Here We Go Again – Craig Thomsons trial by media

Posted: July 20, 2013 in HSU Saga, Media, Politics

Watching the television coverage of Craig Thomson’s day in court yesterday you could be forgiven it was just a question of how long he was going to be spending in jail.

In the footage I saw on channel 9 they forgot a couple of words in their reporting. Little words like “allegedly” and using the words “accused of” instead of “did” for example. These words make a huge difference.

The main stream media have come to the conclusion that Craig Thomson has changed tack with his defense in seeking a summary judgement from a magistrate. This is completely false and totally irresponsible reporting.

As I reported on 30th June, Thomson explained to me that he was seeking a summary judgement when I asked him about his court appearance that was due the next day.

That next day the MSM caught up and were reporting the seeking of a summary judgement as a way of escaping a judge and jury.

Now they have forgotten all of that.

Also forgotten is all the reporting of how broke Thomson is, forgotten is the fuss over the account set up for Thomson’s legal defense, and forgotten is Thomson’s legal fundraiser this Thursday.

Also forgotten is the media’s desire to see things happen quickly, they have suddenly forgotten that they were constantly bemoaning how long it was taking to have the matter finalised.

Now they seem to expect that Thomson will be able to find vast sums of money under a rock and wait around for what would likely be over a year to stand before a jury.

The media have taken the angle that the comment of Thomson’s barrister Greg James QC that it was “very likely” that there would be no issues about the facts of the expenditure Thomson stands accused of means that Thomson is somehow admitting that he did use the money for brothels and adult movies.

This is yet another disgraceful case of just making up the news to suit an agenda.

Last night I saw they were replaying parts of the interview Thomson did with Laurie Oakes what seems like an eternity ago. In particular the coverage focused on the part of the interview involving allegations of phone calls made from Thomson’s hotel room. Thomson emphatically denied these claims while Oakes suggested that the only other option is someone sneaking in and out of his room and making calls while Thomson wasn’t looking. To me this seemed like an attempt to make Thomson look like he is either foolish or lying.

Thomson has never suggested that he has some kind of evil conspiritor lurking in dark shadows, sneaking into his hotel rooms and following him around and doing things under his name.

If in fact if Thomson did not make the calls he denies making I would suggest that it would be more likely that someone would have ammended records electronically or have hotel staff ammend them. I’m reasonably sure this would not be the first time records have been adjusted or someone has had an incorrect charge on a hotel bill.

Thomson has been adamant in his denial of the allegations regarding these expenses on his card, and continues to be adamant on the matter, despite what words the media try to put in his mouth.

I contacted Thomson regarding the decision to award him a summary judgement.

Thomson was quite clear in emphasising that he is not conceding to any of the allegations made against him in regards to expenditure. Not in any way at all.

What Greg James QC simply means is that the details of any expenditure will not need to be debated as it is irrelevant in the defense they are mounting.

Remember there are 173 charges, the vast majority of which are for amounts less than $30. It would seem ludicrous to spend tens of thousands of dollars of money that he doesn’t have and putting his family into enormous debt to argue these matters when there is a means of resolving the whole legal matter faster and a lot cheaper.

Craig has made the decision to be open and also protect his family financially

Craig has made the decision to be open and also protect his family financially

For those who don’t know just how expensive the legal system is for someone in Thomson’s position, the charges he is defending are for approximately $27,000, his appearance in court yesterday with a QC would have cost more than that when preparation time etc costs are taken into account.

There are those who suggest that these allegations should be aired and argued, as people want to know if Thomson did in fact spend money at brothels. I can understand that point of view, however the media and the Coalition have made sure that Thomson will always be remembered for brothel visits and credit cards, whatever a court decides will not change the fact that the name Craig Thomson will always be a punchline.

Those who think that he is “escaping a jury” and that he would not be able to achieve “reasonable doubt” from just one of twelve jury members are forgetting the other facts that the media choose to ignore.

  • The misspelt credit card
  • The only prostitute to come forward changed her mind the next day
  • The fact that he was in Perth and has supporting evidence to verify it when he was alleged to have been in a Sydney brothel
  • The credit card slip with a signature on the carbon copy, a rejection code, and the bank copy never sent to the bank
  • Despite subpeonas to countless brothels, including where Thomson is alleged to have gone, not one piece of video or any other type of evidence has been found
  • His accuser, Kathy Jackson has been a guest speaker at Liberal functions and is currently under police investigation for embezzling union funds
  • The threat made to Thomson by Jacksons factional pal Marco Bolano that they were gonna “set him up with hookers”
  • The dodgy arrest warrant from Victoria Police
  • The independent report by KPMG that utterly destroyed the credibility of the Fair Work Australia investigation which formed the basis of Craig Thomson’s witch-hunt and trial by media.

All of that sounds like causes for reasonable doubt to me.

Unfortunately for both Thomson and the public, the legal strategy from the puppet prosecution and their Coalition masters seems to have been to bankrupt Thomson and not allow evidence from both sides to go before a jury. The prosecution it seems have backed Thomson into a legal corner financially and have come off surprised now that he has found a way out.

