Thursday, October 05, 2006
Tim Anderson & The Hilton Bombing Frame Up
Public and ABC radio we the boldest sector of the mass media in critically discussing issues of my case, both before and after the trial. Public radio journalists Adrian Flood, John Tognolini and Fiona Sewell ran investigative features on the case as it unfolded. ABC radio journalist Sharon Davis presented 'Background Briefing' reports on the Pederick story as well as Denning and prisoner‑informers, the latter being an important influence on the eventual decision to hold an ICAC inquiry into the prisoner‑informer issue.
Tim Anderson, Take Two, The Criminal Justice System Revisited, 1992
“At the CIB Rogerson and another detective, named Howard, eventually approached me and I said, ’I’m not going to answer any questions. Can you tell me what I’m being charged with?
Howard replied, ‘Well, slow down, you may not be charged with anything’.
I said, ’It’s a serious thing to arrest someone and not charge them with anything’.
‘Well, we’d better charge you with something then, hadn’t we? he responded. Rogerson then approached and told me, ‘you are being charged with conspiracy to murder Mr Robert Cameron’. I said nothing, as I took this in, but Rogerson continued, ‘You’ve had a pretty good run, but I think we’ve got enough to convict you now…. I feel like giving you a good hiding; what do say about that?’
‘There be consequences if you did that’. I responded indignantly. ‘What do you mean by that? He asked angrily.
‘What would you do if I assaulted you?’ I replied, rhetorically.
Rogerson jumped up and kicked me over the chair I was on saying, ‘You fucking cunt, are you threatening me?’ I fell onto the floor, and he came alongside me, kicking me in the side. He repeated his question as he dropped his knee onto my diaphragm, stopping me breathing. I moved my hands onto his knee to remove the pressure and he drove his knee into my chin. Are you threatening me? He demanded again, and I replied ‘I’m not threatening you’. I noticed my lower lip was split.”
Tim Anderson, Take Two, The Criminal Justice System Revisited, 1992
Criminal justice indeed
Take Two: The Criminal Justice System Revisited
By Tim Anderson
Bantam, 1992. 376 pp. $34.95
Reviewed by John Tognolini
Tim Anderson's new book is a stunning portrait of a police vendetta and an insight into this country's criminal justice system.
“If patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, 'law and order' must be second last”, Anderson writes. “In recent years Australian governments and oppositions have been attempting to outdo each other in adding to police powers and penalties ...
“The total Australian police budget increased by 44 per cent, in real terms, through the 1980s. This correlates very closely with economic crisis and the failure of governments to address real social and economic problems ... The very same communities that cop economic recession the hardest are also the targets -- the scapegoats -- of the push for 'law and order'.”
There are accounts here that will shock many people -- for instance, when Tim was verballed and bashed by detective Roger Rogerson over the supposed “conspiracy” to murder Robert Cameron.
After they had spent six and a half years in prison, the case ended with pardons and $100,000 for each of the three falsely accused. However, no disciplinary action was ever taken against the police officers who carried out this action; in fact they are still holding bravery awards.
Rogerson fell from grace with the police force, but the other officers have been promoted. John Burke was chief inspector of the Special Weapons Operations Section that killed Aboriginal David Gundy in his Marrickville home in April 1989. The other police officer is now Superintendent Dennis Gilligan.
A close associate of Gilligan, Burke and Rogerson was a principal character in the second frame-up of Tim Anderson, Detective Inspector Aarne Tees.
On May 30, 1989, Tees arrested and charged Anderson for three counts of murder resulting from the 1978 Hilton bombing. Three months before this, Tim had embarrassed Dennis Gilligan at an international legal seminar held in Sydney. Ian Fraser, a long-time member of Prisoners Action Group, who shared a cell with Tim during his first frame-up sentence at Long Bay jail, later told me: ”I was present at that altercation ... Tim merely got to his feet and said, there was a verballer in the audience who verballed a friend of his, and with that Superintendent Dennis Martin Gilligan bounced to his feet and said it was a load of Ananda Marga lies etc. He sort of gave himself up. We were instantly amused by it all. But the ramification of it in the out of the way. He became embarrassing.”
Ray Denning, the former prisoner activist who had become an informer, verballed Anderson, saying that Anderson had confessed to him about the Hilton, even though prison records showed that the two of them were not in the same prison when Denning said this had occurred. This verbal was the basis for Tees charging Tim with the Hilton bombing.
After Tim was charged, Evan Pederick confessed to the Hilton bombing, saying he did it under the direction of Tim Anderson. When he made his startling confession to Queensland police, they gave him a cup of tea and drove him home.
