Wendy Wedge has had a swing at Andrew and Theo Theophanous but below that is a pro-Andrew piece written by one of his supporters who takes the NCA to task.
Well not exactly in Andrew’s defence more in his own with a rather clever piece in The Age showing sanguineous fraternal concern while displaying politically fraternal disapproval.
Theo made much of Andrew’s childhood, intelligence and courage with a few anecdotes from his schooldays.
Among the anecdotes some beauties. For instance, Andrew is supposed to have started a philosophy club which was closed down by teachers at Glenroy High School because it was disruptive. Theo goes on to laud Andrew’s courage by inviting us to all to marvel at a young man living in Broadmeadows and inviting the locals along to philosophy classes.
Now with some Broady boys for instance Eddie McGuire it does take some imagining to think about him being invited only to a philosophy club but then Eddie didn’t go to school with Andrew.
But what Theo might have to explain at some time or other, is the ease with which he used a sneering aside against a strong working class community which has voted solidly ALP for so long to make his brother look better.
Because what Theo is saying from his official position as an ALP Upper House member, Parliamentary Secretary, long-time leftie etc etc – is “look how funny and quaint, trying to interest the working classes in intellectual things.” While this is probably the official, if silent, view of many ALP apparatchiks it doesn’t do to proclaim it too loudly.
What’s worse is that it looks as if Theo’s anecdotes could be wrong.
Thanks to the many crikey lists Wendy was able to talk to a few of Dr Andrew’s schoolmates who don’t remember things quite the way Theo did.
One said they couldn’t recall Andrew’s philosophy club but did recall Andrew raving on about the mystical nonsense associated with Rosicrucians and theosophy.
As far as teachers closing down such a club the general view was that the then staff would have encouraged it just as they encourage political debate and assorted other extra-curricula activities.
Said another: “A few of our generation succumbed to car accidents and drugs. Two even shot their father and were acquitted. A few have started bands and become academics but I think Andrew might be the first to go to gaol.”
In defence of Theophanous
After Wendy’s spray, it is only fare that this pro-Theophanous anti-NCA piece get a run. The author’s name has been withheld.
By A Theophanous Supporter
This is an attempt to distill the Theophanous case into a more manageable form. It is a first draft and is probably too long and full of burble. As far as I am aware there is no fact in here that was not evidence in the trial or in the committal.
The case starts out as 27 charges and a number of scurrillous allegations (such as that he received $24000) that drop off as the case gets closer to Court.
In the end Dr Theophanous is found guilty of 4 of the 6 charges remaining on the indictment.
Dr Theophanous is found guilty of one charge of not telling the DIMIA official that his friend’s, John Jang, marriage was on the rocks. He and John Jang were close friends he having been to John’s marriage and John having been to his. Given John Jang had two young children born in Australia Dr Theophanous believed his friend would eventually be given a visa anyway given the circumstances. Normal Aussie mateship would dictate that there was no other course he could take. He was not convicted by the Jury on the charge that this was done for money . It was simply on a charge of misleading (by an act of ommission).
The other three charges he was found guilty of all involved the active participation of an NCA undercover operative Frank Cheung. Cheung it was revealed at the trial had been convicted as the principal of an international drug trafficking exercise involving millions of dollars worth of heroin, after an investigation run by the NCA. He served 5 years in gaol and when he got out started working for the NCA straight away (which seems strange). Cheung was earning 90K plus expenses from the NCA.
Cheung was given an indemnity from prosecution and then does everything he can to implicate Dr Theophanous in any sort of offending he can.
How do they get to him? The NCA know he has a close friend who is chinese, Mr Yau. T. Cheung offers Yau who is a reputable businessman more and more money to get him involved. If you dangle enough bait in front of a fish they will bite and unfortunately Yau takes the bait. Eventually through him they start dealing directly with the MP.
By this stage you have the MP under huge surveillance both video and phone taps. His electorate office is being bugged and home lines and mobiles.
Cheung then has a series of dealings with the MP.
On the evidence at this stage Metcalfe who is high in DIMIA but was previously Ruddock’s personal staff member is one liason with NCA. In discussions with the informer whenever something legitimate by Theophanous is proposed he does not take that course of action. This is in relation to the conspiracy which if the informer had taken steps advised (such as just going to China and marrying her) would not have amounted to a conspiracy.
The Judge does not the list of the unlawful acts of the NCA be put to the jury. The NCA have made an admissions document in which they detail extensive illegality. The Judge does not allow evidence of the extent that this was stage managed by the NCA to be put to the jury (although canvassed and accepted in the committal proceedings).
The media are given extensive inflammatory evidence about sexual liasons. The media run with the ball. They never mention that no chinese woman was ever met and that the allegations were simply that it and future conduct had been discussed.
What do you have at the end of the day;
1. very minor charge involving his friend.
2. huge investigation that shows no other wrongdoing by him. Absolutely nothing to show for tapping an MP’s phones.
3. charges where he is entrapped by the NCA
You also should have a number of questions;
Why was Dr Theophanous entrapped in this manner?
What possible justification, for the phone taps and other surveillance of an MP who was acknowledged to be a thorn in the side of the Immigration Department?
Are the public generally aware that the august body that is the NCA imported heroin and distributed it (read R v Ridgeway)?
Was this an attempt to redress the balance for the unsuccessful prosecution by the NCA of John Elliot?
In this media storm do the public have any idea that he was found guilty of of one charge of not telling the DIMA official that his friend’s, John Jang, marriage was on the rocks?
Are they aware the other three charges he was found guilty of all involved entrapment using the ex-principal of an international drug trafficking exercise who was involved in importing millions of dollars worth of heroin?
Is this really what the public believe the NCA should be doing?
Are the public aware that in relation to Doctor Theophanous the only allegation is that he took $4000 from Cheung and discussed future dealings? That there never was any meeting with a chinese woman (as accepted in evidence).
Wouldn’t the fact that the prosecutors have supplied all the surveillance tapes to the Sunday program prior to sentencing outrage some people?
Why were the NCA unable to find the alleged co-conspirator Chen Quing when they went to China when she is still in the same address she has always been in? How come we could contact her by phone but they did not want to talk to her?
This case has been a beat-up since day one but because he is an MP who cares?