LionelMurphy_AbeSaffron1


Just how close was the former high court judge Lionel Murphy

 to the notorious crime boss of Kings Cross Abe Saffron?

‘Murphy was his main man’: the alleged links between the judge and the crime boss Abe Safron

Untangling the relationship between Lionel Murphy and Abe Saffron baffled authorities

whose inquiries spanned NSW politics, sex trafficking and Sydney landmarks 



"People got killed for what they might know," he said.

 "Money was first raised from gambling, then prostitution and then drugs.

I watched it happen.

 You either went along with it or got out.

"The Cross changed when the police took over the drug scene ... the police became the gangsters.

 NSW premier Robert Askin was the godfather and corruption reigned supreme from the dustman to the premier."


https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/15/murphy-was-his-main-man-the-alleged-links-between-the-judge-and-the-boss


From the 1960s to the '80s, Abe Saffron was a leading player in Sydney's entertainment industry. He opened Australia's first strip joint in the Cross and brought out stars such as Frank Sinatra, Lenny Bruce, Tina Turner and Donovan. As the Vietnam War cranked up and US servicemen flooded the Cross on leave, topless go-go girls overtook the strip shows. The Americans brought money, Mandrax, marijuana and heroin. By then Saffron was wealthy; he owned hotels, motels and six clubs, including the Pink Pussycat, the Pink Panther and Les Girls (later the Carousel, where anti-development newspaper owner Juanita Nielsen was last seen alive).

In 1969, Abe Saffron installed Scottish hard man Jim Anderson as his licensee at the notorious Venus Room.

It was there that Anderson shot dead Donny "the Glove" Smith in front of off-duty NSW detectives. The case was no-billed. Ten years later, Anderson turned against him and his evidence to the National Crime Authority led to Saffron being jailed for 17 months for tax evasion.

 If Abe Saffron is a victim in McNab's eyes, Anderson is the villain, "a man consumed by greed and the need for prestige".

Unlike Abe Saffron, who presumably owned eight sex shops for higher motives.


Named in the South Australian parliament as a key figure in organised crime, Saffron was stopped at Perth airport in 1973. In his diaries, police found the name and addresses of a NSW judge, NSW police officers and a future attorney-general of NSW. Saffron's solicitor at the time was Morgan Ryan, Lionel Murphy's "little mate".

 Saffron and Murphy denied meeting but there was no denying Saffron's involvement with deputy police commissioner Bill Allen, whom he met seven times at police HQ. Allen was later jailed for bribing the head of the Special Licensing Police on five occasions.

NCA chairman Donald Stewart called Saffron "a corrupter of police and others".

Shortly before his death, Anderson was interviewed by a University of Technology, Sydney, researcher about those years.

 "People got killed for what they might know," he said.

 "Money was first raised from gambling, then prostitution and then drugs. I watched it happen. You either went along with it or got out.

"The Cross changed when the police took over the drug scene ... the police became the gangsters.

 NSW premier Robert Askin was the godfather and corruption reigned supreme from the dustman to the premier."

Perhaps because of Saffron's litigious nature, McNab did not delve too deeply into his client's darker side. 

Instead, he wheeled out evidence of donations to the Benevolent Society and Moriah College and describes Saffron as a model prisoner.

Whatever may emerge after Saffron's death yesterday, aged 87, in Sydney's St Vincent's Private Hospital, we'll probably never know the full extent of the power and influence that this clever draper's son from Annandale wielded for 40 years over police, vice and politicians of all stripes in the city of Sydney.






Lionel Keith Murphy- former Justice of the High Court Of Australia





Abe Saffron the notorious crime boss of Kings Cross and Australia's Crime Boss who had control of many senior senior politicians, police, government employees, lawyers, barristers, magistrates, judges, justices, premiers, prime ministers, business people and organisations, bankers, financiers, criminal networks gangs and organisations and major criminals.
One of Abe Saffrons control methods was holding embarrassing tapes and videos of such senior people in embarrassing sexual and other encounters ... and other damaging information,which is made public would instantly destroy their career and likely land them in prison with a serious criminal conviction .... Abe Saffron and his even more powerful senior silent partners knew that this was a tried and proven method to keep control of these people .... before such well connected people were allowed to rise to their powerful positions such as a Justice of the High Court of Australia, a premier of a state,a prime minster, a police commissioners etc ... is was necessary to have serious dirt of their private life ...so there is no way they could not obey orders .... from Abe Saffron and his even more powerful senior silent partners

 Former high court judge Lionel Murphy. A 1986 parliamentary commission of inquiry investigating Murphy’s conduct identified 15 allegations. Photograph: Lionel Murphy Foundation

Just how close was the former high court judge Lionel Murphy to the notorious crime boss of Kings Cross Abe Saffron?

That question preoccupied investigators on the 1986 commission of inquiry into whether Murphy’s conduct constituted misbehaviour in office.

The extent of their concern is revealed in documents released on Thursday, 31 years after the commission was terminated without making findings.

The commission had before it two allegations that Murphy had lobbied New South Wales Labor politicians on behalf of companies associated with Saffron in order to win them lucrative contracts. One was for the refurbishment of Central railway station. The other was for the lease on Luna Park.

The allegations were based on illegally taped conversations between Murphy and his friend, Sydney solicitor Morgan Ryan, which had formed part of the Age Tapes reports in 1984 and later led to the Stewart royal commission.

But was Murphy doing it because of his friendship with Ryan, who was known to be close to Saffron? Or was there a more direct relationship?

In July 1986, investigator Andrew Phelan met with Superintendent Drew at the 20th floor of NSW police headquarters to find out.

According to his file note, Drew reassured him that “apart from what [crime figure] James McCartney Anderson had told Sergeant Warren Molloy, no link between Saffron and his honour had come to light”.

What that particular link was is not disclosed. But Molloy, then special licensing seargent in the Kings Cross region, had extensive knowledge of Saffron’s operations. Molloy was overseas and did not return until a day after the inquiry was wound up, so Phelan never got to interview him.

However, Phelan also noted that “we were told that the vice squad had been conducting a lengthy investigation into allegations that Filipino girls were imported under some racket involving [solicitor] Morgan Ryan to work as prostitutes at the Venus Room”.

“It was suggested that Ernie ‘the good’ Shepherd, head of the vice squad may be able to tell us something about suggestions that Saffron procured females for his honour.”

The police also confided that that they were investigating several allegations that had come out of the Stewart royal commission, “including the alleged involvement of his honour, Ryan, Saffron, the Yuens and police in the Dixon Street casinos matter”.

The file on the commission of inquiry’s investigation into the Luna Park lease reveals that the main evidence they were relying on was from Mr Egge of the NSW police who had given evidence to the Stewart royal commission based on the phone taps he had listened to as part of illegal phone tapping that the NSW police had undertaken. They became known as the Age Tapes.

Ryan had been one of their targets and conversations with Murphy had been picked up.

In the early months of 1980, Murphy was alleged to have told his friend that he had intervened with the NSW premier Neville Wran on behalf of the Saffron-linked company to secure him the Luna Park lease.

The government announced in early 1980 that all six tenders were rejected and eventually called fresh tenders. The winner was Harbourside Amusements. In its early incarnation it was controlled by a solicitor, David Baffsky, who was known to act for Abe Saffron, according to the commission files. But later it had Sir Arthur George and Michael Edgley as its public face and Saffron’s nephew as its secretary.

The commission also sought help from the National Crime Commission and the Stewart royal commission into organised crime.

They were sent the transcript of an interview with James West, part owner of Raffles nightclub who claimed that he had met Murphy at Saffron’s place, and that “Murphy was his main man, you probably know that”.

At the time it was wound up, the commission records show it was planning to call Saffron, Ryan, Inspector Molloy and numerous denizens of Sydney’s crime world to give evidence.

Murphy died a few months later. The truth or otherwise of his involvement with Saffron remains unproved.


Abe Safron - The real king of the Cross

Bridget McManus  JUNE 17 2010

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/the-real-king-of-the-cross-20100616-yf8a.html

BEFORE Bob Trimbole and John Ibrahim, before George Freeman and Terry Clark, there was an Australian underworld figure with a story so dirty and so colourful it could span several Underbelly seasons. The original ''Mr Sin'', Abe Saffron, recently featured on an episode of Nine's Australian Families of Crime and an ABC documentary, Mr Sin, screens this week.

Perhaps his relatively recent surfacing in the current stream of true-crime television specials is because even four years after his death, certain people still aren't talking about the man who ruled Kings Cross from the 1950s.


Mr Sin...Abe Saffron. 


''Police officers in particular wouldn't talk because they feel the story is still alive,'' says the writer and director of Mr Sin, Hugh Piper. ''I really tried with the NSW police force and I can't help but feel I was fobbed off.''

Drawing on the perspectives of Saffron's son, Alan, former attorney-general Frank Walker and journalists and writers who followed the rumours and royal commissions throughout the decades, the film presents a detailed investigation of the dealings of the notorious gangster, to which nothing more than tax evasion (for which he served 17 months from 1987) ever stuck. Using archival footage and photographs, with minimal re-enactments (one is from a Mike Willesee special in the 1970s, in which Saffron associate Jimmy Anderson plays himself being attacked in a nightclub brawl), the film is ''full of revelations'', Piper says.

''We've put Abe into this social, historical context in a way that hasn't been done before. It's as much an insight into the history of Sydney as it is into Abe and into how the police did their work. Underbellytells us a lot of that stuff but this was before Underbelly. It was about setting up all those models of behaviour that in the long run bore fruit for the people who came after.''

Like many Australians, Piper grew up with the legend of Saffron, the son of Polish migrants who brought nightclubs and strip clubs and then world-class acts such as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to Sydney. Melbourne's Truth newspaper ran stories on the scandals of ''Sin City'', which invariably involved Saffron. When Piper moved to Kings Cross in the 1980s, he would catch sight of the ''enigmatic'' Saffron, gold chain glinting through ''a very hairy, broad chest'', and visited his playground, the Venus Room strip joint.

''At two or three in the morning there would be the most extraordinary cross-section of people and naked women walking around,'' Piper says. ''It was a watering hole. The pubs in those days closed at midnight or even earlier and all sorts of people would go to the Venus Room afterwards.''

It was likely the setting of many a deal struck between Saffron and his cohorts, who allegedly ranged from detectives to politicians, union bosses and developers. It was also a hot-spot for wooing women. In the film, Saffron's daughter, from one of his many extra-marital affairs, remembers a devoted father.

