officers are involved in any arrests or reports that might be before the courts or going before the courts,” Mr Burns said.

He was unable to identify how many investigations it could affect.

Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, Bruce Lander, with Police Commissioner Gary
Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, Bruce Lander, with Police Commissioner Gary Burns announce the arrests.

Police Association of SA President Mark Carroll said the all members of the team are association members and should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

He said the association would be speaking with them over the coming days.

Earlier this morning, Mr Burns told 891 ABC radio the offending ranks as a “ten” on the scale of one to ten in its seriousness.

Despite considering the level of alleged corruption as low level, when asked on radio this morning to rank the seriousness of the alleged offending Mr Burns had no hesitation in putting it at the top of the scale.

“From a police department’s perspective I expect every police officer to act with honesty and integrity,” he told 891 ABC radio this morning.

How the country’s ICACs compare

How the country’s ICACs compare

“Talking to people within the department there’s quite a level of shock and horror about it.

“All I’m trying to say here is no form of corruption should be tolerated.

“From a police perspective this is something that really impacts on us particularly when it comes to public confidence.”

Mr Burns said he did not have a value of the goods allegedly taken by the officers charged.

He said while none of the goods could be considered high value there were greater issues at play for police.

Aguide to the investigation

A guide to the investigation

“The issue for us is that these officers used their authority to enter premises to investigate drug offences and while they were doing that the allegation is that they took this type of equipment and they had no authority to do that,” he said.

Mr Burns agreed with the suggestion that prosecutors would allege the officers charged “got sticky fingers”.

“Yes, that’s right,” he said.

Mr Burns and Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Bruce Lander announced the officers, including a sergeant, were charged on Monday with abuse of public office and stealing items including alcohol and electronics.

Mr Burns conceded the arrests would damage the public impression of SA Police.

The Sturt Police station.
The Sturt Police station.

“The allegations are very disappointing,” Mr Burns told The Advertiser today.

“Obviously every police officer in South Australia … will be concerned about this, because we work on reputation. “We need public confidence and public support.

“Any matter like this, where police officers are involved in criminality will always have an impact.” “It shouldn’t be seen as a reflection on the other 4500 police officers who go out and do their work on a daily basis to the best of their ability.”

He said a deeper probe of the Operation Mantle branch would be conducted.

The joint investigation was led by Mr Lander with assistance from SA Police’s Anti-Corruption Branch. The four men and two women will appear in court on December 19.

Mr Burns said “irregularities” were first raised with senior police in January and February this year.The ICAC was then alerted, as required by legislation, including interviews with the one member not arrested and former staff in the unit.

“This is isolated to a small group,” Mr Burns insisted. “We’ll be looking at what opportunities they had that formed this little subculture that they operated.”

The six officers face a total of 18 charges including abuse of public office, aggravated theft and property damage. They range in age from 27 to 53.

The group is not accused of onselling the allegedly stolen property.

Mr Lander, a former Federal Court judge, said he took charge of the inquiry to ensure that a person independent of the police force was probing the allegations.

Mr Lander said the accused officers had “let down” the force but he remained impressed by the professionalism of Anti-Corruption Branch officers he had worked with.

“I thought it appropriate that somebody independent of SAPOL head the investigation because of the allegations that have been made,” Mr Lander said.

“I’m satisfied with the integrity of the Anti-Corruption Branch. “I think they would have still carried out the investigation even if I had not been occupying the position I did.”

Mr Lander said he was “disappointed” by both the allegations and evidence uncovered.

Mr Burns said Operation Mantle was dispatched to deal with “low level” drug dealing and street crime. There was “no indication” the officers had stolen drugs, he said.

“It’s mainly in the lower-category items. Liquor, tools, some electronics,” Mr Burns said.

“The arrests today don’t finalise the investigation. This investigation will be ongoing.”

SA became the last state in the nation to set up an ICAC when the new watchdog became operational in September last year. This is its first case to result in arrests.

Mr Lander has previously revealed he had referred some allegations for prosecution.

Premier Jay Weatherill said he was disappointed by the allegations but said the arrests vindicated his move to set up an ICAC after having claimed the Labor leadership.

