Saturday, August 28, 2010

Schapelle Corby - QANTAS & The Australian Federal Police in the Dock


















(Stop press to the below - Monday 6th September 2010. QANTAS were contacted this morning by phone, both their Head of Security, Steve Jackson and their Legal Department. Both offices formally advised that they would not, ever, be responding to these legitimate questions - and then hung up.

Also on Monday 6th September 2010, the Australian Federal Police point blank refused to take a professional crime report, re the Australian cultivation and supply of $40,000 worth of marijuana that was found in Schapelle's bag, as the Queensland Police Minister has formally advised this investigation was not his responsibility, and no formal Australian police investigation was ever conducted into the Australian source of these drugs. The AFP officer taking the attempted report of this major crime (to-day), refused to supply either his last name, or his police number, or supply the complainant with a reference number for a crime report - and then hung up.)

An innocent woman is still at major risk of death, or injury, in a Bali hell hole, while both QANTAS and the Australian Federal Police stay silent on the core questions. Well, no more. Because from this day on, their silence (if that's what they choose), will ring out just as loudly as any belated answers.

Major women's magazines in both the UK, and the US (two monthly glossies that shall remain nameless for the time being), are just as keen on asking the numerous questions below as I am (and getting answers, even if the "Answer" is silence) - and the next book (which will sell in the tens, or hundreds, of thousands), will include this information.

Further, these questions are simply what any competent barrister would ask, or any competent Royal Commission for that matter. That not a single elected Australian representative (to date), has had the guts to ask the obvious, is also an enduring stain on our democracy.

These questions are going directly to both Alan Joyce, and Tony Negus, for their attention and response. Whatever they choose to do (once they have them), is their decision, but those decisions will be public.

So Alan and Tony when replying, can you please ensure you reproduce each numbered question below, and put your answer beneath it. This will clarify these important issues for the reader, and prevent avoidance.

First, the list of questions to QANTAS (1 through to 35b), followed by the list of questions to the Australian Federal Police (1 through to 18). Reminders will be sent every two weeks, as necessary.

Questions to QANTAS

1. Did QANTAS Airlines preserve a single frame of their own security footage, relating to Schapelle and/or her luggage, on the 8th of October 2004? If "Yes," please provide details, if "No," please explain why.

2. Did QANTAS Airlines liaise with any other airport security operators, at Brisbane & Sydney Domestic Airports, and Sydney International (including the Brisbane Airport car parks), who may have had jurisdiction of relevant CCTV cameras that day, to ensure they saved all relevant footage, considering Schapelle was a paying QANTAS customer, and the flying public (generally), expect a "Duty of care" from their chosen carrier? If "Yes," please provide details, if "No," please explain why.

3. Did QANTAS, or any other security operator mentioned above, provide a single frame of CCTV footage (relevant to Schapelle and/or her luggage), to the Australian Federal Police? If "Yes," please provide details, if "No," please explain why.

4. On the day Schapelle flew, how many security cameras did QANTAS own and control, that were (possibly), relevant to Schapelle and/or her luggage?

5. Does QANTAS security liaise on a regular basis with all other security providers, within the Australian airports used by QANTAS Airlines? If "Yes," please provide details, if "No," please explain why.

6. How many security cameras, from all security providers (in total, as described in points 1 and 2 above), were possibly relevant to Schapelle and/or her luggage?

7. What security operator was responsible for the airport CCTV cameras identified at point 1.39 of this You Tube clip?

8. What security operator was responsible for the airport CCTV cameras identified at point 1.47 of this You Tube clip?

9. What security operator was responsible for the CCTV camera identified at point 1.50 of this You Tube clip?

10. What security operator was responsible for the CCTV camera identified at point 1.56 of this You Tube clip?

11. As per this You Tube clip, from point 1.59. through to point 2.33, does QANTAS agree that a boogie board bag stuffed full of 4.2 kg of marijuana would be extremely difficult to "Miss"?

12. When a high profile security incident occurs, what formal policies and procedures does QANTAS currently have in place re preserving CCTV footage? I assume your published policy manual would describe this.

13. What policies and procedures were in place around about the 8th of October 2004, as per your policy manual at the time?

14. Would QANTAS describe the arrest of one of their paying customers (in Bali), with 4.2 kg of marijuana in her bag, which she denied all knowledge of (after travelling with your airline, and entrusting her bags to your staff), as a "High profile security incident"?

