Thursday May 30, 2013 8:00am WST
For Immediate Release
"If there are any politicians left in Canberra who are not part of the egotistic, self-serving and nepotistic elite set cheering on the Julia Gillard Gang or the Tony Abbott Gang, then they have their work cut out today when AFP Commissioner Tony Negus appears at Senate Estimates this afternoon - if they only understood their responsibilities and would launch a volley of incisive questions at the AFP Chief about the treatment of Christmas Island Operational Response Group leader Sergeant Brendan Thomson," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said today.
See Conor Duffy, "Whistleblower claims AFP turned Christmas Island into Lord of the Flies" - ABC-TV 7.30
"While they ask their incisive questions about his repeated warnings, many months in advance of the 2011 riots on Christmas Island, the rest of the Canberra set should be gutsy enough to ask the hard questions as to why under Australian law there has thus far no whistleblower protection for the highly distinguished Christmas Island police sergeant, who faces a career seemingly in ruins because his warnings went not only unheeded, but were responded to with a disgraceful demotion and an order to stand down from Operational Duties.".
"Not only did Sgt Thomson formally communicate his concerns up his line of command about the tension build-up on Christmas Island no less than seven times, when his concerns were entirely ignored he also communicated directly with Tony Negus - only to be hounded and disgraced for doing this. In all respects Sgt Thomson did his duty without fear or favour, yet he was treated with disdain, he was demoted, he was pursued by the higher echelon of the Federal Police as if he had disgraced himself."
"Tony Negus has some very tough and direct questions to answer about the treatment of Sgt Thomson - but that's only the beginning. Following the ABC 7.30 Program, the statement issued yesterday morning by the AFP cannot bury the central theme of the ABC report in the sand - that the Christmas Island Operational Response Group left the island before the situation escalated into a full-scale riot - by arguing that Assistant Commissioner Prendergast used "unfortunate words" when he said that the withdrawal of the Task Force took place to 'manufacture a situation'," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"There are many reasons that back the demand for a full-scale inquiry into the nepotism and the political agenda's inside the Australian Federal Police. If anything can be concluded from the response to Sgt Thomson, then it is that any 'internal inquiry' cannot possibly be without the bias and self-serving agenda's that were on display in the ABC expose of the treatment of this whistleblower. Sgt Thomson is a whistleblower of the stature of Sgt Peter Fox, whose speaking out led to the Royal Commission into the sexual abuse of children in State institutions. Sgt Thomson's work should serve as a serious warning that there's something really rotten going on inside the AFP," Mr Smit concluded.
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]