“Of course it’s awful when we see these breaches in public trust,” he said. “The public should have confidence the ICAC is doing its work and, where it finds these instances of breaches of public integrity, it’s rooting them out and bringing people to justice.

“The truth is there are still people that engage in opportunistic episodes of corruption, and we’re seeing that revealed. “It’s a good thing though (that) before these things take hold and become institutionalised that they’re able to be searched for, found and the people that have had these breaches of public trust brought to justice.

“I’m confident that it’s an isolated instance.”

The officers have been suspended from duty pending court proceedings.

He said one case under investigation related to the “conduct of a senior person in public administration’’ and local government was over-represented in complaints.

Of more than 900 complaints and reports made in the first year of the ICAC’s operation, less than 60 are under investigation for corruption-related offences after being assessed.

Mr Lander’s first report to State Parliament is expected to be tabled within weeks.


 

Six South Australian police officers will be charged as part of a joint investigation between the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption and SA Police Anti-Corruption Branch.

The six plain-clothes officers from the Sturt local service area in Adelaide’s southern suburbs are facing allegations of property-related theft and abuse of public office.

More details will be given at a news conference by ICAC Commissioner Bruce Lander and Police Commissioner Gary Burns.

Under Section 56 of ICAC legislation, Commissioner Lander has authorised police to publish and discuss details of the arrests.

The officers are part of Operation Mantle, which has been investigating drug-related crime.

South Australia’s ICAC formally started operating just over a year ago, with a range of strict and secretive legislative protocols.

It prompted Commissioner Lander to recommend late last year that the SA Government ease some secrecy provisions of the legislation.

Mr Lander said the ICAC Act had been over-engineered regarding confidentiality.

 

Update-convicted and jailed-Ex-cop David Branov pleads not guilty to more than 50 charges


Former police officer David Branov.
Former police officer David Branov.

AN alleged rogue cop linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs gave up the drug ice only to get a job with Victoria Police, a court has heard.

David Branov, 42, of Mill Park, was yesterday refused bail after allegedly committing serious offences while free on bail.

Melbourne Magistrates’ Court heard the former senior constable gave up ice to secure a position in the force. He began using it again within two years on the job and remained an addict, the court heard.

Mr Branov, who is no longer on the force, has pleaded not guilty to more than 50 charges, including dozens of offences allegedly committed while on bail.

The court heard the suspended officer was arrested on April 29 after he was discovered being driven about in a stolen BMW while in possession of lock-picking equipment.

A search of his house turned up a swag of stolen documents, including drivers’ licences and a passport, the court heard.

Imitation guns, swords, nunchucks, hunting knives and a balaclava were also seized by detectives.

David Branov at a previous court appearance.
David Branov at a previous court appearance.

The new charges include theft, handling stolen goods, possessing the proceeds of crime, weapons offences, possessing counterfeit money, possessing housebreaking implements, going equipped to steal, and committing an indictable offence while on bail.

The court heard police believed he was an unacceptable risk of reoffending if released again.

Mr Branov was first charged just over a year ago when police alleged he stole more than $5000 worth of the drug ice from the Fitzroy police station and sold it.

He is also accused of selling sensitive information to criminals for $600 a month.

Magistrate Jelena Popovic was critical of Mr Branov for failing to comply with his bail conditions and said the community expected better from a serving police officer.

She also expressed concern at Victoria Police accepting him into the police force considering the revelations of his drug abuse at the time.

“I’m concerned you were accepted at all,” she said.

Mr Branov will return to court in July.

Monday, May 12, 2014

David Branov, a very bent copper
David Branov, a very bent copper

Former senior constable David James Branov, 42, of Epping, was arrested in April last year and charged with offences including perverting the course of justice, misconduct and drugs and weapons offences.

He was released on bail but was arrested again in April this year when he was a passenger in a stolen BMW containing stolen property which was pulled over by police.

A search of his house turned up stolen identification documents, lock-picking tools, Victoria Police badges, samurai swords and imitation firearms, the Melbourne Magistrates Court heard.

Branov on Monday pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, including one count of possessing child pornography.