The response of Aarne Tees was totally different; he flew north to interview Pederick. Here's an example of his technique:
“Pederick: ... and together with fifty sticks of gelignite I'd either be killed or I'd be severely injured and I thought ...
“Tees: Fifty, wouldn't be fifty, would be fifteen?
“Pederick: It wasn't fifteen, fifty's in my head.
“Tees: You couldn't fit fifty in the bin
“Pederick: There was more, more than fifteen, much more than fifteen. They're the size of candles, about that long, you know what they're like, about that wide.
“Pederick: Would have been three lots about that wide taped up, so there'd probably be three times, probably only about twenty, don't know why I had fifty in my head.”
On this sort of “evidence”, Tim Anderson had to spend another seven and half months in the prison system. His description of being back inside prison is moving. “Jail is like a working-class boys' school gone to seed. The kids that used to throw rubbers at the teachers now knock off cars, take drugs and rob houses. They're a bit older, but a lot of the games are the same, and a lot of the kids still haven't learnt to read or write.”
His vivid descriptions of overcrowded jails, violence and the backward, repressive attitude of the Corrective Services bureaucracy are damning indictments of Australian society.
The book covers not just the frame-up but also the campaign against it. From the time of his arrest, many people gathered and formed themselves into the Campaign Exposing the Frame-up of Tim Anderson, CEFTA. When he was imprisoned, the campaign swelled, organising public meetings, poster and graffiti runs, bail applications and petitions and challenging those in the media who the frame-up.
Anderson deals also with the media, in particular the role played by Janet Fife-Yeomans and Ben Hills of the Sydney Morning Herald and Channel Nine's Steve Barrett. He writes, “The power of the mass media is a formidable force: constructing our view of the world, shaping community attitudes, reflecting powerful private and state interests. It is easy to despise but difficult to ignore. To me it was chilling to sense the personal hostility of some sections of the mass media and to feel, for a time, their crusading zeal turned against me. They had created and were feeding themselves on a myth that I was some sort of powerful figure to be `brought down'. Closer to the truth was that, for a time, I had become an easy target.”
But what of the Hilton bombing itself? There should be an inquiry. I agree with Tim that it should have specific terms of reference. It shouldn't be an opportunity for the likes of Seary, Pederick, Denning and Tees to rehash or refit their accusations.
It should have as a starting point the evidence and research of former police officer Terry Griffiths, who was seriously injured in the bombing. He believes that it was a security force publicity stunt which went wrong. Neither the type of explosive nor the nature of the explosive device were ever determined, as the forensic evidence went missing. Who could have been responsible for that and got away with it?
Green Left Weekly 1992
Community Access Television-Tim Anderson Forum 18‑1‑91
Togs: Another forum tonight, Tim Anderson. The second frame up by the New South Wales Police Force. Tim was convicted on three counts of murder on October 25 1990 last year. This has created one hell of a struggle for civil liberties in this country. We've seen public meetings and meetings as far away as Alice Springs, in Melbourne let alone in New South Wales. Well, first thing tonight is someone who has just come back into Sydney who has been a friend of Tim in the Anti‑Apartheid struggles and that is Noel Hest. G'day Noel.
Noel Hest: Hi.
Togs: How did you first here about the news about Tim.
Noel Hest: I was living in France for a while and read about it in the New Zealand newspapers and I was really horrified and angry about it. Tim having to go through this nightmare a second time.
Togs: You saw Tim in prison yesterday.
Noel Hest: Yeah, I saw him yesterday. Seeing him in prison isn't much fun. He's in good sprite. He's feeling really positive and involving himself with his studies. It is hard to see him in prison sure.
Togs: Well, a few people have been out to see him in prison. It is strange that someone is locked up for fighting against corruption in this state. He's quite strong in regard to fighting for civil liberties and you know him from being involved in the Anti‑Apartheid movement.
Noel Hest: All the time I've known Tim I've been really impressed in the way he has thrown himself into these struggles. When I first came here in 1985 he had just been released from prison. He just done his seven years. He'd been subjected to all the humiliation and the violence of the prison system. He'd been framed but as soon as he got out he got straight back into political work. He got involved with Anti‑Apartheid, Anti‑Racism work. He fought against the Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. He fought for prisoners rights and I always found that an incredibly impressive thing you know. It showed that he is a man with a lot of integrity in my mind.
Togs: Thanks Noel. Well, if people want to cast their minds back. The year is 1978 in the peaceful seaside town of Sydney and on February 14 in the early hours a bomb went off that shook this country. And we are going to go back to that time now. This is from David Bradbury’s' Frame Up Two.