His son, Alan, whose book about his father is called Gentle Satan, speaks of the torment suffered by his mother, nightclub dancer Doreen. What isn't included in the film is Alan's claim that Abe had him committed to the infamous Chelmsford psychiatric hospital after convincing police to drop drug charges against his son.

''Alan used to get lots of girls because he was Abe's son and then Abe would turn up at a club with a woman and the doorman would say, 'Your son's down there having a high old time,' and so, in a sense, Alan started cramping his style. Then all of a sudden Alan was busted for drugs and Abe said, 'I'm going to get you sorted out, son.' He was in Chelmsford for a while and he had a lot of electro-convulsive therapy, which I think has had a huge impact on him,'' Piper says. ''There were some incredible stories we couldn't include due to time constraints.''

Bitter though Alan may be at this and the snub he received from Abe's will, he maintains his father was not a violent man but concedes Abe may have ''condoned violence'' by his heavies. The two nastiest crimes linked to Saffron - the murder of anti-development protester Juanita Nielsen and the Luna Park ghost train fire of 1979 - remain unsolved.

''This film isn't glamorising Abe Saffron,'' Piper says. ''It's telling a story that he did create a very glamorous world, particularly in the early years, but by the time he got to the '70s and '80s he'd become more interested in the big end of the town and become a wheeler-dealer rather than trying to create an ambience in the city.

''But still, there are a lot of people with an affection for him and what he represents,'' he says. To put it in a historical context, going back to the Rum Corps, the colony's always been like that and maybe we've always had people like Abe. But I don't want to suggest that Abe is in any way a Ned Kelly figure. Abe was more like an Old Testament emperor: into sex and power.''

Mr Sin: The Abe Saffron Story screens on Thursday at 9.25pm on ABC1 Critic's view, page 38.


Abraham Gilbert "Abe" Saffron

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abe_Saffron




Abraham Gilbert "Abe" Saffron (6 October 1919 – 15 September 2006) was an Australian nightclub owner and property developer who was reputed to have been one of the major figures in Australian organised crime in the latter half of the 20th century.

For several decades, members of government, the judiciary and the media made repeated allegations that Saffron was involved in a wide range of criminal activities, including illegal alcohol sales, dealing in stolen goods, illegal gambling, prostitution, drug dealing, bribery and extortion. He was charged with a range of offences including "scandalous conduct", possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of stolen goods, but his only major conviction was for tax evasion.

He gained nationwide notoriety in the media, earning the nicknames "Mr Sin", "a Mr Big of Australian crime" and "the boss of the Cross" (a reference to the Kings Cross red-light district, where he owned numerous businesses).

He was alleged to have been involved in police corruption and bribing politicians. Saffron always vigorously denied such accusations, and was renowned for the extent to which he was willing to sue for libel against his accusers.

Abe Saffron’s Early Life

Saffron was born in Annandale in 1919, of Russian Jewish descent. He was educated at Annandale and Leichhardt primary schools and at the highly prestigious Fort Street High School. Although his mother hoped he would become a doctor, Saffron left school at 15 and began his business career in the family's drapery firm in the late 1930s. He enlisted in the Australian Army on 5 August 1940, and reached the rank of Corporal before being discharged 4 January 1944.  Saffron did not serve overseas. Saffron then served in the Merchant Navy from January to June 1944.

Abe Saffron’s Career

Upon leaving the Merchant Navy, he became involved with a notorious Sydney nightclub called The Roosevelt Club, co-owned by "prominent Sydney businessman" Sammy Lee. It is claimed that Saffron began his rise to power in the Sydney underworld through his involvement in the lucrative sale of black-market alcohol at the Roosevelt.

At the time, NSW clubs and pubs were subject to strict licensing laws which limited trading hours and regulated alcohol prices and sale conditions. When Saffron began working at the Roosevelt, alcohol sales were also subject to wartime rationing regulations. A subsequent Royal Commission into the NSW liquor trade heard evidence that in the early 1950s The Rooer being declared a "disorderly house" by the NSW Police Commissioner. After Saffron sold the Roosevelt, it was able to be re-opened. Saffron then relocated to Newcastle; he worked there for a time as a bookmaker, but it has been reported that he was not successful.

When questioned by a Royal Commission about how he had obtained the substantial sum (£3000) with which he bought his first pub licence in Newcastle, he claimed that the money had come from savings he had accumulated from his bookmaking activity, although he was notably vague when pressed about the exact sources of this income.

In 1948 Saffron returned to Sydney and began purchasing licences for a string of Sydney pubs. It was later alleged that he also established covert controlling interests in numerous other pubs through a series of "dummy" owners. The 1954 Maxwell Royal Commission heard evidence that Saffron used these pubs to obtain legitimately purchased alcohol, diverting it to the various nightclubs and other businesses that he operated and selling at black market prices, realising vast profits.

By the 1960s Saffron owned or controlled a string of nightclubs, strip joints and sex shops in Kings Cross, including the Sydney club Les Girls, home of the famous transvestite revue. During this period he began to expand his business operations into "legitimate" enterprises and to establish holdings in other states, such as the Raffles Hotel, Perth, leading several state governments to launch inquiries into his activities.

International connections

The Australian Commonwealth Police alleged that Mr Saffron met with Chicago mobster, Joseph Dan Testa, in 1969, while Testa was in Australia.

Juanita Nielsen Disappearance

One of the most contentious incidents in Saffron's career was his rumoured involvement in the disappearance and presumed murder of newspaper publisher and anti-development campaigner Juanita Nielsen in July 1975. Although no direct connection to the crime was ever established, Saffron was shown to have had proven connections with several people suspected of being involved in Nielsen's disappearance. Saffron owned the Carousel nightclub in Kings Cross, where Nielsen was last seen on the day of her disappearance; his long-serving deputy James McCartney Anderson managed the club; one of the men later convicted of conspiring to kidnap Nielsen was Eddie Trigg, the night manager of the club; it was also reported that Saffron had financial links with developer Frank Theeman, against whose development Nielsen was campaigning.

Expose

In the 1980s investigative journalist David Hickie published his landmark book The Prince and The Premier, which included a substantial section detailing Saffron's alleged involvement in many aspects of organised crime in Sydney. The book's central thesis was that former NSW Premier Robert Askin was corrupt, that Askin and Police Commissioners Norman Allan and Fred Hanson received huge bribes from the illegal gaming industry over many years, and that Askin and other senior public officials had overseen and approved of a major expansion of organised crime in New South Wales.

Using only material that was already in the public domain, obtained from evidence tendered to royal commissions and allegations made by politicians under parliamentary privilege, Hickie devoted an entire section of his book to Saffron's business activities. Among the most damning material was the detailed evidence tendered to the 1954 Maxwell Royal Commission into the NSW liquor trade, which concluded that Saffron had established covert controlling interests in numerous NSW pubs to supply his "sly grog" outlets, and that he had systematically made false statements to the Commission and sworn false oaths before the NSW Licensing Court.

Furthermore, in the second edition of The Politics of Heroin by Alfred W. McCoy, in a chapter summarising the Nugan Hand Bank it is mentioned that Askin and Saffron regularly had dinner together at the Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant, owned by American expatriate Maurice Bernard Houghton.

The NSW Police were unable to effect any substantial convictions against Saffron over a period of almost 40 years, which only served to reinforce the public concerns about his alleged influence over state police and government officials, but after the establishment of the National Crime Authority in the 1980s, he became a major target for the new federal investigative body.

Tax Evasion

In November 1987, following an extensive investigation by the NCA and the Australian Taxation Office, Saffron was found guilty of tax evasion. His conviction was largely made possible by evidence provided by his former associate Jim Anderson, who testified that Saffron's clubs routinely kept two sets of accounts—one set of so-called "black" books, which recorded actual turnover, and another set ("white" books) which were purposely fabricated with the intent of evading tax by falsifying income.

Despite several legal appeals, Saffron served 17 months in jail.  Judge Loveday said on sentencing "In my view the maximum penalty of three years is inadequate."

Saffron undertook a number of highly publicised defamation cases against various publications; he unsuccessfully sued The Sydney Morning Herald but was successful in later suits against the authors, publishers and distributors of Tough: 101 Australian Gangsters  and the publishers of The Gold Coast Bulletin, which contained a defamatory crossword clue.

Abe Saffron’s Death

Prior to his death he lived in retirement at Potts Point, Sydney.

Abe Saffron died at St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney in 2006, aged 86.

Abe Saffron was interred next to his wife, Doreen, at Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney.

 

Prior to Abe Saffron's death he lived in retirement at Potts Point, Sydney. 

Abe Saffron’s Legacy

In November 2006 the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported that Saffron's son Alan, would receive only $500,000 from his father's multimillion-dollar estate; the article quoted various estimates of the value of the estate that ranged from A$30 million to as much as $140 million. The article reported that Saffron's eight grandchildren (including Alan Saffron's five children) would receive $1 million each, Saffron's mistress Teresa Tkaczyk would receive a lifetime annuity of $1000 a week and the couple's apartments in Surry HillsElizabeth Bay and the Gold Coast and that Melissa Hagenfelds (Saffron's daughter by his former mistress Rita Hagenfelds) would also receive a $1,000 a week annuity and apartments at Centennial Park and Elizabeth Bay. Other reported provisions of the will included bequests of up to $10 million to various charities.[9]

In May 2007 the Sydney Morning Herald published an article on Saffron's reputed involvement in the infamous Ghost Train fire at Luna Park Sydney in 1979, when a suspected arson attack destroyed the popular ride, killing seven people. In an interview with Herald journalist Kate McClymont, Saffron's niece Anne Buckingham linked Saffron to the fire, stating that her uncle "liked to collect things" and that he intended to purchase Luna Park.[10]

At the time of the fire, the park was being leased to property developer Leon Fink (businessman) and his partner, who told the Herald that he had been stopped from purchasing the park by the then state ALP government of Neville Wran—reputedly because Fink's business partner Nathan Spatt had made derogatory comments about Wran's use of a private aircraft belonging to Sir Peter Abeles—and Fink said that Wran once said to him at a function: "While my bum points to the ground, your partner will not get that lease." The Herald story also stated that a parliamentary report revealed that then Deputy Premier Jack Ferguson had told John Ducker(head of the Labor Council of New South Wales) that Wran had decided that Fink would not get Wran's support because he did not donate enough money to the ALP.

In August 2007 Allen & Unwin published the first major biography of Saffron, written by investigative journalist Tony Reeves, author of the 2005 biography of notorious Sydney gangster Lenny McPherson.

