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Australia bans reporting of multi-nation corruption case

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Psycho Punk
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PostPosted: 29-07-2014 23:38    Post subject: Australia bans reporting of multi-nation corruption case Reply with quote

Did they really think they could suppress this? Abbot must have Costello as an adviser on this.

Australia bans reporting of multi-nation corruption case involving Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam

Today, 29 July 2014, WikiLeaks releases an unprecedented Australian censorship order concerning a multi-million dollar corruption case explicitly naming the current and past heads of state of Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, their relatives and other senior officials. The super-injunction invokes “national security” grounds to prevent reporting about the case, by anyone, in order to “prevent damage to Australia's international relations”. The court-issued gag order follows the secret 19 June 2014 indictment of seven senior executives from subsidiaries of Australia's central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). The case concerns allegations of multi-million dollar inducements made by agents of the RBA subsidiaries Securency and Note Printing Australia in order to secure contracts for the supply of Australian-style polymer bank notes to the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and other countries.

The suppression order lists 17 individuals, including "any current or former Prime Minister of Malaysia", “Truong Tan San, currently President of Vietnam", "Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (also known as SBY), currently President of Indonesia (since 2004)", "Megawati Sukarnoputri (also known as Mega), a former President of Indonesia (2001–2004) and current leader of the PDI-P political party" and 14 other senior officials and relatives from those countries, who specifically may not be named in connection with the corruption investigation.

The document also specifically bans the publication of the order itself as well as an affidavit affirmed last month by Australia's representative to ASEAN Gillian Bird, who has just been appointed as Australia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. The gag order effectively blacks out the largest high-level corruption case in Australia and the region.

The last known blanket suppression order of this nature was granted in 1995 and concerned the joint US-Australian intelligence spying operation against the Chinese Embassy in Canberra.

WikiLeaks' publisher Julian Assange said about the order:

"With this order, the worst in living memory, the Australian government is not just gagging the Australian press, it is blindfolding the Australian public. This is not simply a question of the Australian government failing to give this international corruption case the public scrutiny it is due. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop must explain why she is threatening every Australian with imprisonment in an attempt to cover up an embarrassing corruption scandal involving the Australian government."
"The concept of 'national security' is not meant to serve as a blanket phrase to cover up serious corruption allegations involving government officials, in Australia or elsewhere. It is in the public interest for the press to be able to report on this case, which concerns the subsidiaries of the Australian central bank. Who is brokering our deals, and how are we brokering them as a nation? Corruption investigations and secret gag orders for 'national security' reasons are strange bedfellows. It is ironic that it took Tony Abbott to bring the worst of 'Asian Values' to Australia."

Read the Australia-wide censorship order for corruption case involving Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Download the full Australia-wide censorship order for corruption case involving Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
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Great Old One
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PostPosted: 30-07-2014 16:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embarrassing for Australia. From Sydney Morning Herald:

WikiLeaks publishes 'unprecedented' secret Australian court suppression order

July 30, 2014 - 8:10PM

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Philip Dorling

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Julian Assange: 'The Australian government is not just gagging the press, it is blindfolding the public.'

Julian Assange: 'The Australian government is not just gagging the press, it is blindfolding the public.' Photo: AFP


Social media users could be charged for sharing report

WikiLeaks has struck again, releasing the text of a secret court order that cannot be published in Australia.

The anti-secrecy group has this morning published a Victorian Supreme Court suppression order that WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange describes as “unprecedented” in scope.

The suppression order is itself suppressed. No Australian media organisation can legally publish the document or its contents.

In a statement provided to Fairfax Media, Assange said it was “completely egregious to block the public's right to know and suppress the media in any instance, and especially in cases of international corruption involving politicians and subsidiaries of a public organisation”.

“Despite the legal implications WikiLeaks publishes this suppression order, as it will others, to uphold our values of freedom of information and transparency of government - the Australian people have a right to know, we work to ensure this right for them, even when their government tries to obstruct it."

WikiLeaks suggests there has not been a comparable “blanket suppression order” since 1995 when the Australian government sought to suppress publication by Fairfax Media of details of a joint US-Australian espionage operation to bug a new Chinese embassy in Canberra.

Assange argues that the suppression order, together with the Australian government's recent introduction of legislation to criminalise reporting on certain types of intelligence operations, is part of “an increasing trend in Australia of suppressing press freedoms for the sake of politics".

"The Australian government is not just gagging the press, it is blindfolding the Australian public," Assange said.

Since June 2012 Assange has resided at Ecuador's London embassy, where he has been granted political asylum by Ecuador on the grounds that he is at risk of extradition to the US to face conspiracy or other charges arising from the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents by US soldier Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning.

British police are on guard outside the embassy 24 hours a day, waiting to arrest Assange so he can be extradited to Sweden to face questioning about sexual assault and rape allegations that were first raised in August 2010. The cost of the police presence has now exceeded £6.9 million ($12.5 million).

The British and Swedish governments have declined to provide assurances that Assange would not be extradited to the US.

WikiLeaks has continued to publish leaked documents including, over the past year, secret draft treaty texts from the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trade in Services Agreement negotiations.

Head of La Trobe Universtiy's Law School, Patrick Keyzer, did not doubt the Supreme Court had legitimate reasons for issuing the order: "There's always a risk with an order as wide as this that some may view it as suppressing freedom to engage in political discussion. Of course that is it's purpose in a sense, but it's important for the courts to strike a balance between protection of confidential information and preservation of freedom of speech."

Mr Keyzer, an expert on social media and the law, questioned the order's effectiveness, given Wikileaks' reputation for publishing confidential documents online: "Supression orders...were born and developed in the age of the print media. It's very difficult to harness digital media and damn near impossible to harness social media."

He said: "Given that Wikileaks is an organisation that is notoriously and specifically dedicated to the reversal of suppression it only make sense that this is the sort of exercise that will advance interest in the information and cause people to conduct searches for the material."

Mr Keyzer said the disclosures may not be protected by the freedom to discuss political and governmental affairs, depending on how they were sourced.

- With Jane Lee

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PostPosted: 31-07-2014 15:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the modern world, trying to keep stuff like this secret is very, very stupid. It demonstrates a naive and backward view of how the world really works.

Perhaps the powers that be, judiciary, etc. really are that detached from reality.
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