Well, in a reverse as typical as it is disheartening, criminal charges will not be laid against anyone involved in the AFP raid of the AWU. This includes Michaelia Cash.
Zero. The number of criminal charges that will be laid against anyone implicated in the AWU raids back in October 2017. This, of course, includes Michaelia Cash, who has continually denied that her office had anything to do with the raid, particularly in tipping off the media.
Ostensibly, the investigation into the raid will probably amount to an absolute nothing. This is particularly the case for the AFP who launched their own investigation into the investigation, hoping to discover who tipped off the journalists of the raid. Not so much that the raid itself might have been fraudulent, or a tool of higher political machinations.
The politicised manner of the raids is the entire pickle, as a full contingent of assembled media were present to see the AFP kick the union’s front door in. At the time, Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese accused Cash’s office of conducting “an extraordinary intervention in the process.”
While jail may now be out of the question for those who picked up the telephone, it’s best we remember what is on the table, and indeed, what has been admitted.
Ms Cash initially denied that any leak originated from her office, telling the Senate Estimates Committee she was unaware of the raids until they unfolded on television.
It was later reported that journalists from two unnamed news outlets had been tipped-off by Cash’s office an hour before the raids. It was later confirmed that Cash’s staff indeed advised the media of the pending raids.
Ms Cash’s senior media officer, David De Garis, admitted in the Senate that he leaked the information. Mr De Garis later resigned.
It seems very much like the fox investigating the chicken coop, as a spokesman for the AFP said that they “…will not be proceeding with a prosecution as there are no reasonable prospects of conviction…the AFP considers this investigation finalised.”
The case is set to continue in the Federal Court in February, but the primary issue at hand will be the Australian Worker’s Union (the target of the raid) attempting to have the case thrown out entirely.
In times such as these, it’s hard to not immediately default to paranoia. I’m not saying it is corruption, but it quacks like that particular duck. With both the AWU and the offices of Cash fiercely denying any wrongdoing, and Cash (nor anyone in her office) under investigation, the average citizen is left with the bitterest taste upon the tongue. It took two years until a decision was made, and it was one done behind closed doors. It smells similar to the acrid funk of Ashbygate, a similar scandal that they hoped would quietly slip out of view.
Again, it seems the AFP is operating at the behest of those in power, not in the interest of the taxpayer. The only thing that should sate us an independent investigation into the upper echelons of our most powerful police force.
National Integrity Commission, the phone rings for thee.