In July 2008 Abe Saffron's son Alan returned to Australia from his home in the USA to promote his memoir Gentle Satan: Abe Saffron, My Father and the publication of the book was widely covered in the Australian media. According to a Sydney Morning Herald report, Saffron's book names former Saffron associate James McCartney Anderson as the chief agent of the conspiracy to silence Juanita Nielsen. Anderson (who died in 2003) consistently denied any involvement while he was alive, but police reportedly failed to check Anderson's alibi that he was interstate when Nielsen disappeared.

In an interview with Herald reporter Lisa Carty, Alan Saffron said that he had received death threats over the book because it would name some of the people involved in the Juanita Nielsen conspiracy, but that he was unable to name all those involved for legal reasons, because some were still alive.

Saffron claimed he could name people "much bigger" than former NSW premier Robert Askin and former police commissioner Norman Allan, with whom his father corruptly dealt to protect his gambling, nightclub and prostitution businesses. Saffron specifically referred to:

... one particular businessman I was desperate to name, and there's one particular police officer who is extremely high ranking. They're the biggest names you can imagine in Australia.

According to the Herald article, all the conspirators are named in the original manuscript of the book, which is now in the possession of Saffron's publishers, Penguin, and that the book would be re-published with additional names after people not originally named had died.

A follow-up article published the next day carried Alan Saffron's assertion that his father controlled the vice trade, including illegal gambling and prostitution, in every state except Tasmania and the Northern Territory, and that he bribed "a host of politicians and policemen" to ensure he was protected from prosecution.

Later in his career Abe Saffron reportedly began laundering his huge illegal income through loan sharking and that the late media magnate Kerry Packer was among those who borrowed money from Abe Saffron, allegedly to cover gambling debts.

The book also alleges that Saffron lent money to several other prominent Sydney businessmen including Frank Theeman (whose controversial Kings Cross development was the target of Juanita Nielsen's campaign) as well as former TNT boss Sir Peter Abeles and property tycoon Sir Paul Strasser, both of whom received knighthoods during Askin's premiership.

The book lends further weight to the long-standing allegations of corruption against former NSW Premier Robert Askin and Police Commissioner Norman Allan. It claims that Saffron made payments of between A$5000 and $10,000 per week to each man over many years, that Askin and Allan both visited Saffron's office on several occasions, that Allan also visited the Saffron family home, and that Abe Saffron paid for an all-expenses overseas trip for Allan and a young female 'friend'.

Later in Askin's premiership, according to Alan Saffron, his father became the "bagman" for Sydney's illegal liquor and prostitution rackets and most illegal gambling activities, collecting payoffs that were then passed to Askin, Allan and others; in return his father was completely protected.

It was reported on 9 October 2011 that Abe also fathered another son, Adam Brand

Abe Saffron: boss of the Cross

He wanted to be a businessman, not a gangster. But most of his businesses were illegal.

Michael Duffy and Bob Bottom

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/abe-saffron-boss-of-the-cross-20110606-1foud.html

ABE SAFFRON was among the most powerful and successful of our organised crime bosses – and also the most unusual. Most of his money came not from standing over other illegal businesses but from owning and running his own entertainment venues. It just so happened that much of the entertainment he offered, mainly alcohol and prostitution, was illegal. Driven by the need to protect his many establishments, he was a key underworld figure in corrupting politicians and police for several decades.

Two things made him a public figure for most of his life: a memorable 1951 photo of him at one of his nightclubs, shot in fetching manner through the legs of a female performer, and the tag "Mr Sin" attached by a state attorney-general in 1976. These two identifiers were to be run below his name in hundreds of articles and books. He became the public, and to a degree the deceptively benign, face of organised crime.

Saffron was born in Sydney in 1919. By the second half of the 1940s he owned a number of pubs and nightclubs. His fortune was founded on flouting the war and postwar restrictions on the supply of beer and the continuing 6pm limit on sales of alcohol. Saffron would illegally transfer grog from his hotels to his clubs, where it would be sold at night for enormous mark-ups.

This was his basic business model through the 1950s, although he diversified into other areas. He attracted people to his clubs by bringing out top American singers such as Frank Sinatra and made extra money from the prostitution at some of his premises. He expanded into other states and evaded restrictions by taking out most of his liquor licences in other people's names. Gradually, though, much of the profit went out of alcohol as quotas were abolished and opening hours were extended to 10pm in 1955.

A sex addict himself – one of the few prosecutions he faced was for participating in an orgy at Palm Beach – Saffron sold pornography and provided blue movies to cinemas. At his height he had interests in 100 brothels (known for a while as “massage studios”) and 50 nightclubs around the country. In 1960, he opened Australia's first strip club, the Staccato, in Kings Cross, soon followed by the iconic Pink Pussycat and many others. He took over the lease of Les Girls and financed gay clubs.

For the next two decades he owned many of the clubs along Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross (the so-called “Golden Mile”), and made enormous profits from these and his other businesses, which added to his growing property portfolio. He hid his links to many insalubrious establishments behind a screen of more than 100 companies. His criminal career declined in the 1980s when pornographic videos (and home recorders) and heroin changed the Cross. Yet he was estimated to be worth more than $20 million when he died in 2006.

The extraordinary thing about Saffron is that, although he was engaged fairly publicly in a range of criminal activities for more than 40 years, he was almost never troubled by the police until 1987 when – as was to happen to Lennie McPherson later – he was charged by the federal National Crime Authority. (Compared to the state police, the feds were relatively incorrupt.) He was convicted of tax evasion and went to jail for 17 months.

Saffron was relatively immune from prosecution for so long because he was bribing politicians and police at the highest level. Not only was he doing it on his own behalf but by the late 1960s he had become the bagman for many of Sydney's criminals, who would send their weekly payments to Saffron, who would amalgamate them, take a cut for his trouble and then forward between $5000 and $10,000 a week to both the premier Robert Askin (1965 to 1975) and the police commissioner Norm Allan (1962 to 1972). This occurred for years. Some commissioners who followed Allan also received bribes. Presumably some of this money was paid to these men's subordinates. Saffron also provided many other politicians and police with money, entertainment and sexual favours. This was an extraordinarily comprehensive arrangement by the standard of any big city in the world and yet it covers only part of the extent of Sydney's corruption in the 20th century. There is good anecdotal evidence that many other politicians, police and some judges and magistrates were corrupt, both before Askin's time and to a lesser degree after it. Some of these people will be considered in other parts of this series. The main point is that Saffron, because of his greed, his head for figures and the respect in which he was held by the underworld, was able to put much of this corruption on an organised footing for a very long time.

The extent of Saffron's power is indicated not just by the dearth of prosecutions but the fact that almost no NSW politician mentioned him publicly, even with parliamentary privilege. It was in the South Australian parliament he gained the name "Mr Sin", but locally he seems to have done favours for enough powerful people for the rest not to make waves.

It is impossible to know the full extent of Saffron's criminality. By the end, he was linked to a vast array of activities, including extortion, arson and insurance fraud.

In 1979, a fire destroyed the Ghost Train at Luna Park, killing seven people. In 2007, a niece of Saffron said he was responsible for the fire but later withdrew the claim, for which there appears to be no evidence.

The Costigan royal commission in 1984 found he was involved in drug dealing and the operation of gambling establishments and that he used gambling debts and evidence of sexual indiscretions as a way of controlling men of influence. One in Saffron's debt was Lionel Murphy, one-time federal attorney-general, who had sex with young women in one of Saffron's Kings Cross apartments.

After Saffron's death, his son Alan said: “My father was a visionary and the founder of the modern entertainment industry in Australia, providing fabulous clubs, pubs, gambling and sex to the public – all of which is legal today.” There is some truth in that. Abe Saffron, like Al Capone – another criminal who went to jail for tax evasion – did become wealthy from prohibition. But to do so they had to be thoroughly unscrupulous men.

MAIN SOURCES: The Prince and the Premier by David Hickie; Connections by Bob Bottom; Gentle Satan by Alan Saffron; Mr Sin by Tony Reeves; The Usual Suspect by Duncan McNab; articles in The Sydney Morning Herald by Kate McClymont.



Abe Safron - The real king of the Cross

Bridget McManus  JUNE 17 2010

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/the-real-king-of-the-cross-20100616-yf8a.html

BEFORE Bob Trimbole and John Ibrahim, before George Freeman and Terry Clark, there was an Australian underworld figure with a story so dirty and so colourful it could span several Underbelly seasons. The original ''Mr Sin'', Abe Saffron, recently featured on an episode of Nine's Australian Families of Crime and an ABC documentary, Mr Sin, screens this week.

Perhaps his relatively recent surfacing in the current stream of true-crime television specials is because even four years after his death, certain people still aren't talking about the man who ruled Kings Cross from the 1950s.


Mr Sin-Abe Safron

''Police officers in particular wouldn't talk because they feel the story is still alive,'' says the writer and director of Mr Sin, Hugh Piper.

''I really tried with the NSW police force and I can't help but feel I was fobbed off.''

Drawing on the perspectives of Saffron's son, Alan, former attorney-general Frank Walker and journalists and writers who followed the rumours and royal commissions throughout the decades, the film presents a detailed investigation of the dealings of the notorious gangster, to which nothing more than tax evasion (for which he served 17 months from 1987) ever stuck. Using archival footage and photographs, with minimal re-enactments (one is from a Mike Willesee special in the 1970s, in which Saffron associate Jimmy Anderson plays himself being attacked in a nightclub brawl), the film is ''full of revelations'', Piper says.

''We've put Abe into this social, historical context in a way that hasn't been done before. It's as much an insight into the history of Sydney as it is into Abe and into how the police did their work. Underbellytells us a lot of that stuff but this was before Underbelly. It was about setting up all those models of behaviour that in the long run bore fruit for the people who came after.''

Like many Australians, Piper grew up with the legend of Saffron, the son of Polish migrants who brought nightclubs and strip clubs and then world-class acts such as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to Sydney. Melbourne's Truth newspaper ran stories on the scandals of ''Sin City'', which invariably involved Saffron. When Piper moved to Kings Cross in the 1980s, he would catch sight of the ''enigmatic'' Saffron, gold chain glinting through ''a very hairy, broad chest'', and visited his playground, the Venus Room strip joint.

''At two or three in the morning there would be the most extraordinary cross-section of people and naked women walking around,'' Piper says. ''It was a watering hole. The pubs in those days closed at midnight or even earlier and all sorts of people would go to the Venus Room afterwards.''