Tony Barry: On the 8th of May 1989. Tim Anderson was arrested and charged over the 1978 Sydney Hilton Hotel bombing. In 1985 he and two friends had been pardoned and released from jail. Although they were not actually charged with the Hilton bombing, they spent seven years locked up because of a New South Wales Special Branch frame up designed to blame them for that bombing. In 1989 the Hilton bomb accusations returned but the police story had changed radically. The bomb that exploded outside the Hilton Hotel on 13th of February 1978 killed two council workers and a policeman, others were seriously injured. At the time a Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting was taking place at the hotel. Several groups including Amanda Marga, of which Tim was then a member had organised demonstrations against some of the visiting heads of state. All of these groups were targeted for surveillance by the New South Wales Special Branch. No one claimed responsibility for the bombing and after months of investigation there were no real leads. Most of us are raised with concepts of truth and justice. After the first frame up of Tim Anderson and his friends’ one would have thought that lessons would have been learnt but after the surprise arrest of Brisbane man Evan Pedderick the day after Tim was charged. It was widely reported as an open and shut case.
Media Report: .... that Pederick had been indoctrinated by the Amanda Marga sect. That he had given himself up to police and that he was willing to give evidence against alleged accomplice Tim Anderson. Pedric’s' defence portrayed Anderson as a cunning and charismatic figure with extraordinary powers of persuasion.
Togs: That was Tony Barry narrating for David Bradbury’s' video Frame-Up Take Two it has showings all around Australia. There are a few books that have been written, one in particular is Tom Molomby's book. Needless to say there has been quite a few articles written about the whole Hilton bombing. As regards to matters journalistic, some of the media coverage that has been dished out during Tim Anderson’s trial has been something of the level of the gutter. Nothing has come anywhere close to what Tom Molomby has written. Also other books which have been written have been by Tim himself. This book that Tim has written, Inside Outlaws is the only book written about New South Wales jails. It's here where Tim talks about the corruption in police force and prison services.
Your watching CAT TV we are going to play some more of David Bradbury's Frame Up Two.
Tony Barry: In March 1988 the Liberal National Party came to power in New South Wales on a platform of tough law and order policies. Under premier Nick Greiner, the police powers were extended. Prison sentences increased and the most over policed section of the community, the Aboriginal people were under severe and constant attack.
Tim Anderson: The Greiner government came to power in 1988 and made a number of changes in relations to prisons and police. They were both areas I was interested in. Being about to publish my
book on matters related to prisons and police. My two friends from the major frame up in 1978 had left for Queensland. They hadn't remained politically active in Sydney. In early 1989 it appeared that there was a possibility of police introducing video taped interviews in criminal matters which was a matter of concern to people in Prisoners Action Group and to people who had followed the issue over the years and I began to get involved again.
In those particular areas, I attended a few seminars in February and March. One in March where I confronted one of the police officers about the 1978 frame up, Detective Dennis Gilligan and accused him of verballing. The fabricating of a confession against Ross Dunn in 1978 in front of an audience of lawyers, police officers and judges. He was extremely angry, extremely upset. That was quite obvious. The following month the SWOS[Special Weapons Operations Squad] in Sydney shot dead a young Aboriginal man in Sydney whose wife was at the college I was teaching. Well, subsequently there was a number of public protest demonstrations at that killing. I was involved in those protests and it turned out that the at the officer who was in charge of the SWOS squad responsible for the killing of David Gundy was Detective John Bourke, he was one of the principles in the 1978 frame-up.
Media Report: David Gundy was shot when heavily armed police raided his Marrickville flat in the early hours of yesterday morning. Detectives were hunting John Porter wanted over Monday city gun battle when things went wrong Gundy’s brother in law was a sleep in the front room when a SWOS Squad officer burst in.
Macdonald: He told me he was a police officer and he stated “Move and I'll blow your head off”. Fifteen seconds later after the entry of the door I heard a bang and about two or three police in that room. One of them said, "I was sure it was him. He was about the same size."
Media Report: Police say Gundy died from shotgun wounds to the chest and arm but after identifying the body Macdonald says his brother in law was shot in the head. In Queensland visiting family Gundys' widow first heard of the shooting on radio. Today flanked by her distraught son she demanded answers.
Dolly Eates: My man, he was a worker He never did no wrong to anybody. I believe the man who did this. The officer who did this, was an unjustifiable death, should pay.