Note: Schapelle had no criminal record, tested negative for all illicit substances, and was the first Australian (ever, before or since), charged with taking a commercial amount of marijuana from Australia, to Bali, for the perfectly sane reason the drug sells for around ten times more in Australia, and it makes no commercial sense. This in itself should have set off multiple alarms in the QANTAS hierarchy (at least, you'd think so).

15. Did QANTAS (or any other airport security operator), supply a single frame of CCTV footage (ever), to the Australian Federal Police, relating to the activities of its suspect baggage handlers? If "Yes," please supply further details (dates, times, physical areas), if "No," please explain why.

Note: According to your former CEO Geoff Dixon (as reported by the ABC on the 13th May 2005, they were "Under scrutiny" for "6 months").

16 a) On what formal evidence (please describe in detail), did QANTAS Airlines sack these suspect baggage handlers?

b) And did QANTAS Airlines ever formally refer them to the AFP, for further investigation?

c) If so, on what date (or dates), were they referred, and by what manager?

d) Does written documentation in relation to this formal referral still exist, and if not, why not?

e) And If they were not formally referred to the AFP, why was this?

17. Did QANTAS formally identify the staff member (or members), that checked-in Schapelle's luggage? If "No," can QANTAS explain why? If "Yes," are they still working for QANTAS Airlines?

18 a) Did QANTAS management ever interview this staff member (or members), re their recollections of checking-in Schapelle's luggage?

b) If "No," can QANTAS explain why?

c) If "Yes," who were the members of your management team (names & formal positions), who interviewed this person (or persons)?

d) And if they were interviewed, was this interaction filmed and/or recorded?

e) If "Yes," is this footage and/or tape still available? If it is not still available, why is this?

19. Did QANTAS ask this staff member (or members), for a written statement of their recollections, re Schapelle's luggage? If "No," can QANTAS explain why, if "Yes," are these documents still available? If these documents are not still available, why is this?

20. Did the Australian Federal Police ever seek to identify this staff member (or members)?

21. Did the Australian Federal Police ever interview this staff member (or members)?

22. Did the Australian Federal Police ever seek a written statement from this staff member (or members)?

23. As is clearly evident from this You Tube clip, 4.2 kg of a grassy substance makes a very large and noticeable bulge in a boogie board bag. Would QANTAS normally expect their check-in staff to notice such a big protrusion in a piece of luggage that's required (by QANTAS regulations), to be flat, and unencumbered by any other items?

Note: Here is a quote from a news article by Australian journalist Cindy Wockner (2nd April 2005):

"Then there is the evidence from one defence witness, Brisbane airport baggage handler Scott Speed, who said that 95 per cent of baggage handlers would notice and take action if a boogie board bag weighed more than the regulation 3kg."

And here is another from the ABC (24 March 2005):

"Earlier, Qantas baggage handler Scott Speed told the court it was a regulation that no goods, apart from a bodyboard, could be packed in a bodyboard bag. He said he was sure the drugs must have been placed in Schapelle Corby's bag after check-in."

24. Does Scott Speed still work for QANTAS Airlines?

25. On the day Schapelle Corby flew via QANTAS Airlines, did the regulations Scott Speed refers to (e.g. the 3 kg weight limit & "No other goods" for boogie board bags), apply? Is Scott Speed correct in those assertions?

26. Does QANTAS Airlines agree that if the 4.2 kg of marijuana was in Schapelle's boogie board bag on check-in, the item would have been more than double the regulation weight, with a very large and pungent bump, which was (very obviously), something "Other" than just a boogie board?

27. Firstly, does QANTAS Airlines agree with Scott Speed's assertion, e.g. that 95% of staff would have noticed (and reported on), such a large anomaly? Secondly, if the QANTAS check-in staff member/s (in question), was/were careless enough to allow such a massive irregularity through, were they ever identified, counselled, questioned and/or re-trained re their responsibilities? If not, why?

28. Does QANTAS agree that identifying and counselling the check-in staff member/s (in question), should have been a high priority mission, given the ramifications of their failure to adhere to policy and procedure? If that was (indeed), the case . . .