It was likely the setting of many a deal struck between Saffron and his cohorts, who allegedly ranged from detectives to politicians, union bosses and developers. It was also a hot-spot for wooing women. In the film, Saffron's daughter, from one of his many extra-marital affairs, remembers a devoted father.

His son, Alan, whose book about his father is called Gentle Satan, speaks of the torment suffered by his mother, nightclub dancer Doreen. What isn't included in the film is Alan's claim that Abe had him committed to the infamous Chelmsford psychiatric hospital after convincing police to drop drug charges against his son.

''Alan used to get lots of girls because he was Abe's son and then Abe would turn up at a club with a woman and the doorman would say, 'Your son's down there having a high old time,' and so, in a sense, Alan started cramping his style. Then all of a sudden Alan was busted for drugs and Abe said, 'I'm going to get you sorted out, son.' He was in Chelmsford for a while and he had a lot of electro-convulsive therapy, which I think has had a huge impact on him,'' Piper says. ''There were some incredible stories we couldn't include due to time constraints.''

Bitter though Alan may be at this and the snub he received from Abe's will, he maintains his father was not a violent man but concedes Abe may have ''condoned violence'' by his heavies. The two nastiest crimes linked to Saffron - the murder of anti-development protester Juanita Nielsen and the Luna Park ghost train fire of 1979 - remain unsolved.

''This film isn't glamorising Abe Saffron,'' Piper says. ''It's telling a story that he did create a very glamorous world, particularly in the early years, but by the time he got to the '70s and '80s he'd become more interested in the big end of the town and become a wheeler-dealer rather than trying to create an ambience in the city.

''But still, there are a lot of people with an affection for him and what he represents,'' he says. To put it in a historical context, going back to the Rum Corps, the colony's always been like that and maybe we've always had people like Abe. But I don't want to suggest that Abe is in any way a Ned Kelly figure. Abe was more like an Old Testament emperor: into sex and power.''

Mr Sin: The Abe Saffron Story screens on Thursday at 9.25pm on ABC1 Critic's view, page 38.


Abe Saffron: Idiot Jew crime boss evades prosecution after killing seven in Sydney insurance fire

http://theinfounderground.com/smf/index.php?topic=13045.0


May 26, 2007 
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news...601666851.html

Abe Saffron
Abe Saffron: Idiot Jew crime boss evades prosecution after killing seven in Sydney insurance fire

Abe Saffron: Idiot Jew crime boss evades prosecution after killing seven in Sydney insurance fire

http://theinfounderground.com/smf/index.php?topic=13045.0

 


May 26, 2007 
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news...601666851.html



Abe Saffron


AFTER almost 30 years of speculation, a niece of the late Abe Saffron has revealed that Australia's most notorious crime figure was behind the fire that killed seven people riding Luna Park's ghost train in June 1979.


"I don't think people were meant to be killed," Anne Buckingham told the Herald. The daughter of Saffron's late sister and business partner Beryl Buckingham also confirmed that - despite years of denials by Saffron - her uncle sought control of the fun park after the fire.

Saffron, who was linked to seven other blazes, was the subject of a later National Crime Authority investigation into the fires. The NCA's final report noted that a Corporate Affairs Commission inquiry had failed to establish that Saffron became the owner, but the authority was scathing about the original police investigation.

While the trails had gone cold, the report stated: "Luna Park, it was alleged, had been coveted by Saffron for over 20 years and the fire in the ghost train had been lit as a trigger to evict the incumbent tenants and gain control of the park lease for himself." Ms Buckingham said her uncle liked to "collect things" and the park was one of them.

When asked if she knew the identity of the person responsible for lighting the fire, Ms Buckingham remained silent. Her revelations emerged during an extended interview about her uncle for the magazine, to be published next Thursday. She laughed nervously when the subject of Luna Park was raised. "The fire at Luna Park - very strange that fire," she said before adding that no one was meant to die.

Ms Buckingham is contesting Saffron's will. Late yesterday she called the Herald to demand it not publish this story. It would not "advance" her cause, she said. She then sent a letter denying she had uttered the words attributed her, although they are recorded in a face to face, taped interview.

At 10.15 on the night of June 9, 1979, flames engulfed the ghost train at Luna Park. Six children and one adult were killed. They included four year 7 boys from Waverley College, Jonathan Billings, Richard Charles Carroll, Michael David Johnson and Seamus Rahilly.

NSW Parliament June 2007: ...Reverend the Hon. FRED NILE: I ask the Attorney General, and Minister for Justice: Is it a fact that Anne Buckingham, a niece of the late Abe Saffron, has accused Mr Saffron of being the person behind the horrific fire in June 1979 so that he could gain control of the Luna Park property? Will the Government reopen the inquiry into the tragic deaths of seven persons who were killed while riding Luna Park's Ghost Train in June 1979, to answer the concerns of their families?

The Hon. JOHN HATZISTERGOS: I thank Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile for his question. The New South Wales State Coroner, Magistrate Jerram, is aware of the recent media publicity surrounding allegations of Mr Abe Saffron's connection to the fire at Luna Park in June 1979. The State Coroner has not received a formal application to reopen the inquest into the deaths. The State Coroner will consider any application for a reopening of an inquest in the light of fresh evidence or facts that may become available. The New South Wales Police Force is responsible for investigating criminal matters. As such, any evidence, if it is available, should be brought to their attention.
The news of Saffron's suspected involvement was met with shock by some of the families involved. "We have always wanted a conclusion on our son's death," said the parents of 13-year-old victim Jonathan Billings, Sydney and Irene, in an email to the Herald. "Even though this knowledge has caused us shock and grief, we shall continue our journey with peace, whilst loving and caring for our children and our grandchildren."

The terrible man prior to his own death in 2006

Quote:
Sydney's Roosevelt Club was where Saffron did his deals, and blackmailed his politician and police clients who protected him and his criminal empire.
Never mind six children dead in the Ghost Train, his copper and politician mates fixed that, check three thousand or so dead at the WTC, and the evidence that says four thousand J's stayed away warned ...the J's buy and blackmail their immunity from the law.


Juanita Neilson

NSW Parliament: The Hon. JENNIFER GARDINER: I draw to the attention of the House the fact that 4 July will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the disappearance of Juanita Neilson. On that upcoming anniversary a number of constituents of members of the Legislative Council will be suffering pain and sadness in the knowledge that, after 25 years, no-one has been brought to justice in this matter.

It is hoped that the New South Wales Police Service is still working assiduously to solve this mystery. It is quite extraordinary that there has been no satisfactory closure of this case after such a long period. I think it is appropriate that the Parliament note this sad anniversary.

Quote:
She was brutally murdered in 1975, Saffron who is a Jew, is rumored to have hired notorious hitman Lenny Briscoe to do her in.
Saffron was prostitution king, the Lebanese bombers brought into Sydney by scab Sydney Branch P&D Union boss Izzy Wyner, and placed onto the docks, into jobs that would have traditionally gone to working class boys from Sydney's harbor side suburbs like Balmain, were likely behind the Leb style car bomb that took the life of Joe Borg in 1968.

Kindly “king of vice” bombed...


Joe Borg's slaying shocked Sydney

By PETER McCALLUM ...It was 1950 when a 20-year-old migrant, Joe Borg, stepped off the boat from the Mediterranean island of Malta.

But, where many of his countrymen wasted no time in getting down to hard work in the lucky country, Joe found there was easier money. In the double standards of the day, the oldest profession flourished, but ladies “on the game” preferred to work in decent accommodation and needed protection from males who would skim their takings. The young man had found his niche and his warm generous nature earned him the regard of the ladies who, under his care, enjoyed a degree of security not always available.

Joe’s business prospered, he married, and over the years acquired many properties, some he owned outright, others rented. Accounts of the number he controlled ranged from 14 to more than 20.

But his kindness had to go beyond looking after “his girls”. Police were then expected to eradicate such businesses and had to at least put on a show with raids from time to time. Joe’s generosity had to extend to the police too, lest the raids become too frequent or heavy-handed.

That was soon to be the least of worries. By the mid-sixties, others were keen to join in the lucrative trade. Ironically, the new threat came from Joe’s former homeland. Other men from Malta were jealous of Joe’s prosperity, noting his lifestyle and enjoyment of the trappings of success. They believed he should share this with his countrymen.

But while others had yielded to the demands of stand over gang, Joe was of a different mind. He had put years into growing his business, had accepted including a network of police and even a leading “conservative” politician in the spoils. Enough was enough!

The stand over men were determined. Noting his routine, returning home from his rounds in his white utility at 3 am, in a darkened Brighton Boulevarde, with one man watching, another slid under the vehicle, attached gelignite and batteries to the tail shaft under the driver’s seat, wired it to the ignition, and slipped away.

Joe Borg had only occupied the house in Brighton Boulevarde for a few weeks and was painting the front room with a friend, Ben Zammit. Needing more paint, he went to his utility to drive off. A massive bomb blast ripped the vehicle apart. His friend dragged him from the burning vehicle but, with massive injuries, Joe died in the ambulance... the stand over men had won.

ABC 7:30 Report: ELIZABETH JACKSON: One of Australia's leading crime reporters says Abe Saffron's death will enable the full extent of his criminality to be revealed. The 86 year old dubbed "Mr Sin" died yesterday. He'd been linked to crimes including extortion and prostitution, but in later years he tried to reinvent himself as a legitimate businessman.

But as crime reporter Andrew Rule says, his attempts at legitimacy should not cloud the fact he was at the forefront of organised crime in Australia for decades. Mr Rule says Abe Saffron should not be painted as a romantic figure. He says he was a vicious and ruthless gangster.

Michael Edwards prepared this report.

ABE SAFFRON: I get blamed for so many things, and it's horrible that this should happen.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: That's Abe Saffron in 1978, defending himself when South Australia's Attorney General described him as the principal character of organized crime in Australia.

He was labeled many things in his time; a businessman, a benefactor to charities, but it's the label of vicious gangster that one of Australia's best crime reporters, Andrew Rule, thinks fits best.

ANDREW RULE: When we say, you know, colorful identity and old-style crook and all these things, these are euphemisms, which cover and probably soften the image of people who were responsible, either directly or indirectly, for very vicious crimes.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Abe Saffron got his start running a nightclub in Sydney's King Cross during World War II.

His clubs were the go-to place for thousands of US servicemen looking for recreation, both legal and illegal.

He eventually established a multi million dollar business empire.

But according to Andrew Rule, Abe Saffron and his colleagues didn't play by the rules.

ANDREW RULE: They ruled by fear. They would collect debts for over illegal activities.