Tim Anderson: Shortly after that I gave some evidence to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody about the death of Aboriginal man Peter Campbell in Long Bay jail in 1980. And shortly after that I was arrested in May 1989 by a detective.
Although I have never had any personal experience with him I heard a lot about him in jail about his methods of operation and it turns out the detective who has quite a close working relationship to the other two that I have mentioned, to Gilligan and Bourke who were involved in 1978 frame up.
Aarne Tess is a product of the old CIB of the 60s and yes, the centralised squad of detectives who have now been disbanded and categorised by the police commissioner I believe as a hotbed of corruption. Well, Aarne was known to me not personally but by reputation through jail. It seemed that a lot of prisoners who I came in contact with in jail had the same accusations against Aarne Tees. That he was involved in presenting unsigned confessions against them again and again in court in serious matters like armed robbery.
So I heard quite a bit about Aarne before he came to arrest me in 1989. After he came to arrest me although he subsequently has no real role in the prosecution against me because he's not verballing me. He's not giving any evidence of substance against me but I started to look into his background a little bit and it seems that he is very much a ideologist in the police force, very much a defender of the old CIB and the police force itself. He is a member of the police association. And he has come out very strongly in defence of the police operation that killed David Gundy in an article he wrote in the police association's journal.
He sits on a committee the now superintendent Dennis Gilligan, the committee that said to be supervising the introduction of the safeguards against police verbal in the video taping of interviews, and he is on record as having said the disbanding of the old CIB was one of the worse things that the police force had ever done. He apparently has fond memories of the good old CIB.
Togs: You’re watching CAT TV the Tim Anderson Frame Up brought to you live on Community Television exposing those people who like framing up political activists. By the way there are few people who have signed a bail application recently.
I'll read it out, "l liked to support Mr Andersons' application for bail pending his appeal and I believe Mr Anderson release on bail would represent no threat to the community. That Mr Anderson will abide by bail conditions set by the court and that Mr Anderson may well have his bail application quashed at his appeal. In the circumstance and given that juries do make mistakes on occasions I believe that Mr Anderson would not have to spend further time in prison pending his appeal especially since he has already suffered seven years of false imprisonment on charges for which he was pardoned and compensated. "
And this is a few of the people who have signed it as well as put a thousand dollars up for Tim’s bail; Paul Whelan the Shadow Attorney General, John Hatton, Member of the Legislative Assembly for the South Coast, Chris Nash Head of the Media Department here at the University of Technology, Sydney, Wendy Bacon, Gary Foley, Dr. Ian Stuart, John Pilger and Joan Coxedege. There is about another forty people, each willing to put a thousand dollars up for Tim Anderson.
I like now to introduce Ian Fraser, a long-time member of Prisoners Action Group, who shared a cell with Tim during his first frame-up sentence at Long Bay jail.
PROOF READ MANUSCRIPT
help them out. So I found out where Denning was. I got on the phone and In order to do that I needed someone to keep watch for me on the cell door so a screw wouldn't catch me. The unfortunate choice was Tim Anderson and later on Ross Dunne came along during the conversation and he was also a witness and Denning's evidence was that during that first conversation and two subsequent conversations that Anderson confessed not once but three times and Anderson confessed to no one.
Togs: Well, just on that Ian, can you what the phone is in Long Bay?
Ian Fraser: The phone within the prison system is the toilet system. The toilets in a wing are all serviced by downpipes and at the bottom of the wing they have cross-pipes and by pushing the water out of the toilet system and tapping on the metal, to notify somebody in another cell, they also push the water out and you can speak freely. There is a limitation in terms of distance that you can speak. You can have some sort of conversation and the call I had with Ray Denning that day that I introduced him to Anderson was merely a social call to ask Denning if he wanted any mail out. Any messages to go out. Do you want any books or tobacco or whatever. It was a social welfare call on my behalf to him.
Togs: We have Rob Brook here and we are going to talk about Evan Pederick:
Rob Brook: Well, the day that Tim was charged Evan Pederick, a public servant working in Brisbane, came forward and said he was involved in the bombing. The initial interesting thing about Pederick was that to two groups of professionals that he wasn't believable. His story didn't make sense. And that was the priest he went to see initially Father Brown. Father Brown made a statement to the police later that he didn't believe Evan Pederick was the Hilton Bomber and he was just an openly guilty person for some reason and nonetheless he contacted the Queensland Police because Pederick insisted on that. When the police interviewed Pederick they asked him two hundred and seventy questions in a three and a half hour period and after that they actually drove him home. Quite clearly they didn't believe him and Evan Pederick is tape recorded the next day. This time by the New South Wales Police, Aarne Tees decided to come up probably because their case was so bad all they had was an alleged confession over a toilet eleven years ago from a crim who was obviously desperate to get out of prison. Instead of asking two hundred and seventy questions in three and a half hours what we find is the NSW Police asking one hundred and ten questions in seven and a half hours and on the basis of that they decided to charge him.