29. In relation to the cocaine importation that occurred at Sydney Airport (via QANTAS Airlines), on the same day Schapelle flew via your airline, was any relevant CCTV footage saved and handed over to the Australian Federal Police (by any relevant security provider)? If "No," what is the explanation for this? If "Yes," what were the relevant times and areas?

Note:
"Defence lawyer Erwin Siregar told the court that Australian Justice Minister Chris Ellison had confirmed in a letter that all cameras in Sydney Airport's baggage handling area were operating the day Corby flew out for Bali." The Age, 26 August 2006

30. As far as QANTAS Airlines is aware was (and is), Chris Ellison's assertions re the CCTV cameras at Sydney Airport (as quoted in point 29 above), correct?

31. How did QANTAS Airlines become aware of Alan Conwell's criminal associations (your security manager on the day Schapelle flew)?

Note: Alan Conwell was "Associated" with Michael Hurley, one of the criminals responsible for the cocaine importation (via QANTAS Airlines), on the day Schapelle flew, as described by ABC Australia:
"Alan Conwell was a former officer with the New South Wales Police Drug Enforcement Agency and was adversely mentioned in the Royal Commission into Police Corruption in 1996. During the commission he was mentioned in relation to Michael Hurley, who is now wanted for his alleged connection to an international cocaine ring." ABC
32. On what date was Alan Conwell hired by QANTAS, and which staff members were responsible for employing him?

33. Please explain (in detail), how Alan Conwell's criminal associations were "Missed" by QANTAS security checks.

34. Please describe (in detail), all of Alan Conwell's responsibilities on the day Schapelle flew.

35. Quote:

"A BRISBANE airport security senior source says accused drug-runner Schapelle Corby could not possibly have smuggled 4.1kg of marijuana through the airport.

The well-placed source said there was no way Corby's bag could have passed through an array of checks without the drugs being detected.

'The chances of that happening are zero. I would bet my life on it,' the source said.

'It would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic.'

The source said it turned his stomach that an innocent woman could face a firing squad.

'I don't want to think about it. I just hope she bloody well doesn't - she's not guilty.' "

Daryl Passmore, The Sunday Mail, 20 March 2005

a) Who was Daryl Passmore's senior security source?

b) Could QANTAS please describe (in detail), the "Array of checks" that this senior security source was (very probably), referring to?

Questions to The Australian Federal Police

1. Did the Australian Federal Police ever formally request a single frame (or more), of the airport security footage (including Brisbane Airport car parks), relating to Schapelle and/or her luggage, on the 8th of October 2004? If "Yes," please list the dates of these formal requests, provide the name of the officer who made them, and the outcome of each request. If "No," can the AFP please explain why?

2. Considering the (immediate), high profile nature of Schapelle's case, and the very unusual circumstances, e.g. Schapelle had no criminal record, tested negative for all illicit substances, and was the first Australian (ever, before or since), charged with taking a commercial amount of marijuana from Australia, to Bali (for the perfectly sane reason the drug sells for around ten times more in Australia, and it makes no commercial sense), did the AFP contact all relevant airport security providers straight away, and ask them to preserve all pertinent CCTV footage, so it would (without question), be available when your formal requests were put in? If not, why not?

4. When a high profile security incident occurs at any Australian airport, what formal policies and procedures does the AFP currently have in place re arranging for the immediate preservation of the CCTV footage? I assume your published policy manual would also describe this.

5. What AFP policies and procedures were in place around about the 8th of October 2004, as per your policy manual at that time?

6. Could Schapelle's case be described as a potential "High profile security incident at an Australian airport," given the severe penalties an Australian citizen (with no criminal history), was facing in a foreign land, when drugs she said she had no knowledge of were found in her bag, after it was out of her control and care for many hours? And (as has been established), in highly unusual circumstances?

7. To the knowledge of the AFP, has any Australian before Schapelle's case, or since, been caught, charged or convicted with smuggling a commercial amount marijuana from Australia, to Bali? If the answer is "Yes," please provide details, if the answer is "No," what (in the opinion of the AFP), is the reason for this?

8. Did the AFP ever request a single frame of CCTV footage, or more, from any airport security operator, relating to the activities of QANTAS's suspect baggage handlers? If "Yes," please supply further details (dates, times, physical areas), the outcome of of each request, and whether or not this footage still exists (or why it's been destroyed, if that's the case). If "No," please explain why.