Informant Detective Sergeant Jarrod Weddle told the court Branov told him he had a drug addiction he overcame to join the police force, but started using again because of the “stress of the job”.

“He told me he’d been a ice addict prior to joining the police force,” Det Sgt Weddle said.

“I think he needs to commit offences to support his drug habit.”

Branov is also alleged to have stolen drugs from the Fitzroy police station property office under the pretence of doing “spot tests”.

“While the bag was open the drugs would be removed and substituted with another substance,” Det Sgt Weddle said.

Branov is also accused of conspiring with Dean Murphy, 38, of Seddon, and Jamie McNally, 34, of Tarneit, to prevent a brief of evidence being used in court against McNally.

Det Sgt Weddle told the court detectives found a printout of police documents at a Dromana property in April last year.

The detectives were told “the occupant was paying a police officer $600 a month in exchange for information”, Det Sgt Weddle said.

Branov resigned from Victoria Police in November 2013.

Magistrate Jelena Popovic denied Branov bail and said she was severely concerned about items found in his possession including the weapons, lock-picking tools and identification papers.

“I have some concerns about the fact you were admitted to the police force,” she said.

Branov will appear in the Victorian County Court on Tuesday.

Fitzroy police under corruption probe, court told

May 12, 2014

Court reporter for The Age

Police officers suspended from duties at an inner-Melbourne station during a corruption probe are in the process of being disciplined by force command, a court has heard.

Officers based at Fitzroy police station had been suspended over the past year and were now being disciplined, Melbourne Magistrates Court heard of Monday. yeah “disciplined, that’s it…might sign up myself…bloody hell

Victoria Police last year suspended eight officers – six of them from the Fitzroy station – after thousands of pages of confidential police documents were found at three properties, which prompted an investigation into links between police and outlaw motorcycle gangs.

One of the officers at the Fitzroy station arrested in the probe was David Branov, who is accused of leaking information from the police Law Enforcement Assistance Program database to help an associate’s alleged drug trafficking enterprise.

Detective Sergeant Jarrod Weddle, from Victoria Police’s professional standards division, said investigators believed Mr Branov provided co-accused Dean Murphy with information the latter could use to chase drug debts, and conducted surveillance with him.

Detective Sergeant Weddle said Mr Branov had admitted stealing drugs from the property office at Fitzroy police station between 2010 and 2013, and that he had been an ice addict before and during his time as a police officer.

He rose to the rank of senior constable but resigned late last year, the court heard.

Mr Branov is also accused of thwarting a police investigation into Mr Murphy’s alleged drug trafficking and preventing a brief of evidence against another co-accused, Jamie McNally, going to court.

Mr Branov, 42, of Epping, on Monday pleaded not guilty to more than 50 charges including perverting the course of justice, theft, dealing with the proceeds of crime and possessing counterfeit money, child pornography, firearms and drugs.

Detective Sergeant Weddle did not outline how many of the suspended police officers had been disciplined. But he said several officers were suspected of being involved in criminal activity.

The court heard Mr Branov was arrested in April last year after police found confidential police files at a Dromana property.

Investigators were told the man who occupied the property paid a police officer $600 a month in exchange for the information.

Mr Branov was on bail over the corruption-related charges but was remanded in custody last month when a search warrant of his home found documents and goods that had been allegedly stolen from homes and cars.

He was arrested on April 29 when police intercepted a stolen BMW with him and two other men inside, the court heard.

Mr Branov was denied bail on Monday and remanded to appear before the County Court on Tuesday.

Deputy chief magistrate Jelena Popovic said the accused ought to appear before the Supreme Court given the seriousness of the allegations, which were “akin to the very, very large trafficking (cases) and murders”.

But Ms Popovic said it was practical for Mr Branov to appear in the same jurisdiction as Mr Murphy and Mr McNally, should their cases proceed beyond the committal stage.

Mr Murphy, 38, of Seddon, and Mr McNally, 34, of Tarneit are also charged with perverting the course of justice. Mr Murphy also faces charges of possessing drugs and weapons and Mr Branov to disclose information.