Togs: The connecting piece between Denning and Pederick happens to be one Aarne Tees.
Rob Brook: Well, that's right Aarne Tees was the one who originally went out and took the statement from Ray Denning and was also involved in following that up. He has been the key investigator. One thing that needs to be recognised by people in the community is that Aarne Tees is one of the old CIB. He worked closely with Roger Rogerson in the Armed Hold Up Squad for eleven years. He comes from a line of corrupt police officers some of whom have now moved up in the police force and hold positions of power. That includes Bourke who is now head of SWOS and was head of SWOS when they killed David Gundy. Again, Tim Anderson was out on the streets for that and this is just a couple of months before his arrest. Gilligan is now a superintendent of police and had a very public altercation with Tim just a month and a half before his arrest so it is important to understand the context in which Tim was arrested and the police and where they came from.
Ian Fraser: I was present at that altercation, in fact, Tim did not identify or point at anybody during that meeting. It was an international seminar to reform the criminal law and Tim merely got to his feet and said that there was a verbaler in the audience who verballed a friend of his and he was talking about one of his co‑accused and with that Superintendent Dennis Martin Gillighan bounced to his feet and said it was a load of Amanda Marga lies, et cetera. I mean he sort of gave himself up. We were highly amused by it all but the ramifications of it in the long term meant they decided to put Tim out of the way. He became too embarrassing.
Togs: I'll open the forum up for questions and contributions.
Brett Collins: It is clear that a lot of people trust Tim. He is very credible. He is a person who is trusted so much by his students he studies with. Eleven thousand students voted him one of their two representatives and that is of course after he spent seven years in jail. So, there is a person with great credibility with support of major sectors of the community, once more, in jail. In jail on such ridiculous evidence and the same structures used against other people with less credibility are used against Tim. It is a great privilege to have someone like Tim inside and fighting hard and to have the battle we are going to win eventually.
Togs: Do you think more people have become more involved in prison politics through what has happened to Tim?
Brett Collins: No doubt about it at all. It is a shot in the arm, to use an unfortunate expression. People in jail see Tim as someone to spotlight to their own plight. Under the Griener regime things are getting worse and worse inside the jails. So with Tim there it is something he will be looking at carefully.
Togs: Well, I guess one other thing is Brett, you have just been up to new jail they have built up at Lithgow.
Brett Collins: Well, yes, Lithgow is something new once again. One would have expected by now with all inquiries that occurred not just in New South Wales but throughout Australia that we would be looking at prison as an expensive way of using public money, especially when things are tight and with more jails being built at the moment and the imprisonment rate is increasing enormously and for quite clearly the wrong purposes they are counter productive activities. The fact that the Greiner government has used imprisonment so blatantly for political purposes is amazing and that Tim being in jail and all these sorts of things are happening at one time.
Damien Cohen: One part we haven't touched on is, a part I'd like to address, the role of the media in Tim's conviction. Togs you talked about that previously. With the early conviction how there was a smear campaign. So, in all the hype about needing to find a culprit for this apparent terrorist activity, in 1978, Amanda Marga were a soft target at the l time. Tim, he had spent seven years in jail. So with the current trial, he has been charged with the Hilton it was quite easy for the media to run with the idea.
Togs: That's all we have time for tonight. You have been watching the Tim Anderson forum here on Community Access Television. Good Night.
Hilton bombing frame-up collapses at last
By John Tognolini
Tim Anderson left the dock in the crowded Court of Criminal Appeal to cheers of jubilation on June 6, after Chief Justice Gleeson acquitted of charges relating to the 1978 Hilton Hotel bombing.
In its unanimous decision, the court said that evidence allegedly implicating Anderson not been properly investigated. This failure had been compounded by inappropriate and unfair action by the crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, QC.
Without these prosecution actions and omissions, Gleeson's 78-page ruling concluded, there was a “strong likelihood” that Anderson would have been acquitted. But the prosecution had misled the jurors by persuading them to “draw inferences of fact ... that were in some respects contrary to the evidence”.
The appeals court could have ordered a new trial. Considering the record, however, Justice Gleeson said he did not consider that “the Crown should be given a further opportunity to patch up its case ... It has already made one attempt too many to do that ...”