Note: According to former QANTAS CEO Geoff Dixon (as reported by the ABC on the 13th May 2005, they were "Under scrutiny" for "6 months").

9 a) Did the AFP interview every potentially relevant baggage handler that was on duty, on the 8th of October 2004? If "Yes," how many suspect baggage handlers were interviewed?

b) If "No," why?

c) If "Yes," were these interviews taped and/or filmed, and does this record still exist? If this record no longer exists, why is this?

d) Did the AFP examine the phone, banking and asset records of each suspect baggage handler? If "No," why? If "Yes," do these records still exist? If they no longer exist, why is this?

10. In relation to the cocaine importation that occurred at Sydney Airport (via QANTAS Airlines), on the same day Schapelle flew via this carrier, did the AFP formally request (from any airport security provider), any relevant CCTV footage? If "No," what is the reason for this? If "Yes," what were the relevant times and areas, plus what was the formal outcome of each request, and does this footage still exist? And if it no longer exists, why is this?

Note:
"Defence lawyer Erwin Siregar told the court that Australian Justice Minister Chris Ellison had confirmed in a letter that all cameras in Sydney Airport's baggage handling area were operating the day Corby flew out for Bali." The Age, 26 August 2006

11. No QANTAS baggage handler was ever charged in relation to the cocaine importation that occurred (via QANTAS Airlines), on the 8th of October 2004, even though some were sacked. Can the AFP please describe (in detail), how this cocaine importation was successful without the help of corrupt staff? It seems very strange that Ian Robert Chalmers specified the use of QANTAS Airlines without a clear reason, and stranger still that highly skilled and professional criminals would entrust the delivery of a multi-million dollar cargo to chance.

12. Did the AFP ever formally identify the staff member (or members), that checked-in Schapelle's luggage? If "No," can the AFP explain why, considering the massive, illegal bulge (e.g. contrary to airline regulations), that 4.2 kg of marijuana would have caused? Any competent check-in staff should have (without doubt), noticed this.

13 a) If "Yes," did the AFP ever interview this staff member (or members), re their recollections of checking-in Schapelle's luggage?

b) If "No," can the AFP explain why?

c) If "Yes," who were the officers (names & formal positions), who interviewed this person (or persons), and on what dates were they interviewed?

d) If the check-in staff were interviewed, was this interaction filmed and/or recorded? If "No," why? If "Yes," is this evidence still available? If this evidence is no longer available, why is this?

e) Were written statements obtained from the check-in staff? If "No," why? If "Yes," are these affidavits still available? If they are no longer available, why is this?

14. The Queensland Police Minister Neil Roberts claims (in writing), that his police force were not responsible for investigating the (most likely), Queensland source of the drugs found in Schapelle's bag. Is this correct?

Note: The Queensland Police Minister also says (in writing), his police force never carried out such an investigation.

15. If Neil Roberts assertion is correct, did the Australian Federal Police conduct a formal investigation into the Australian source of the drugs found in Schapelle's bag? If "Yes," did the AFP search Schapelle's home premises, investigate her phone and banking records and interview her family and friends? If "Yes," what was the result, and do these records still exist (and if they're now destroyed, why is this?) If the AFP did not carry out these basic investigations, why was this?

16. Why did former AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty publicly claim that Schapelle had "Refused" forensic testing of the drugs found in her bag (The Australian, Feb 14 2007), when that (quite clearly), was untrue? She begged for this testing to go ahead, and gave her full consent (as also documented in Schapelle's best selling book).

17. Is the AFP aware of the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987 ? And the formal agreement Australia has with Indonesia, re these matters?

18. Two key points, any reasonable person knows that weighing Schapelle's luggage (in Bali), to compare that result to the Brisbane check-in weight, plus testing the drugs for plant source, finger prints and human DNA, were both integral to catching the supplier/s and grower/s of these drugs in Australia, or any corrupt Australian "Insiders" (which was of advantage to both Indonesia and Australia). Therefore, can the AFP please explain why the legal avenues described in point 17 above, were not utilised to facilitate these key investigations, and why Indonesia refused to either weigh Schapelle's luggage, or test the drugs? And can the AFP please further explain (in the light of point 17 above), why Indonesia in fact went on to burn all the physical evidence, without any forensic testing?