Police must re-open red shirts investigation

Date

Victoria Police must re-open their investigation into Daniel Andrews’ infamous theft and misuse of $388,000 of people’s money.

In March 2018, the Victorian Ombudsman found 23 current and former Labor MP’s were involved in a scheme to direct taxpayer funded electorate staff to campaign for Labor prior to the 2014 election.

Disgraced former Labor Minister Adem Somyurek called it “a gold standard rort” and that “it was a backdoor way of winning an election, $500,000 worth, that’s a hefty donation”.

Yesterday, Daniel Andrews stated his government took the Ombudsman’s investigation into this scheme “seriously”. Yet the record shows the Premier and his government arrogantly refused to cooperate with formal police investigations at every opportunity.

In an email sent in 2019 by now Chief Commissioner Shane Patton, Victoria Police explained “We met and Superintendent Mark Galliott briefed that the 16 MP’s had declined to be interviewed via their legal representatives.”

The letter from Rob Stary to Victoria Police, representing the majority of the Labor MPs, states “Each of those persons has instructed us they do not wish to make any formal statement.”

Mr Stary explains that Premier Daniel Andrews, Deputy Premier James Merlino and Police Minister Lisa Neville had other representatives.

Additional documents reveal that Victoria Police “just received a call from the general counsel at DPC who represents the Premier, Deputy Premier and Minister Neville. I am advised they appreciate the offer to provide a statement but decline to do so for these matters.”

The current IBAC investigation has revealed the Ombudsman’s investigation was ineffectual. It’s now time for Victoria Police to reopen the file and hold those responsible to account.

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