Thus the second frame-up against Tim Anderson by the New South Wales police, like the first, ended in tatters. “Tim 2, NSW Cops 0” were the only words on one congratulatory fax that was sent to the office of the Campaign Exposing the Frame-up of Tim Anderson (CEFTA) following the acquittal.
CEFTA spokesperson Jane Mussett said, “We are elated that Tim Anderson has at last been acquitted. The judgment is a vindication of all our efforts, but there are many serious questions still to be answered about the handling of this case by the police and the prosecution. The case should never have occurred if the police and prosecution had done their jobs properly ... The spotlight is firmly on them and they should now be in the dock.”
The police investigation, led by Detective Aarne Tees, had started on the word of notorious prison informer Ray Denning, who claimed that Tim Anderson had confessed to the bombing on at least four occasions. It was proved from prison documents that on at least one of those occasions Denning and Anderson were not even in the same jail, which meant that everything Denning said should have been taken with a bag of salt. During the trial, however, the prosecution did its best to cover up the part of his statement that was actually proved to be false and even suggested during the appeal that the prison records could have been wrong!
Knowing that Anderson could not be convicted on the word of Denning alone, the police needed something else, and that emerged in the form of Evan Pederick. Pederick came forward after learning of Anderson's arrest and confessed to bombing the Hilton on Anderson's instructions. Both the priest and the Queensland police to whom he initially confessed did not believe his story, and the Queensland police even drove him home. For the NSW police, however, Pederick was just what they needed.
Pederick then wound together a story, aided by the police and roved on almost every occasion to be incorrect or so bizarre as to be unbelievable. This did not stop the prosecution changing his story to fit the facts.
One of the main instances of this was the attempt to get the story right over the time, place and even person that Pederick was meant to have been assassinating. When it was proved that the Indian prime minister, Morarji Desai, could not have arrived at the time Pederick claimed he did, the prosecution claimed that he had mistaken the Sri Lankan president, Junius Jayawardene, for Desai. When that proposition was disproved, the prosecution said that Pederick must have seen Desai leaving, not arriving.
One day after his release, Tim Anderson produced evidence on ABC's PM showing that crown prosecutor Tedeschi withheld information which might have influenced the jury's decision had it been known. A Department of Public Prosecutions memo, dated July 10, 1989, recorded Pederick's solicitor asking for full indemnity before his client would give evidence against Anderson. Anderson said that there were at least two counts of perjury against Denning and Pederick that he believed should be followed up, and he was going to suggest that to the DPP.
Anderson said that “Denning's was a pathetic case. I resent, though, that he is being rewarded for his perjury against me. As for Pederick, I have no sympathy with the man any more. I did at first, but when I started to hear the lies he was coming out with about me, I lost all sympathy for him. I believe he should be accountable for those lies also.”
Anderson's experience of the New South Wales justice system goes back to 1978 when he, Ross Dunn and Paul Alister were charged with conspiring to murder a fascist leader, Robert Cameron. This charge was laid on the word of police informer Richard Seary.
After seven years in prison, the trio were pardoned after an inquiry thoroughly discredited Seary's evidence. Nearly two years later they were compensated $100,000 each by the state government, yet the detectives who concocted the case are still in receipt of bravery awards from 1978.
Tim Anderson believes that there is a lot of malice in the minds of the police, who have been promoted since 1978, and who are now in a position where they are able to make strategic decisions in relation to major prosecutions.
The judgment clearing Anderson is a victory for civil liberties. The campaign in his defence brought together people from all different backgrounds and opinions. It was able to stand up against a large part of the media, which had supported the crown case since it was laid on May 30, 1989.
CEFTA's Jane Mussett said “If it were not for the dedication and persistence brought to the case by Lawyers Angela Avouris, Tom Molomby, John Nicholson, Peter Hidden and Ian Barker, and the readiness of many people to publicly support our campaign, an innocent man would still be behind bars.
“Tim Anderson was lucky -- many people were prepared to publicly is innocence and to campaign for his release.
“His case is a damning criticism of the justice system. The acquittal has been a cause for celebration; it shouldn't become a cause for complacency.”
One can only guess at how many other people are in jail, the victims of frame-ups, whose innocence will never be acknowledged.
Investigation of the conduct of police and prosecution must be carried out, and anyone responsible for perverting the course of justice should be held accountable for their actions. If this was done, miscarriages of justice would be far rarer.
CEFTA is calling for:
1) An independent review of the process of investigation and the evidence produced by it, before prosecutions are launched. This is clearly not happening now, despite the supposed independence of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
2) Compensation for Tim Anderson. Abuses of the criminal justice system would be far rarer if governments were obliged to compensate people such as Tim Anderson, Harry Blackburn and Lindy Chamberlain.