As for the main stream media, it was reported by Independent Australia yesterday that the disgracefully biased article by Pia Ackerman had to be edited with entire paragraphs removed. However no apology has been issued to Thomson from the paper that is so popular it continues to operate at a loss.

Yesterday’s court appearance was a victory for Thomson and a blow for those who are seeking to destroy him.

Let’s see if this new trend continues.

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Comments
  1. clarittee says:

    More appalling behaviour by those who would gain from ruining his name and sending him bankrupt. . The ABC seem to refer to McClymont ‘s side of things.( Johnathen Holmes gave her a big wrap) Fairfax is not without an interest in this.
    Glad you keep being upfront with this Peter. You have done your work thoroughly. Thank you.

  2. iggy648 says:

    This is good news. It goes some way towards negating the disgraceful behaviour of the NSW and Victoria Police in timing his (expensive and unnecessary) arrest to coincide with the National Press Club address by Tony Abbot, “co-incidentally” hosted by Steve (“we will get him”) Lewis, in order to maximise negative publicity for Mr. Thomson. This means he has a chance of a fair hearing. The press can now fabricate all the bad publicity they want, and it won’t influence a Magistrate.

  3. Heather says:

    Best wishes to you Craig Thomson. I get the feeling this witch hunt is on a par with the Slipper affair. But I reckon on both fronts, the legal system and politicians want to stall events till after the election.

  4. joy cooper says:

    Good news, Peter. Do hope someone is keeping a file on all the scurrilous & libellous statements made about Craig by the MSM & others, such as that by the Ch 9’s TV news not using “allegedly” or “accused” which you mentioned.

    There are many who comment in blogs stating categorically that Craig is guilty of fraud & had visited brothels so I ask them had they witnessed him being there during their visits. They never respond of course.

    Another thing, with everyone & their dog having a mobile phone, it would have been a very long time since someone was silly enough to actually use a hotel’s phones as they are so exorbitantly expensive As you say, Wixxy, it would be so easy for the records to be amended. Very dodgy indeed.

    Many thanks for keeping us up-to-date.

  5. “Yesterday’s court appearance was a victory for Thomson and a blow for those who are seeking to destroy him.”
    Fortunately for those seeking to destroy him, Mr Thomson has decided that if a job’s worth doing he will have to do it himself.
    He is welcome to not contest the facts that prosecution have submitted and to say he was entitled to spend money on prostitutes. But he is in Delusionland if he thinks there is any outcome other than he will be found guilty. There is no Stage 2 in these proceedings: the prosecution presents its case, the defense says it doesn’t contest facts but states the facts do not constitute a crime, the magistrate adjudicates – fini. If he winds up with a prison term then he can’t appeal by challenging the facts later – he can’t raise matters which he declined to do in the lower court.

    Now that would be fine, if he has a written guarantee from James Packer that he will be employed later on a 200 000 pa salary afterwards, but if he is relying on nudges and winks “We’ll look out for you Craig.” he is going to sorely disappointed. These type of people specialize in this kind of plausible deniable promises, but they never deliver.

    On the bright side, at least ordinary HSU members can look forward to reasonable probability of at least somebody going to jail for all the money the Jackson’s and their ilk stole from them. Even if it is not the people who stole it.

  6. “If in fact if Thomson did not make the calls he denies making I would suggest that it would be more likely that someone would have ammended [sic] records electronically or have hotel staff ammend [sic] them.”

    If Craig Thomson submitted his hotel bills to union archives as per union rules and X submitted his hotel bill + plus calls to escort agencies, all X has to do is scan both documents, cut and paste between them and then print them out again on a color printer. Once you have falsified one set of records you are going to falsify as many as you can get your hands on and that you are imaginative enough to think up how to do it.

    At the stage of the Laurie Oakes interview this was all based on HSU records – not records obtained through investigations of the authorities; and as the KPMG report demonstrated, Fairwork Australia did not use its considerable powers to subpoena records.

  7. Helena King says:

    Thompson has been framed as was Slipper to bring down the government. Kathy Jackson’s boyfriend is supposedly a long time friend of none other than Tony Abbott.

  8. chris says:

    I would lie to be able to donate to Craig Thompson’s legal fight fund. How do I do this…I believe this witch hunt will lead to Tony Abbott…

    • Donations to Craig Thomson’s Defence Fund can be made by sending money (by online bank transfer or by cheque) to The Commonwealth Bank Branch at Bathurst NSW 2795:
      Account Name: Mark Worthington and Rodney Allan
      BSB No: 06 2504
      Account number: 1055 2760

      If you would like your donation acknowledged, let Craig know by sending an email to Defence Fund

      He will be most grateful for your assistance, as his legal bills are mounting.

  9. jane says:

    Keep up the good work, wixxy.

  10. Bridget says:

    Good for the gander is good for the goose. Just as CT is allegedly innocent Wixxy isn’t Jackson being investigated for “allegedly” embezzling Union Funds. Reporting is more credible when its balanced.

  11. Ian says:

    Peter..For the umpteenth time, Thomson is not seeking a ‘Summary Judgement’, he’s after a ‘Summary Hearing’. They are very different things.

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