Mr Murphy and Mr McNally are due to return to court on May 27 after both had their cases adjourned so they could find legal representation.
Ms Popovic chastised both men for wasting the court’s time and police resources by not having lawyers with them in court. Both men are on bail.
A woman who is an associate of Mr Murphy’s on Monday pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and possessing a firearm. She was bailed to appear before the County Court in August.

Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch tries to protect copper son in Big Bash POUNDING


Senior policeman’s son in Big Bash probe

NSW Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch's son is under investigation for allegedly punching repeatedly a spectator during a Big Bash cricket match at the SCG.

Either Dad does not recognise his own son (The tow the line excuse) or Dad made and early attempt to cover up his OWN sons outrageous behaviour quickly…What are the odds of all the cops and incidents in NSW and this BIG WIG COMMISSIONER fronts the media and tries to water down the behaviour of the “OFFICER” in question.?Friggin happens to be his own son…what a crock of shit…

Cop bashes cricket fan

A police officer has been captured on video repeatedly punching a Big Bash cricket spectator

UPDATE 5.50pm: NSW Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch’s son is under investigation for allegedly punching repeatedly a spectator during a Big Bash cricket match at the SCG.

Mobile phone video footage of the incident emerged yesterday showing a uniformed NSW policeman punching the 39-year-old Sydney man several times as security officers restrained him.

It emerged today that the officer shown in the video footage, aired by the Seven Network, is the son of Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch.

A police spokesman confirmed the sole police officer shown in the footage was Mr Murdoch’s son.

Mr Murdoch, commander of the Central Metropolitan police region, today removed himself from an internal police investigation into the incident, citing a personal conflict of interest.

“Mr Murdoch, who launched the investigation, became aware late yesterday (Friday) that a relative was involved in the police response and immediately informed the NSW Police Executive that it would be inappropriate for his region to undertake the investigation,” NSW Police said.

“The conflict was not immediately apparent as initial names of officers supplied to the region of officers involved in the arrest of a man were not complete.”

Officers attached to the North West Metropolitan police region will now lead the investigation.

The incident took place in the Victor Trumper stand during the Big Bash limited overs match between Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers on January 18.

The spectator allegedly first refused to leave the Sydney Cricket Ground when asked and then resisted arrest.

He was taken to Surry Hills police station where he was issued with a field court attendance notice for remaining within a licensed premises and resisting police.

Mr Murdoch told the Seven Network yesterday that “the video footage, in isolation, doesn’t look great”.

But he said the incident had to be taken in context, adding: “We will allege that he (the spectator) resisted arrest quite violently.”

Cops break mans leg in bogus arrest, claiming $200,000 compo


POLICE who broke a man’s leg after he taunted them about not being able to park a car could end up costing taxpayers $200,000 in compensation.

 

DEMANDING APOLOGY: Martin Francis with an X-ray of his broken leg

The leg of Martin Francis, 46, was badly broken in two places, he lost his job and was out of work for eight months after he was wrongfully arrested in August last year and jammed into a police vehicle outside a Mount Isa nightclub.

Mr Francis yesterday said his leg was “nearly snapped in half” in the tussle with three police.

Surgeons had to pin and screw his bones together during a recovery that took six months.

“I was screaming in pain, telling them they had broken my leg,” he said.

“They told me to shut up, that it was a sore foot.”

He said his leg was wedged between two seats and broke as he was dragged by the hair and shoved into a police car.

“They were pumped up and looking for action and took their testosterone out on me. I deserve an apology,” he said.

Extra police were on duty in Mount Isa on the night in anticipation of trouble over the opening of a Rebels bikie gang clubhouse.

Mr Francis said his troubles began when he was smoking outside the Irish Club and criticised police about a poorly parked patrol car.

His lawyer, Kyle Barram, yesterday confirmed he was negotiating an out-of-court settlement with the Queensland Police Service after a magistrate threw out the case against Mr Francis last July. He ordered police to pay Mr Francis’s costs.

Mr Francis said his foot was still numb, he had trouble walking and struggled to do his tyre fitter’s job.

In a damning judgment handed down on July 22, Mount Isa Magistrate Cathy Wadley dismissed all three charges against Mr Francis including disorderly behaviour, failing to leave a premise and obstructing police.