3) Investigation of prison informers and their relationship with police and prison officers, and restriction of their use.
4) Elimination of verbals, whether from police or prisoners.
Tim Anderson has been finally cleared in connection with the Hilton bombing, despite his name being linked with it by the media for nearly 13 years.
At a time of growing attacks on civil liberties, as seen recently in the frame-ups of Arthur Murray and Sonny Bates in the
Brewarrina “riot” case and the continuing trial of Canberra anti-apartheid activist Kerry Browning, the Tim Anderson victory is a much needed boost for everyone who has been standing up for civil liberties.
It brings into question the whole system of justice throughout Australia: from police lying and fabricating evidence with prison informers, to the factory line of the criminal courts to the New South Wales overcrowded prison system.
Green Left Weekly June 6 1991
An interview with Tim Anderson
By John Tognolini
Not long after his June 6 acquittal by the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal of all charges related to the Hilton bombing of 1978, TIM ANDERSON spoke to JOHN TOGNOLINI about the case, conditions in prison and what is still wrong with the police and court system.
What were your feelings last year when the jury convicted you and Judge Grove sentenced you to prison?
Tim: It was a real shock. I'd been preparing myself for the worst -- as I was eight months later in the appeals court. We thought the trial had gone very well, and as time went on and the jury didn't make a decision after five-six hours, I started to fear a hung jury.
For days after that I was very depressed, because the defence thought the case had won. It was hard to imagine how we could lose. I'm sure that the judge and the prosecution thought I was going to be acquitted, and yet still the jury comes down against you. You really don't know how a jury thinks.
The fact of your name being linked to the Hilton bombing for 13 years by the media raises the question of trial by media.
Tim: I put it down to two things. Prejudice is a very big factor: the danger that people came into the jury having made up their minds before they heard any evidence; that would have been a danger in a retrial as well. And also the fact that was underlined by the court of appeal: that the prosecution presented the case unfairly. Putting it bluntly, they lied to the jury about what the evidence was.
We put to the court as grounds for appeal 53 instances, and documented them all, where the prosecutor said to the jury things were not the evidence or were not based on the evidence; that was very difficult to deal with.
The basis for the police laying the charges was the word of prison informer Ray Denning?
A very big unanswered question is, Why did the police arrest me on Denning's evidence? The court of appeal thought this was quite remarkable.
The magistrate at the committal said it wouldn't have gone to trial on Denning's evidence. This raises the question, Did they have a prior connection with Evan Pederick? The whole issue of how they came to arrest me is very interesting. I'm thinking of referring the question of my arrest to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, which seems to be the only vehicle to do this.
Togs: Did police have other prison informers to be used against you?
Tim: There is a great use of police informers at the moment. In my case, apart from Denning, there were another half dozen queued up to give evidence against me. I've got all their statements against me, and they were not used. Documents from the prosecution show that they were thinking of using those ones after I was arrested and dumping Denning. The prosecutor had some doubts about Denning; subsequently he lost all those doubts when he presented him to the jury.
Togs: Why is there such an increase in the use of prison informers?
Tim: One of the reasons cited, probably correctly, is that police verbals have been under attack.
But it's not true to take the next step and say that police verbals are not happening. Verbals are still being used, and I've seen a number of cases recently where they've been used by some old well-known characters just to round off the evidence for the conviction. The only difference is that there was a High Court decision two months ago which requires judges now to give a warning to a jury that they should look for corroboration of unsubstantiated evidence and allegations of confessions by police.
Togs: Don't you think it's ironic that Denning is being released in November for his work with the police and prosecution in fitting you with the Hilton?
Tim: Well, he's still got another charge against him, remember: my charge against him for attempting to pervert the course of justice comes up later this month. There has to be a question of bail there because there may be some fears that he's going to assume a false identity and leave the country, which the police have arranged for him.
There was also withholding of evidence by the prosecution.
It's a real echo of the previous frame-up in 1978 to 1985. The judicial inquiry into our convictions there was a result of the ts by Special Branch. Exactly the same thing happened again, except on this occasion it's the prosecution that withheld the evidence -- interviews with the main witness.
There are about 10 major inconsistencies with the evidence of Evan Pederick that arise out of their interviews with him. If my appeal had failed, we would have had grounds for an inquiry based on the withholding of this information.
The frame-up of 1978: there are police officers still holding bravery awards from that, who are now in senior positions in the police force.
