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Prosecuting a whistleblower

By mos 27 October 2005 11

Saw recently that the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions wants more funding for his office (Canberra Times Tuesday, 18 October). But the office continues to waste its time on the farcical prosecution of a whistleblower.

This bloke is due to be tried in the Supreme Court in November for the possession of dangerous goods – i.e. big bloody fireworks. He allegedly purchased the prohibited fireworks from a Fyshwick dealer around the Queen’s Birthday weekend in 2004 – the whole incident photographed and reported on the front page of the Canberra Times. Once the CT had photographed the fireworks, he took the goods directly to ACT Workcover to hand them in and report the incident.

He is reported to have carried out the sting in an attempt to expose the illegal sale of prohibited fireworks out of his concern for the harm they caused to domestic and native animals – especially dogs.

For his trouble, he now faces up to seven years in gaol or a $200,000 fine.

In a letter published in the CT on September 27, a prominent ACT barrister highlighted the wasting of the ACT Supreme Court’s time – surely there can be no better example than this case.

The DPP would make better use of its (limited?) funds by prosecuting the dealer who allegedly sold the banned fireworks – and quite possibly to many customers.

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Prosecuting a whistleblower
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bonfire 12:46 pm 28 Oct 05

was the store owner prosecuted ? if not – why not ? perhaps they were sold legally but purchased illegally.

eg: i state that i am an orchardist from NSW and need some crackers to scare birds off. crackers purchased.

i could have bullshitted the owner, photoshopped some phony id and walked out with a bag of bungers.

bulldog 12:32 pm 28 Oct 05

yeah true che. We’re not talking about bottle rockets and bumble bees bonfire; if we are talking illegal they would have been some serious bungers in there. Now tell me, what is the point of having something that just goes BANG. It’s a cracker designed for ill shit. Don’t tell me it’s not, i got up to a fair bit of it over the years.

The reporter is a goose; just as Ray Martin would be if he strapped heroin to his body on a trip to Bali to show us all that it was going on. Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing Ray behind the bars of a Bali cell, but that’s bside the point. Not the same ballpark as far as crimes go and that a)it is a waste of money, b) the judge should throw this out, and c) there are better ways to go about these ‘undercover stings’.

I wonder if he had taken the evidene to the cop-shop before publishing the article if he would be in his current predicament? I think not.

che 12:16 pm 28 Oct 05

I think the point bonfire was that the specific type of fireworks bought were illegal, and he was trying to show that illegal fireworks are being sold and nothing being done to stop it

bonfire 11:30 am 28 Oct 05

the last resort ? because they couldnt have something banned and had manipulated the political/legal system towards their own twisted aims and still not succeeded in closing a legal business down, they had no option but to resort to acting illegally ?

gimme a break.

if the store owner had acted illegally, im sure he woud be facing charges as well.

what is it about cracker night that softheads just cant stand ? the fact people are having fun ? everyone knows teh risk of blowing a few fingers off, yet they still buy them when they can. if only the majority would listen to that tiny softhead minority who really really know whats good for them.

mos 10:00 am 28 Oct 05

First – sorry about the password. Put it down to first time post with the new system please.

As to “If this individual was concerned about what was going on then it should have left it up to WorkCover and police to undertake the “sting” operation themselves.” – he and others had tried that – and other avenues. This was the last resort.

Spitfire3 9:49 am 28 Oct 05

What about the dealer who was selling the illegal fireworks, bonfire? You think maybe he should ‘do the time’ too?

bonfire 9:38 am 28 Oct 05

do the crime do the time.

everybody loves cracker night anyway.

jr 2:32 am 28 Oct 05

There is a fundamental principle here that being a community “do-gooder” does not excuse anybody of knowingly breaking the law. If this individual was concerned about what was going on then it should have left it up to WorkCover and police to undertake the “sting” operation themselves.

Vic Bitterman 8:41 pm 27 Oct 05

As much as the bloke being prosecuted is a bleeding heart do gooder NIMBY vegetarian leso commo pinko spoiler of everything fun in Canberra, he should not be prosectued.

Spitfire3 4:08 pm 27 Oct 05

I would assume (and therefore make an ass of you and me) that the DPP is punishing what he sees as vigilante-ism. Nevertheless, it’s a waste.
By the way, the guy won’t get 7 years or a $200,000 fine. Judges have common sense and empathy, especially supreme court ones. They’re not idiots.

blingblingbears 3:50 pm 27 Oct 05

one question … why is this post password protected?

never seen that before and well, its a bit silly

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