She condemned the actions of the three police officers.

She described them as “unreliable” and “inconsistent” in their evidence.

“It is obvious, on the evidence, that Mr Francis’s leg was broken at the time of being placed into the police vehicle,” she said in her judgment.

“It is inconceivable that any man who has had his leg broken would not scream out in pain.”

She said the officers had reacted to a comment.

“This is a case where (they) should have resisted the sting of any insult,” she said.

An internal police investigation has been ordered.

The Queensland Police Service did not comment last night.

Police Corruption on the Gold Coast


Police Corruption and rorts rife on Gold Coast

SERIOUS charges are set to be laid against 10 people, including current and former police, after allegations of Gold Coast police using drugs, associating with criminals and turning a blind eye to crimes including nightclub drug rapes.

Six police are also facing disciplinary action as a result of the Crime and Misconduct Commission‘s Operation Tesco probe into Gold Coast police misconduct.

The first day of Operation Tesco’s public hearings has heard explosive evidence of Coast police stroking the Gold Coast’s dark underbelly.

In his opening address, counsel assisting the inquiry, John Allen, said Operation Tesco was sparked after eyewitness accounts of  Gold Coast police taking drugs and being paid bribes by criminals for tip-offs.

Mr Allen said while the allegations were not proven, they were a ‘significant trigger’ for Tesco which had uncovered ‘significant evidence’ of police having improper associations with criminals and providing them with confidential information.

The inquiry was told drugs including 30 ecstasy pills and two bags of amphetamine were found during a raid in January this year on a Brisbane apartment where a Gold Coast police officer codenamed G7, and associates including a suspected drug supplier, were staying.

During secret hearings, officer G7 admitted to taking ecstasy, using and supply ‘black market‘ steroids and receiving $100 drink cards at Surfers Paradise nightclubs and improperly processing bouncer licence applications.

Officer G7 had also admitted to using the police computer to do criminal checks on girlfriends.

Another officer, D1, admitted to associating with drug dealers and said the receipt of free drinks was ‘common knowledge’ among senior police. He said Gold Coast police also received free McDonald’s meals and tickets to Gold Coast Titans games.

The hearing was also told that the use of ‘blue light taxis’ to ferry off-duty officers, friends and family to and from nightclubs and social functions was a longstanding and accepted practice among Gold Coast police.

Mr Allen said there were reports some police whistleblowers were ‘harassed, intimidated, victimised and humiliated’ for co-operating with the inquiry.

He said the CMC expected to lay charges against one current and one former officer and recommend disciplinary action against a further six officers.

“Criminal charges are also expected to be laid against eight civilians, most of those being in connection with serious drug offences,” he said.

The hearing is set to run for five days and will continue this afternoon with the first police witnesses.

Is your car “Speed Certified?” That’s how this AFP copper got off…


My Say

Here is a new way to get out of a speeding fine.When most of us would lose our car under the new  anti-hoon laws, this copper was busted doing 123km in a 80km zone.He was duly given a ticket only to have it withdrawn under pressure from his superiors! Their excuse was his car was not “Speed Certified” Whatever the hell that means I’m sure all us mere mortals are not speed certified either.I wonder what would happen if we tell that to the copper/magistrate next time we get booked. Isn’t that called a precedent?…

A FEDERAL Police superintendent allegedly caught driving more than 40km/h over the limit escaped with just a caution amid claims the officer who issued the fine was pressured to withdraw a speeding ticket, the Herald Sun can reveal.

A decision handed down this week by Fair Work Australia raises allegations that junior officer Richard Curie was pressured to withdraw a speeding ticket he issued to Supt Eric Grimm.

The pressure allegedly came from senior officers, including a sergeant who is reportedly a friend of Supt Grimm.

Supt Grimm was initially fined after he was allegedly caught travelling at 123km/h in an 80km/h zone in the ACT in April 2007.

But the ticket was withdrawn after senior officers intervened and replaced the fine with a traffic caution notice.

The allegations have come to light after Mr Curie complained he had been unfairly sacked after being bullied over unrelated matters and complained to Fair Work Australia.