They would used armed people who were willing to injure people or to kill them, to collect debts or to dominate a certain industry, whether it be gaming machines or brothels or strip clubs or whatever it might be.

You know, it's all very much like the Sopranos, really.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Abe Saffron might have given up using street muscle, but he wasn't afraid of using legal muscle to help with this venture.

Andrew Rule was among many journalists to feel the sting of Saffron's lawyers via defamation cases.

He says his death will enable the real story to be told.

ANDREW RULE: Now that he's dead it's quite clear that people will link him without fear with the death of Juanita Nielsen, I believe.

The Sydney heiress, who was ... opposed certain development in Kings Cross and vanished, most certainly murdered.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: And that's not the only one.

ANDREW RULE: He was also, I'm told by very good sources, responsible for the torching of Luna Park, one of the rides at Luna Park in Sydney, in which some children died.

This was being burned off presumably for insurance purposes. He was never held accountable for that. Again, now he's dead, that's a story that can be pursued.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Crime reporter Andrew Rule ending that report from Michael Edwards.


http://www.911oz.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=5696

=====================


Sydney's Mr Sin dies


David Braithwaite
September 15, 2006 - 8:11PM

Quote

Abe Saffron, one of Sydney's best-known "colourful identities", died aged 86 this afternoon, a hospital spokesman said.

Saffron, who was jailed for tax evasion, died near his former Kings Cross haunts in St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, a spokesman said.

Abraham Gilbert Saffron  had been living in retirement at Potts Point, an upmarket neighbouring suburb of Kings Cross.

Little had been heard of him in recent times until March this year when he was reported to have "recently' been admitted to St Vincents suffering from pneumonia and food poisoning.

Saffron was the notorious owner of strip joints and other dubious enterprises in Kings Cross who had a reputation for being prepared to do whatever it took to maintain his market dominance.

He was named adversely by various royal commissions and inquiries going back to 1951, and was ultimately jailed for tax fraud.

He took umbrage at being included in a book titled Tough: 101 Australian Gangsters, and claims he was defamed by being called a crime boss and "Mr Sin".

A NSW Supreme Court jury found the two crime writers guilty of defaming him by describing him as crime boss.

A four-man jury found the authors had defamed Mr Saffron when they described him as a "completely depraved" gangster.

The jurors also found claims he had an Australia-wide reputation as a crime boss and offered bribes to police were defamatory.

Claims Mr Saffron was arrested and jailed by the National Crime Authority for tax evasion worth millions of dollars also defamed him, they found.

But the jurors decided Mr Saffron was not defamed by information that police knew him as Mr Sin, that he once whipped a girl at a party and could have torched six of his own nightclubs for the insurance payouts.

In an article in the Herald last year publisher Richard Walsh wrote that Mr Saffron had tried to rehabilitate his reputation in his later years.

Commenting on The Usual Suspect, a biography by former NSW detective Duncan McNab published last year, Mr Walsh wrote:
"The other Abe is a part-time philanthropist, who worked with noble commercial energy to put food in his children's mouths and was tragically misjudged by the world at large,'' he said.

In his review of The Usual Suspects, former criminal lawyer and friend Howard Hilton described Mr Saffron as "one of the most investigated men in Australia''.

"Abraham Gilbert Saffron was born in 1919 to Russian Jewish parents who kept a drapery shop in Annandale,'' he said.

"His mother wanted him to be a doctor but Abe demurred: university was not for him and for a while he worked in the family business.

"He quickly discovered his metier, which was the hotel and entertainment industry.

"He started buying hotels in partnership with family and friends and, fascinated by show business and show girls, started the Roosevelt Club in Orwell Street.

"It quickly became the place to go and many other clubs followed - the Pink Pussy Cat, Les Girls and the Carousel.

"His property empire grew and he became a wealthy man.''

Mr Saffron's jailing for 17 months for tax evasion was due to "perjured evidence'' from a former partner, Mr Hilton wrote.

"Saffron is one of the most investigated men in Australia. Few could survive such scrutiny,'' he said.

"State police forces, the National Crime Authority, the Federal Police, parliamentary inquiries and investigative journalists have all put him under the glass and have not managed to find anything of real consequence.''

AAP adds: A property developer born in the inner western Sydney suburb of Annandale on October 6, 1919, Abe Saffron rose to prominence in the 1940s when he bought the famous Roosevelt Club in Kings Cross - before the area became mired in seedier depths.

He quickly developed a reputation as an entrepreneur who introduced glamour, and Hollywood-style sophistication to Sydney.

But following a royal commission into Sydney's after-hours liquor trade in the 1950s, Mr Saffron was variously referred to as Mr Sin, Mr Big, the Big Man, Gomorrah Himself and the Boss of The Cross.

He gained a level of notoriety following allegations that he had corrupted police and politicians, owned brothels, trafficked in drugs and was somehow involved in the disappearance of Sydney publisher and Mark Foys heiress Juanita Nielsen.

Mr Saffron denied all the claims - and wasted no time resorting to legal action against those bold enough to publish them.

Nevertheless, he was accused of being an underworld figure by politicians in six Australian parliaments as well as judges, magistrates and lawyers in numerous courts.

Mr Saffron, who was educated at the highly-regarded Fort Street High School in Sydney's inner-west, responded to all such claims with the same rejoinder - he was one of Australia's most successful self-made men, a devoted father and grandfather and a man with a long history of charitable works

However, the law did catch up with him once. In November 1987, a Sydney court found him guilty of tax evasion and, despite several legal appeals, he served two years and six months.

In sentencing him, the presiding judge said "in my view the maximum penalty of three years is inadequate".

Throughout the 1960s, he was frequently the focus of police and media attention due to his Kings Cross links, and gained further notoriety in the 1970s following Ms Nielsen's disappearance.

In July 1975, shortly before she disappeared, Ms Nielsen had visited Mr Saffron's Carousel Club in Kings Cross to discuss advertising for the club in her newspaper, Now.

Ms Nielsen's paper had been vigorously campaigning against a proposed $40 million building development in Victoria Street, near the heart of the Cross.

There were also claims she was working on an expose about vice, corruption and illegal gambling in the Cross.

The Carousel was managed by Cross standover man James Anderson, who was known as Mr Saffron's principal offsider, and Ms Nielsen had been invited there by Edward Trigg, an employee of the club.

James Anderson has long been considered a prime suspect in Ms Nielsen's disappearance, although he protested his innocence right up until his death in 2003.

In late 1977, Trigg and two other employees at the Carousel Club were arrested and charged with conspiring to kidnap Ms Nielsen. Trigg was imprisoned for three years, one other man was imprisoned for two years and a third was acquitted.

In 1983, a coronial inquiry determined that Ms Nielsen had probably been killed, although there was insufficient evidence on how she died or who killed her.

The inquest did note that police corruption may have crippled the investigation into her death.

A joint committee of Federal Parliament in 1994 also concluded that corruption had impeded the police investigation.

Mr Saffron was never a suspect in the investigations into Ms Nielsen's disappearance.

Whatever is said or written about Abe Saffron, he will be remembered as of one of Sydney's most successful and controversial businessmen.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/syd ... 45527.html

The Man who paid Sydney's pipers

    * Abe Saffron was a criminal who wielded unmeasured power over politicians and police, writes John Dale
    * From: The Australian
    * September 16, 2006 12:00AM

Quote

BORN in Sydney's inner west in 1919, Abraham Gilbert Saffron was the fourth child of a draper and mercer of Russian-Jewish stock. He was educated at Sydney's Fort Street High School, and his first brush with the law occurred at 19 when he was caught acting as a runner for an SP bookie.

Two years later he was charged with receiving six stolen car radios and was given a six-month suspended sentence. In 1946 he acquired the lease on the West End hotel in Balmain and started acquiring shares with silent partners in five more hotels across Sydney before purchasing his first piece of Kings Cross real estate.

The Roosevelt nightclub at 32 OrwellSt became the most glamorous nightspot in the country, frequented by entertainers, politicians, socialites, gangsters and US servicemen. Topless showgirls were allowed on stage provided they remained perfectly still.

In 1951, Saffron appeared at a royal commission into the liquor industry and was charged with lying under oath about his dummy partnerships and the supply of liquor to the Roosevelt. To bypass licensing laws, the entrepreneurial Saffron had patrons ring ahead to order their bottled beer before the six o'clock closing so waiters could supply them legally when they arrived. The fallout from the commission affected the Roosevelt's reputation and two years later it was declared a disorderly house.

Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.

End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

Saffron's reputation suffered further damage when he was charged in 1956 with committing an unnatural act with a woman and of scandalous conduct at a house in Palm Beach. Why Jean, a robustly built country girl, pressed charges is not clear. The case failed, but details of Saffron's fur-covered whip and the six banned books found in his apartment (including Marquis de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom) provided juicy tabloid headlines. The prosecutor described Saffron as completely depraved.

However, there was a departure last year from the usual depictions of Saffron. Duncan McNab, a former policeman and author of The Usual Suspect: The Life of Abe Saffron (Macmillan), in which he asserts that the saucy events above would barely raise an eyebrow today.

McNab's book is a social history, and an enjoyable one, detailing Sydney's evolving nightclub industry. There is no attempt to criticise, expose or probe deeply Saffron's complex character. There are no interviews with those closest to him: his loyal wife, Doreen, who died in 1999; his son Alan, who lives in the US; or his long-term mistress, Rita Hagenfelds, a former Tivoli dancer and mother of his second child. McNab's sources are mainly newspaper clippings, some colourful characters and Saffron's staff, whom he acknowledges. The author met his subject only briefly: "Saffron smiled, was charming and didn't say much at all."

It is apparent McNab has a sneaking admiration for the man referred to for decades as the Boss of the Cross. Yes, Saffron sold sly grog; yes, he was involved in properties where prostitution occurred; and, yes, he "told a few fibs", but he "contributed to charitable organisations all his life".

But when Saffron appeared at a coronial inquiry into four suspicious fires at eastern suburbs brothels, a radio 2JJJ reporter described him as "a short pudgy bloke ... with a thick gold bangle on his right hand and a nice little gold ring on his left pinky".

The coroner ruled there was a prima facie case and referred it to the attorney-general, who declined to prosecute.

From the 1960s to the '80s, Saffron was a leading player in Sydney's entertainment industry. He opened Australia's first strip joint in the Cross and brought out stars such as Frank Sinatra, Lenny Bruce, Tina Turner and Donovan. As the Vietnam War cranked up and US servicemen flooded the Cross on leave, topless go-go girls overtook the strip shows. The Americans brought money, Mandrax, marijuana and heroin. By then Saffron was wealthy; he owned hotels, motels and six clubs, including the Pink Pussycat, the Pink Panther and Les Girls (later the Carousel, where anti-development newspaper owner Juanita Nielsen was last seen alive).