In jail I took the opportunity to make freedom of information applications for the advice that led to those awards, and I've now got all those documents. I've started the process to have those awards withdrawn.
They are in very senior positions; Bourke is in charge of the Tactical Response Group.
He's also in charge of the Special Weapons Squad. Dennis Gilligan is in charge, amongst other things, of the committee to oversee the controls on police verbals and the introduction of video taping interviews. Roger Rogerson is out of the force, of course, and there are a couple of others who have bravery awards, but those are the main three.
Togs: Doesn't it seem a bit strange that such characters have positions of power in one of the largest police forces in the world and also that, to the 75% of the police who are under 25, they are referred to as role models?
Tim: The old CIB was disbanded because it was called by then police commissioner Avery “a hotbed of corruption”. A lot of those people have been kicked out of the force, but a number of the ones who stayed in there and kept their heads down have got promoted in the course of time. Apart from the ones we've mentioned, there are a few others who have some pretty heavy reputations now in disturbingly senior positions in the force.
Togs: How did Corrective Services react to you on the inside?
Tim: I wasn't having any special problems with prison officers, but with the hierarchy of Corrective Services, who pretty soon got a whiff that I was a troublemaker and an embarrassment to them. They started to shuffle me around; eventually they started to deny me access to certain things such as word processing facilities and the education section because they were worried I'd use the equipment to write letters to the ombudsman about the conditions in jail and so on. I was being bricked out of doing basic things like my studies and not allowed to have books.
Togs: Do you think that's a normal procedure: Tim Anderson, known troublemaker, to be treated as any other troublemaker?
Tim: They have lists. I've seen one from two years ago. It's got the critical 10 and the crucial 20, like the most wanted within the lot. They have in some cases completely unfounded allegations against people like drugs, violence, organised crime. I don't know what they've got against me.
Togs: You said on your release that animals in Taronga Park Zoo were better treated than people in prison in New South Wales?
Tim: In the last jail I was in, the assessment prison at Long Bay, they've got a yard 140 metres long with 100 people in it for seven hours a day. There are no standards you can enforce against the Corrective Services Department that ensure they give a certain amount of space and privacy to prisoners. I'm sure that sort of situation and conditions of overcrowding wouldn't be tolerated at Taronga Park Zoo.
At the assessment prison, which is built for 210 people, you have over 300 people. In the reception prison, also at Long Bay, there are 550 to 600 people, and that was built for about 300. Just about everyone is two people to a cell and in some cases three to a cell.
It's still against prison regulations to have two to a cell. There are a lot of problems with two to a cell: you're trying to do a course or study in a bathroom/toilet with someone else locked in with you for 18 hours a day; it's almost impossible.
Togs: You've said that the bachelor of arts you did during your first seven years in jail would be impossible to do now.
Tim: It's much harder to do something like that now than it would have been 10 years ago. [Former prisons minister Michael] Yabsley's policy of property: you can't have a typewriter in your cell, you can't have more than two books until you've got proper authorisation, and in the jail I was in, you had to be six weeks before you got that authorisation. If you moved from one jail to another, your education material would be taken away from you for six weeks.
There are a lot of petty bureaucratic barriers that were put up by the Yabsley regime and the overcrowding, which is all pervasive. There's very little resources put into education now.
Togs: What's happening with the two units that have been formed in Corrective Services, the intelligence gathering unit and the new paramilitary riot control squad?
Tim: They've always had emergency squads, special response squads -- there are a few different names they've gone by, but they've always had them. It seems to me that they've become elite squads separated from the general prison officer. There is now very heavy antagonism between the internal investigation unit and the emergency unit and your general prison officers.
They appear to be more violent than they were six or seven years ago. There's a lot of violence. There's a Turkish man called Oskan who was very badly bashed two weeks ago in the jail I was in. The whole wing saw him being choked and dragged out of the wing. Five witnesses saw him being dragged by handcuffs across an asphalt square yelling out “Let me walk! Let me walk!” He was then he was taken out, and I saw his injuries after that. He had bruises the size of plates over his back and buttocks. Everyone in the jail knows about it. Nothing was done about it. It's like a return to the days of Grafton in the mid-'70s.
One of the problems is that prisoners don't have anything to do with middle-class existence. People, unless they have a friend or relative in jail, don't know or care much about it.
There's a huge amount of ignorance about prisons. One of the things I'm trying to do is to point out the conditions in the jails and also how that impacts back on society. It's not a situation where you can lock people up and forget about them. People who have been in jail come back to inflict the brutality and dehumanisation that was inflicted on them.
Radio Skid Row interview, printed in Green Left Weekly