Call for a Royal Commission into the Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police have been involved in a number of high profile prosecutions that have led to the conviction and incarceration of a number of innocent victims, including Capt. Fred Martens, Miss Jill Courtney, Dr Muhamed Haneef and the questionable rendition to Australia of the former Attorney-General of the Solomon Islands, Mr. Julian Moti QC in circumstances that can only be described as politically motivated.
Further, the AFP have exhibited questionable conduct in their dealings with the Bali Nine and Ms. Schapelle Corby. The recent trial and conviction of former AFP officer Mr Mark Standen for conspiring to import into Australia $130,000,000 of the precursor for making ice (i.e. pseudoephedrine) raises concerns of entrenched corruption within the AFP.
The murder of Australian Mr Drew Grant at the Freeport Mine in West Papua and subsequent allegations of tampering with the evidence contained within the victim’s body while in the custody of Australian authorities again points to possible corruption within Australia’s international security services, including the AFP.
The ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua being carried out by Detachment 88, which is trained and funded by the AFP, highlights the need for greater accountability within the AFP in its dealings with police and foreign security services.
The large number of refugees who died in the sinking of the SEIV X and the SIEV 221 and ongoing allegations that the AFP, through its agents, may have been involved in criminal conduct resulting in the deaths of these refugees needs to be investigated at the highest level.
Compounding these sad events are allegations from Portugal that Australian military intelligence personnel were involved in fomenting unrest in Timor-Leste, in order to further Australia’s political and commercial interests in the region. This lends weight to a suggestion that the AFP has become politicised and is being used as an instrument of terror, to pervert the rule of law, in order to further Australia’s neo-colonial interests in the region.
A number of high profile Australian citizens have been charged in controversial circumstances under Australia’s sex tourism laws and have either had their convictions quashed on appeal or are awaiting the outcome of the appeal process. The question needs to be asked as to whether these charges were brought out of a legitimate belief that a crime had been committed, or whether the AFP were acting solely to further Australia’s political and/or commercial interests in the region.
The murder of Mr Colin Winchester and the death of Ms Audrey Fagan, both senior AFP officers attached to ACT Policing (a command of the AFP) at the time of their deaths, must raise questions about why the smallest policing command in Australia has witnessed the deaths of two of its most senior officers. It is interesting to note that prior to his murder, Mr Colin Winchester was involved in investigating drug importation as part of his role with the AFP.
It’s for these reasons that I believe that it is necessary to hold a Royal Commission into the AFP.
We, the undersigned petitioners, citizens and residents of the Australian Commonwealth and concerned citizens and residents in areas in which the Australia Federal Police (AFP) operate (in their own right or as part of an international contingent) in a policing or investigative or security role, request from the House of Representatives that they establish as a matter of the highest priority a Royal Commission into the role and actions of the AFP, with particular, but not exclusive reference to John Howard’s term as Prime Minister of Australia and Mick Keelty’s term as Commissioner of the AFP. Your petitioners request that the terms of reference in which the AFP are identified include its agents, commands or international arms, including ACT Policing and the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). We ask the House to ensure that this inquiry includes investigations into:
1. The role of the AFP, their agents, informants or others equipped or paid by them, into the sinking of the SIEV X and the SIEV 221;
2. The role of the AFP, their agents, informants or others equipped or paid by them, in the foment of unrest in Timor-Leste, with particular, but not exclusive reference to the 2006 Dili riots;
3. The role of the AFP in the Pacific islands, including their agents, informants or others equipped or paid by them, with specific reference to the conduct of RAMSI in the Solomon Islands and the conduct of the AFP in PNG; and
4. Whether members of the AFP:
a) directly or indirectly, or whether by direct or indirect contact with Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) or Detachment 88, has been involved in human riots violations in any Indonesian province;
b) were involved in moving, disguising or destroying evidence relating to the murder of Drew Grant near the Freeport mine in West Papua;
c) have abused Australia’s sex tourism legislation to target opponents, or perceived opponents of Australia’s commercial or political interests in the Asia-Pacific region;
d) concealed or otherwise manipulated evidence relating to the deaths of Colin Winchester and/or Audrey Fagan;
e) concealed or otherwise manipulated evidence relating to allegations of criminal activity within the ACT Department of Treasury, or were involved in inappropriate or illegal conduct when investigating and prosecuting any former or present ACT Department of Treasury official between May 2002 and the present;
f) have been influenced by a member of any parliament of Australia, however described, into pursuing charges against citizens of Australia that they would otherwise not have pursued;
g) have directly or indirectly been involved in covering up crimes at the direction of any member of any Australian parliament, however described;
h) directly or indirectly, have been involved in the importation of illegal drugs into Australia;
i) have ever sold illegal drugs in Australia in which they had been involved in the importation or manufacture;
j) have ever put onto the streets drugs that they had seized as a result of their policing operations;
k) directly or indirectly, have been involved with the illegal importation of guns into Australia;
l) have ever refused to investigate a complaint made by an Indigenous Australian against a non-Indigenous Australian based solely on ethnicity.
We request that the Inquiry also address accountability mechanisms and remedies, compensation, etc available for persons who have suffered violations of human rights by the AFP.