In 1969, Saffron installed Scottish hard man Jim Anderson as his licensee at the notorious Venus Room. It was there that Anderson shot dead Donny "the Glove" Smith in front of off-duty NSW detectives. The case was no-billed. Ten years later, Anderson turned against him and his evidence to the National Crime Authority led to Saffron being jailed for 17 months for tax evasion. If Saffron is a victim in McNab's eyes, Anderson is the villain, "a man consumed by greed and the need for prestige". Unlike Saffron, who presumably owned eight sex shops for higher motives.

Named in the South Australian parliament as a key figure in organised crime, Saffron was stopped at Perth airport in 1973. In his diaries, police found the name and addresses of a NSW judge, NSW police officers and a future attorney-general of NSW. Saffron's solicitor at the time was Morgan Ryan, Lionel Murphy's "little mate". Saffron and Murphy denied meeting but there was no denying Saffron's involvement with deputy police commissioner Bill Allen, whom he met seven times at police HQ. Allen was later jailed for bribing the head of the Special Licensing Police on five occasions. NCA chairman Donald Stewart called Saffron "a corrupter of police and others".

Shortly before his death, Anderson was interviewed by a University of Technology, Sydney, researcher about those years.

 "People got killed for what they might know," he said.

 "Money was first raised from gambling, then prostitution and then drugs. I watched it happen. You either went along with it or got out.

"The Cross changed when the police took over the drug scene ... the police became the gangsters.

 NSW premier Robert Askin was the godfather and corruption reigned supreme from the dustman to the premier."

Perhaps because of Saffron's litigious nature, McNab did not delve too deeply into his client's darker side.

Instead, he wheeled out evidence of donations to the Benevolent Society and Moriah College and describes Saffron as a model prisoner.

Whatever may emerge after Saffron's death yesterday, aged 87, in Sydney's St Vincent's Private Hospital, we'll probably never know the full extent of the power and influence that this clever draper's son from Annandale wielded for 40 years over police, vice and politicians of all stripes in the city of Sydney.

This is an edited version of a story that appeared in The Weekend Australian Review on September 10, 2005

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/fe ... 1112219502

After the Revolution of 1905, the Czar had prudently prepared for further outbreaks by transferring some $400 million in cash to the New York banks, Chase, National City, Guaranty Trust, J.P.Morgan Co., and Hanover Trust. In 1914, these same banks bought the controlling number of shares in the newly organized Federal Reserve Bank of New York, paying for the stock with the Czar\'s sequestered funds. In November 1917,  Red Guards drove a truck to the Imperial Bank and removed the Romanoff gold and jewels. The gold was later shipped directly to Kuhn, Loeb Co. in New York.-- Curse of Canaan

Re: Abe Saffron: Idiot Jew crime boss evades prosecution after killing seven in Sydney insurance fir

« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2010, 02:48:55 PM »

Churchill And The Sayanim Network


Churchill's Mother Was Jenny Jacobson

Churchill And Roosevelt Were The Main Factors In WW2

They egged Poland into killing German nationals and provoking Hitler

Churchill's Daughter Arabella

Arabella Has A Son, Jacob Barton

Jake Is Now 34, And Charged With Ecstasy Peddling

It Turns Out Jacob Is A Major Dealer

    Jacob Churchill Barton who is an Australian, is said to be a major ecstasy dealer, and was caught with $12 million in tablets. Gerard Woodgate was his accomplice.

    The Australian ecstasy market was controlled by an Israeli, Abe Saffron, and there is no way you become a dealer without an invitation. The Zionist Sayanim network says if you are loyal to international Jewry, than you come under their umbrella. Jacob was given this ecstasy franchise because of the network.

    The sayanim's code is to always favor another Jewish person in any transaction. It could be a admission to a college, a job opportunity, a government contract, student loans getting erased. Have no doubt the network will pull all stops to protect young Churchill. [4]

Abe Saffron Was Consider 'Mr. Sydney'

Abe, who recently passed on, is alleged to have been Australia's 'Don of Dons'

Australia's Most Notorious Gangster

A Younger Abe Saffron

Abe Was Based Out Of Sydney

Sydney, Australia Is Considered The Ninth Best City In The World

Abraham's Empire has been based here for sixty years

Abe Died Last Month And All Of Australia Feels The Loss

Sid Berman escorts Lenore Fanning (nee Lennie Feldman), to mourn Abe

What Is The Story Here?

    A Jewish gangster who has controlled Australia's crime, politics, and police for sixty years, has passed on. When the 'Kingpin' dies at 86, in Israel, Australia's newspapers go into hyper drive to lionize Abe.

    Australian History

    In January of 1788 Port Jackson was established by Captain Phillip. In 1850 there was the Eureka gold rush, and with it came the immigration of Australia initial Jewish traders.

    They built the Great Sydney Synagogue in 1878. In 1973 Jewish interests abolished White Australia policy, encouraging multiculturalism.

    In 2001 the same group passed sweeping gun control over the 'Port Arthur' incident. Detailed history

   
   

    Who Was Abe Saffron?

    Saffron was born in Sydney in 1919, and by 1940 he was running clubs for visiting servicemen. Mr Big of Australian crime. By 1950 he owned the West End Hotel, Westdale Hotel, Cumberland, Gladstone and Albert Hotels. He had been arrested on theft, liquor infractions, 1952 perjury, tax evasion, etc. His greatest sin was the corruption of police, politicians, and perhaps even the moral fabric of Australian society.


    His roots were in Kings Cross, Sydney's red light district. He had interests in hotels, nightclubs, restaurants, casinos, a sex shop, adult movie clubs and development and finance companies, and drugs. In November 1987, Saffron was found guilty of tax evasion and despite several legal appeals, he served 17 months in jail.

    This paper says his tentacles reached into all the various unions, Painters, Dockers Union, Service Employees, Truckers, etc. Reporters say he even torched six of his own nightclubs for the insurance payouts.

    Saffron Was Accused Of Whipping A Girl

    Reporters said he whipped a girl half to death at a sex party. He was arrested in a raid on Palm Beach, and the police prosecutor said, Saffron's private morality is sexually depraved.

   Lived Like Royalty


    Saffron lived in Sydney's most exclusive neighborhood, the Vaucluse. Whenever he was refereed to as a Jewish mobster, he either sued, or had his thugs threaten the reporter. His body guards were Mossad.

    His Specialty Was 'The Fix'

    Just how does a 'Greasy Jewish Gangster' get away with whore houses, gambling, union corruption, bribery, etc. His corruption reached to the top levels of Australian politics. That is one interpretation of how Saffron was able to repeatedly beat charges in court.



    Getting Away With Murder


    Saffron was believed to have orchestrated the killing of the Mark Foys retailing Heiress, J. Alicia Nielsen. She was an editor of the Kings Cross newspaper, which did countless articles exposing Saffron.

    The Aussie papers called her an ideologue, buried the story on page three, below an article about two kangaroos run over on highway 10. Australians said nothing about this snake called Abe.


Abe's new image

    Building An Image

    Now that Abe is dead, his fellow Jews want his image rebuilt. No longer will Abe be referred to as a 'Crime Boss', a pimp, bootlegger, an alleged drug kingpin.

    Now Abe is a family man, a hotelier, a businessman, who charity work included a college wing. Australian papers, under the Jewish Robert Murdoch stewardship, have set a course for redemption.

Murdoch


    Burial In A Military Cemetery?

    Australian Jewish leaders are now suggesting that he be buried at military cemetery. Their claim is he served in the Australian Army in 1943, saw battle action, and preformed heroically.


    Make Room For Abe

    Wouldn't that be special, burying this 'Pile of Garbage' next to real heroes, like Capt Dunton.


What Is Abraham's Legacy To Australia


    Maybe, now that Saffron is dead, all of Australia's drug, prostitution, gambling, extortion, etc will stop?

Not hardly, Australia's $2 billion drug market is not going away.

Abe is not giving his hotels, gambling interests, prostitution rings, to some needy aborigines.

    No, this empire will continued to be run by the Australia's Jewish Mafia

http://thisiszionism.blogspot.com/2008/ ... twork.html


mchawe

Re: Abe Saffron: Idiot Jew crime boss evades prosecution after killing seven in Sydney insurance fir

« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2010, 04:06:36 PM »

Australia. 
Same as everywhere else.
Both major political parties, the ALP and the Lib/Nat Coalition, both fell all over themselves in the last Gen. Election to show how much they support Israel. Sickening !


Growing up with Mister Sin

Sydney's unrivalled king of vice Abe Saffron led a double life that had a traumatic effect on his long-suffering wife Doreen and family, writes son ALAN SAFFRON in this exclusive extract from his new book. She knew that my father was a scoundrel and a playboy.

JULY 27 2008
Organised crime boss Abe Saffron at one of his Sydney establishments in the 1950s.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/growing-up-with-mister-sin-20080727-3ll2.html

My mum Doreen believed my coming into the world in March 1949 would make my father settle down. No such luck. I became the cheese between two slices of bread, as my mother's favourite saying went.

By 1950, Abe Saffron's Roosevelt in Kings Cross was the most successful and infamous club in Australia. It brought a touch of Hollywood to town, with wonderfully produced shows the likes of which had not been seen in Sydney. The club became the most important stop for Sydney's elite, including politicians, high-ranking police and judges. Early photos show Australia's high society in attendance, the men dressed in double-breasted suits and hats and the ladies in lovely evening gowns and furs. It was all glitz and glamour.

My father employed many interesting characters, including doormen and bouncers who were great boxers or nefarious types who became underworld figures, such as "Chopper" Read, who became notorious as a standover man. Kings Cross was also the home of several illegal baccarat games, after-hours bars and brothels, where police actively took a percentage of the action from many individual operators.

My father had an ingenious solution to the problem of the prohibition of the sale of alcohol after 6pm: have the Roosevelt patrons place their order before the deadline and serve them their drinks later. As the local police turned a blind eye, the result was the creation of the most corrupt state in Australia.

It was at this time that my father began exploring two other appealing vices he could add to booze in the Cross: sex and gambling. Ultimately, the three together would become the linchpins of his growing empire. On his deathbed, he told me he had a financial interest in two illegal baccarat games in the Roosevelt days, and had begun to co-ordinate prostitution in several rented apartments, for which he took a cut.