According to FWA commissioner John Ryan, Mr Curie alleges that Supt Grimm’s speeding fine was withdrawn because the AFP vehicle Mr Curie was driving when he issued the ticket was not “speed certified”.

“Mr Curie asserted in his written submission that his supervisor Sgt Steve Rollings was a friend of Supt Grimm and that Sgt Rollings improperly suggested that Mr Curie not proceed with any action against Supt Grimm,” Mr Ryan said in a decision lodged on Tuesday.

“Mr Curie then reported Sgt Rollings to relevant AFP authorities. On the 16th or 17th April 2007 a second AFP officer, Patrol Sgt Ghirardello, recommended to Mr Curie that it was more appropriate to issue Supt Grimm with a caution given that the vehicle Mr Curie had been driving was not speed certified.

“Subsequently and independently of the above the TIN was withdrawn and a traffic caution notice was issued to Supt Grimm.”

Mr Curie yesterday declined to comment on the matter, but AFP sources said speeding tickets were regularly issued in the ACT by officers using police cars that were not “speed certified”.

Mr Curie’s application to have an extension granted on his unfair dismissal claim was dismissed by FWA commissioner Mr Ryan on Tuesday.

The AFP yesterday said it could not respond to a series of questions about Mr Curie’s claims by deadline.

The AFP also declined to say whether it would support the withdrawal of other fines issued by AFP officers driving cars that were not “speed certified”.

Is your car "Speed Certified?" That's how this AFP copper got off…


My Say

Here is a new way to get out of a speeding fine.When most of us would lose our car under the new  anti-hoon laws, this copper was busted doing 123km in a 80km zone.He was duly given a ticket only to have it withdrawn under pressure from his superiors! Their excuse was his car was not “Speed Certified” Whatever the hell that means I’m sure all us mere mortals are not speed certified either.I wonder what would happen if we tell that to the copper/magistrate next time we get booked. Isn’t that called a precedent?…

A FEDERAL Police superintendent allegedly caught driving more than 40km/h over the limit escaped with just a caution amid claims the officer who issued the fine was pressured to withdraw a speeding ticket, the Herald Sun can reveal.

A decision handed down this week by Fair Work Australia raises allegations that junior officer Richard Curie was pressured to withdraw a speeding ticket he issued to Supt Eric Grimm.

The pressure allegedly came from senior officers, including a sergeant who is reportedly a friend of Supt Grimm.

Supt Grimm was initially fined after he was allegedly caught travelling at 123km/h in an 80km/h zone in the ACT in April 2007.

But the ticket was withdrawn after senior officers intervened and replaced the fine with a traffic caution notice.

The allegations have come to light after Mr Curie complained he had been unfairly sacked after being bullied over unrelated matters and complained to Fair Work Australia.

According to FWA commissioner John Ryan, Mr Curie alleges that Supt Grimm’s speeding fine was withdrawn because the AFP vehicle Mr Curie was driving when he issued the ticket was not “speed certified”.

“Mr Curie asserted in his written submission that his supervisor Sgt Steve Rollings was a friend of Supt Grimm and that Sgt Rollings improperly suggested that Mr Curie not proceed with any action against Supt Grimm,” Mr Ryan said in a decision lodged on Tuesday.

“Mr Curie then reported Sgt Rollings to relevant AFP authorities. On the 16th or 17th April 2007 a second AFP officer, Patrol Sgt Ghirardello, recommended to Mr Curie that it was more appropriate to issue Supt Grimm with a caution given that the vehicle Mr Curie had been driving was not speed certified.

“Subsequently and independently of the above the TIN was withdrawn and a traffic caution notice was issued to Supt Grimm.”

Mr Curie yesterday declined to comment on the matter, but AFP sources said speeding tickets were regularly issued in the ACT by officers using police cars that were not “speed certified”.

Mr Curie’s application to have an extension granted on his unfair dismissal claim was dismissed by FWA commissioner Mr Ryan on Tuesday.

The AFP yesterday said it could not respond to a series of questions about Mr Curie’s claims by deadline.

The AFP also declined to say whether it would support the withdrawal of other fines issued by AFP officers driving cars that were not “speed certified”.

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