My father was foremost a businessman and he gained a reputation of trust and discretion among the nation's corrupt police, politicians and judges through his operation of the Roosevelt, which was where they were entertained. His reputation for silence was one of his main assets and he also rarely asked for favours - it was understood that the authorities would not disturb his operations. They recognised in my father someone who could be a staunch, trustworthy ally in their illegal vice activities, and who would help them make money on the side.

He not only appealed to the greed of the many officials he befriended, but also served their appetite for more earthly pleasures, providing them with sex orgies.

Away from their wives, they enjoyed the unbelievable entertainment and substantial cash rewards of dealing with my father, and in turn, they protected him.

My father was silent to outsiders and never said what was on his mind. But he was a great listener and could remember whatever was said with a photographic memory. He could repeat it word for word, recalling dates and times with complete accuracy. I guess this helped with his cash dealings.

By my second birthday, in 1951 - which I celebrated at the Roosevelt surrounded by 30 kids, with a huge cake with sparklers - my father's net had spread. He now controlled five pubs, operating behind family members, and the club.

He was charged with running several illegal games of baccarat, a favourite with the elite of Sydney, but to no avail. All charges were dismissed. He was way too clever to be caught.

The truth behind the headlines declaring my dad's underworld status is of a quiet man who made money from the decadence of the establishment. He never aimed to be the No.1 crime boss. Later, his brilliant abilities and the authorities' growing desire for one "godfather" put him in a position of enormous power.

My father insisted on absolute control in the family - Mum never got a driver's licence or a car until I was in my teens because he felt he would lose control over her in some way. He also didn't think it was appropriate for a woman to drive. In the early days, she had to rely on buses, or being picked up by one of my father's employees and taken wherever she needed to go, including the club. When he eventually weakened and she got her licence, he bought her a second-hand car, which he bargained for - it was forbidden to buy a new one, so my kids, his employees and I would always drive one of his old cars. She didn't even have a chequebook in the early days and was very careful with money, even making her own clothes. She was my primary care giver because my father was only home three nights a week. His excuse was simple: he had to run his businesses and support the family. Throughout my growing up, I was confused as to why my father was rarely at home, and even as I got older I could never understand my mother's blind devotion to him.

My mother's friends from the Roosevelt would tell her how generous my father was to his many girlfriends and mistresses, and how they would spend a fortune of his money on clothes.

Doreen was a country girl; a sweet, fun, classy, young wife. She never married him for his money; she loved him as a soulmate, her one great love. Even when I was a child, she knew that my father was a scoundrel and a playboy. He was a sinful man with no moral character, but she kept hoping he would change. I would often fall asleep to her crying.

My earliest memory, aged four, is of my father putting me in his convertible and driving me around Kings Cross on his errands. I never got dirty as a child - I was not allowed - and was treated as a little gentleman. I remember feeling that I was on display. I also remember police officers on the street saying hello to Dad with what I soon learned to be great respect and fear. No matter where he went, everyone knew him.

As a child, I was never allowed to go to my father's office at 44 Macleay Street, Kings Cross, and neither was my mother. She told me it was not a place for small children. Later, talking with his old friends in my early 20s, I found out that his office was not just for business but also a place where he would have sex with many women. My father had a certain charm and power that drove women crazy.

A huge blow for my father came in 1954, with the royal commission into liquor trading, conducted by Justice Victor Maxwell snr [who died in 1975]. This was the beginning of a lifelong battle with hypocritical elements within the law and politicians who wanted to bring him down for their personal gain. The truth is that my father was a visionary and the founder of the modern entertainment industry in Australia, providing fabulous clubs, pubs, gambling and sex to the public - all of which is legal today.

The commission discovered that he was using family members as fronts for ownership in the pubs, a practice that was illegal. An individual could own only one pub. They also discovered how he was providing liquor from these pubs to the Roosevelt, a practice that was also illegal. He was found guilty and required to sell his pubs, give up his liquor licence and close the Roosevelt. Other than this crippling of his businesses, no charges were brought against my father or any of his family.

I was just seven when in 1955 I left Sydney with my parents on an around-the-world cruise on the SS Orcades. Little did I know that I was going to be left in Switzerland. Towards the end of the trip, my parents took me to Lausanne and introduced me to Mimi and Jacques, relations of my mother's first housekeeper, Roxanne. After several

days, for reasons I've never learned, my parents told me I was to stay for a while with Mimi and Jacques, who spoke almost no English.

Back in Australia, the vice squad had come looking for Dad when investigating an incident where he, Wayne Martin (a Roosevelt employee), Hilton Kincaid, Max Murrell (his silent partner) and my Uncle Henry had gone to Murrell's home in Palm Beach - with four girls, of course. One of them, Jean, told the police about a sex party, but later called my father to apologise, saying she had been forced to do so by the police.

The vice squad found a whip with furry yellow thongs and a camera in the Kings Cross apartment that he kept throughout his marriage. The papers shouted: "Depraved conduct, whip used on nude girls." My father said the offending item was only a feather duster. Before the matter went to court, Jean had a convenient memory loss and the case collapsed, resulting in no convictions.

It was 18 months before I returned to my parents. Happily, I loved Switzerland. Mimi and Jacques loved me and it was the most normal time in my childhood. I still have the fondest memories of my time there, including when I received a scooter for my birthday - the best present I ever had. My father never visited me in Switzerland and my mother only came twice. When my father heard that I called Jacques "Dad", my mother was sent to pick me up.

Sadly, nothing had changed at home - my father still only came home three nights a week and my mother had a growing sadness about her.

After the sex scandal and the allegations of depraved behaviour, my father was dubbed "Mr Sin" by newspapers and the name stuck for more than five decades, until his death [aged 86, on September 15, 2006]. To some extent, he enjoyed the notoriety, although after my mother's death [in 1999] he would famously and successfully sue those who publicly referred to him by this title, as he tried to clean up his image.

My father, however, was indeed a sinful man. From the day he married my mother, he told her he could not and would not be exclusive to her. My mum fought him at times, but even she had to accept his interests as part of her life. He did run brothels, illegal gambling and nightclubs, but he never forced anyone to do what they, making their own immoral choices, wanted. Women were drawn to him because of his combination of gentleness and power.

Mum, too, was a victim of his charisma. She would wait on him hand and foot. His charm was that he never asked for anything, but would quietly stand and wait then thank her in a gentle voice. Whenever they went out for dinner, she would order one meal to share, and it would always be her choice. He was vain in his appearance and my mum combed his hair and dressed him with fashionable taste.

My father's gentle side was also what held people's loyalty and why his employees wanted to work for him forever. They were respectful to him: he was fair, if not extravagant, with the wages. He related to the working man or woman more than the businessman. In fact, while he might have complained about his business associates, he would never follow up on firing anyone, even if they were a loose cannon or stole from the till.

At times, this drove my mother crazy because he would complain about someone but didn't have the heart to dismiss them. Instead, he would stop speaking to them for a time, which was how he would punish - with coldness.

With very few friends, I spent most of my time with adults. It seemed there was always someone different popping in on Friday night or Sunday afternoon, and my mother was always preparing food, the perfect hostess. I met politicians, police, solicitors, doctors, entertainers, radio disc jockeys, airline pilots and stewardesses, businessmen and many women. Some of the people I particularly remember were: Barry Humphries, who later became Dame Edna and a family friend; Brian Bucket, a young architect who became a lifelong friend of my father's; Norm Allan, who became NSW police commissioner in 1962; Jim O'Bannon, an airline pilot who always gave me puzzles and brain-teasers to solve; Johnny, a gay friend of my mother's; Lee Gordon, who later became my father's partner in bringing entertainers to Australia; and Wayne Martin and "Last Card" Louie Benedetto, my father's employees ... the list was endless. These were very important occasions for my father; they were when he portrayed his family image to the world - and himself.

I know my mother was aware of my father's activities, as her friends, like Johnny, would inform on him to her. I don't think she was in denial about his outside life, she was just very dependent on him. My father didn't want his wife working and she also had me to think about. She often said she couldn't take me away from him - he loved me so much and she couldn't hurt him in that way.

But I noticed she was becoming more and more depressed, and I would often arrive home from school to find her in bed, most of the time asleep.

My father met a new girlfriend, Rita Hagenfelds, and set her up in a new home in Kensington. He fooled around with many women, but Rita became my father's first real mistress, a constant companion.

He spent up to three of his nights away from home with her, retaining at least one night to do as he pleased. He was never quiet about his affairs and in no time my mother knew about Rita and became the laughing stock of the Jewish community.

She was so embarrassed she attempted to commit suicide with an overdose of sleeping pills. I was fortunate to discover her and called the doctor. Unfortunately, it was a Thursday - not one of my father's days at home - and it was inconvenient for my father to come home. After several calls to track him down, he finally returned but didn't stay. This was quite a shock to me and even at an early age it made me question my father's loyalty.

Rita was a showgirl, many years younger than my father, and he was totally smitten by her, often taking her out to all the best nightclubs, including his own. Her house became a party place with a beautiful pool, numerous girls often sunbathing topless and a constant stream of my father's friends, including judges and police. These were often the same people whom my father entertained more respectably with my mother at the family home. As usual, he was living two lives and no one dared to challenge him. He ended up staying with Rita for more than 20 years.

In 1960, he opened the first strip club in Australia, the Staccato, in Kings Cross. It was managed by "Last Card" Louie and Wayne Martin and was an immediate success. However, the religious right and the church immediately denounced the venture, claiming it exploited women and corrupted the soul. The general public, on the other hand, loved the club and it was crowded every night. Shortly after, he opened the Pink Pussy Cat and began a period which would lead to his absolute control of Kings Cross. In the '60s, no one dared open any form of entertainment, nightclub or bar without his permission. The rare club licences granted to others required a consideration paid to my father.

The early '60s were extremely busy and profitable for my father. During this time, he bought a run-down apartment building and converted it into Sydney's first motel, Lodge 44. As soon as it was completed, my father moved in and converted three rooms into his offices.

The motel was also used as a rest stop for my father's friends, police and politicians, who were being entertained by arranged girlfriends. Several high-class escorts, all of whom worked for my father, had arrangements for rooms. Because I was good at maths, my father arranged for me to be picked up at school two days a week and brought to the office to do some of the books and money. It was overwhelming how much money there was to count. It was always in familiar brown envelopes with either the business name on the front or initials and the day of the week. I often asked my father what the initials represented but he said not to worry, just to keep that money separate from the clubs'. It quickly became obvious that this money was from illegal businesses and that what was constantly being told to me about my father was true. I never questioned him about this, but instead did my job and counted the money, which at times was in the thousands.

The birth of Rita's daughter Melissa, in 1966, probably prolonged my father's relationship with Rita, as some of his old friends told me he was getting fed up with her. My mother, who hated Rita, always denied that Melissa was his daughter. If anyone had contact with Melissa they were banned from my mother's life. I never met her until I was in my 20s, and my father never mentioned her in my mother's presence.

Mum left him twice: once when he had been in the newspapers accused of depravity amid the sex scandal about the furry whip, and years later when he was open about another long-term affair. She was in her 60s the second time, in 1998.

In the end, my mother chose to stay on in this oppressive environment; an abusive one, in truth. My Mum was dependent on my Dad and with that came a vulnerability, or great love. She was steadfast, supportive and good. She would never let any other woman have him in marriage.

For many years, my father felt he was above the law. My mother would disagree with what he was doing and constantly warn him about many of his questionable activities. All to no avail. He had total control of the money and all assets; she had me to raise.

He wanted my mother and everything else - no wonder she became hopelessly lost. He would never let her go. Once my Dad owned something, it was never thrown out or discarded.

Edited extract from Gentle Satan: My Father, Abe Saffron by Alan Saffron, rrp $32.95, Michael Joseph, which is released on Wednesday.


Mr Sin's family goes to court as more millions emerge

Kate McClymont -  JANUARY 24 2011

http://www.smh.com.au/national/mr-sins-family-goes-to-court-as-more-millions-emerge-20110123-1a18q.html

THE emergence of several million dollars belonging to the late crime boss Abe Saffron is set to spark a fresh legal wrangle.

Alan Saffron, the only son of the notorious ''Mr Sin,'' cried when he learned how little he had been left in the will of his father, who died in September 2006.



Mr Saffron controlled the vice trade, including illegal gambling and prostitution in most states, and bribed politicians and police to ensure he was protected.

The bulk of his estimated $27 million estate went to his secretary-mistress Teresa Tkaczyk, 63, and Melissa Hagenfelds, 48, his daughter by an earlier mistress, Biruta.

From his rented apartment in Los Angeles, Alan Saffron said he had recently learned that there was several million dollars that had been placed by the executors into a discretionary trust.

Mr Saffron, 62, requested some of those funds. ''A portion of that money should go to me as I have had a stroke and I can't work. I am in a terrible state. I was never treated fairly in the will, which I never fought. I chose to take the high road and not fight because I didn't want to delay the distribution.''

Max Cowley, his father's long-term accountant and an executor of the will, did not return a call from the Herald but in an email sent to Mr Saffron this week Mr Cowley wrote: ''You have not quite understood our position. When it comes time to exercise discretion the trustees will have to take note of your late father's STRICT wishes, which were that no monies be paid to you no matter what the circumstances.

''Maybe you should take comfort that your children have indicated that they will support you financially.''

Alan Saffron now plans to take legal action against Mr Cowley. ''I am the only legitimate heir. I am going to fight it in court,'' he said.

Mr Cowley, who is either 73 or 83 depending on which ASIC record is accurate, already has another matter in the NSW Supreme Court relating to the will of another client, Abe Saffron's business partner Dawn O'Donnell, who died in 2007.

O'Donnell, a former ice-skating champion and former Double Bay butcher, made her fortune from gay saunas, nightclubs and sex shops.

Her partner of 30 years, Aniek Baten, sued Mr Cowley, the executor, in the Supreme Court on the ground that she was not adequately provided for.

Ms Baten was left a total of $3 million but not the family home, which was bought in 2002 for $5.4 million. Instead O'Donnell left the bulk of her $16 million estate to NIDA, Taronga Zoo and WIRES.

Mr Cowley, who was himself a beneficiary, having been left $50,000 and a Lexus car, settled the case with Ms Baten but the matter is now back in court as Mr Cowley is requesting he be paid a commission for his work administering the estate. A directions hearing has been set down in the Supreme Court next month.


Gentle Satan: Growing up with Australia's Most Notorious Crime Boss

by 

The inside story of Mr Sin and his families. 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4436111-gentle-satan



Growing up the son of Australia's kingpin of vice, Alan Saffron had little chance of a normal life. In the landmark nightspots of Kings Cross, his father pioneered the lucrative underworld business of girls, grog and gambling - and had Alan count the money after school. But the real trouble was at home. 

Abe Saffron rules his family with the same ruthless authority with which he rules the Cross. A tireless womaniser, he split his week between his wife and son and a series of mistresses, even starting a second family with one of them. His control over those around him continued until his death in late 2006 and beyond, through his surprising will. 

In Gentle Satan, Alan charts his father's rise to power and four-decade reign, made possible by corruption at the highest echelons of police and politics. He also offers the truth behind the infamous tragedies of Juanita Nielsen's murder and the Luna Park fire.

But at its heart, this is an unforgettable story of a son struggling to win approval from a cruel father, one who at various times had him committed to the notorious Chelmsford psychiatric hospital and denied him access to his own children. With unabashed candour, Alan reveals the remarkable personal lives of those who lived with Mr Sin.

Abe Saffron

Other names   Abe Saffron, Mr Sin
Name   Abe Saffron

Children   Alan Saffron
Occupation   Property developer
Convictions   Tax evasion

Born  6 October 1919 (1919-10-06) Annandale, New South Wales
Died  September 15, 2006, Sydney, Australia


Education  Fort Street High School

https://alchetron.com/Abe-Saffron

orn  6 October 1919 (1919-10-06) Annandale, New South Wales
Died  September 15, 2006, Sydney, Australia


Education  Fort Street High School

Abraham Gilbert "Abe" Saffron (6 October 1919 – 15 September 2006) was an Australian nightclub owner and property developer who was reputed to have been one of the major figures in Australian organised crime in the latter half of the 20th century.

                                                                                                                    

For several decades, members of government, the judiciary and the media made repeated allegations that Saffron was involved in a wide range of criminal activities, including illegal alcohol sales, dealing in stolen goods, illegal gambling, prostitution, drug dealing, bribery and extortion. He was charged with a range of offences including "scandalous conduct", possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of stolen goods, but his only major conviction was for tax evasion.

e gained nationwide notoriety in the media, earning the nicknames "Mr Sin", "a Mr Big of Australian crime" and "the boss of the Cross" (a reference to the Kings Cross red-light district, where he owned numerous businesses).


He was alleged to have been involved in police corruption and bribing politicians. Saffron always vigorously denied such accusations, and was renowned for the extent to which he was willing to sue for libel against his accusers.

Early life

Saffron was born in Annandale in 1919, of Russian Jewish descent. He was educated at Annandale and Leichhardt primary schools and at the highly prestigious Fort Street High School. Although his mother hoped he would become a doctor, Saffron left school at 15 and began his business career in the family's drapery firm in the late 1930s. He enlisted in the Australian Army on 5 August 1940, and reached the rank of Corporal before being discharged 4 January 1944. Saffron did not serve overseas. Saffron then served in the Merchant Navy from January to June 1944.

Career

Upon leaving the Merchant Navy, he became involved with a notorious Sydney nightclub called The Roosevelt Club, co-owned by "prominent Sydney businessman" Sammy Lee. It is claimed that Saffron began his rise to power in the Sydney underworld through his involvement in the lucrative sale of black-market alcohol at the Roosevelt.

At the time, NSW clubs and pubs were subject to strict licensing laws which limited trading hours and regulated alcohol prices and sale conditions. When Saffron began working at the Roosevelt, alcohol sales were also subject to wartime rationing regulations. A subsequent Royal Commission into the NSW liquor trade heard evidence that in the early 1950s The Rooer being declared a "disorderly house" by the NSW Police Commissioner. After Saffron sold the Roosevelt, it was able to be re-opened. Saffron then relocated to Newcastle; he worked there for a time as a bookmaker, but it has been reported that he was not successful.

When questioned by a Royal Commission about how he had obtained the substantial sum (£3000) with which he bought his first pub licence in Newcastle, he claimed that the money had come from savings he had accumulated from his bookmaking activity, although he was notably vague when pressed about the exact sources of this income.

In 1948 Saffron returned to Sydney and began purchasing licences for a string of Sydney pubs. It was later alleged that he also established covert controlling interests in numerous other pubs through a series of "dummy" owners. The 1954 Maxwell Royal Commission heard evidence that Saffron used these pubs to obtain legitimately purchased alcohol, diverting it to the various nightclubs and other businesses that he operated and selling at black market prices, realising vast profits.

By the 1960s Saffron owned or controlled a string of nightclubs, strip joints and sex shops in Kings Cross, including the Sydney club Les Girls, home of the famous transvestite revue. During this period he began to expand his business operations into "legitimate" enterprises and to establish holdings in other states, such as the Raffles Hotel, Perth, leading several state governments to launch inquiries into his activities.

International connections

The Australian Commonwealth Police alleged that Mr Saffron met with Chicago mobster, Joseph Dan Testa, in 1969, while Testa was in Australia.

Juanita Nielsen disappearance

One of the most contentious incidents in Saffron's career was his rumoured involvement in the disappearance and presumed murder of newspaper publisher and anti-development campaigner Juanita Nielsen in July 1975. Although no direct connection to the crime was ever established, Saffron was shown to have had proven connections with several people suspected of being involved in Nielsen's disappearance. Saffron owned the Carousel nightclub in Kings Cross, where Nielsen was last seen on the day of her disappearance; his long-serving deputy James McCartney Anderson managed the club; one of the men later convicted of conspiring to kidnap Nielsen was Eddie Trigg, the night manager of the club; it was also reported that Saffron had financial links with developer Frank Theeman, against whose development Nielsen was campaigning.

Exposé

In the 1980s investigative journalist David Hickie published his landmark book The Prince and The Premier, which included a substantial section detailing Saffron's alleged involvement in many aspects of organised crime in Sydney. The book's central thesis was that former NSW Premier Robert Askin was corrupt, that Askin and Police Commissioners Norman Allan and Fred Hanson received huge bribes from the illegal gaming industry over many years, and that Askin and other senior public officials had overseen and approved of a major expansion of organised crime in New South Wales.

Using only material that was already in the public domain, obtained from evidence tendered to royal commissions and allegations made by politicians under parliamentary privilege, Hickie devoted an entire section of his book to Saffron's business activities. Among the most damning material was the detailed evidence tendered to the 1954 Maxwell Royal Commission into the NSW liquor trade, which concluded that Saffron had established covert controlling interests in numerous NSW pubs to supply his "sly grog" outlets, and that he had systematically made false statements to the Commission and sworn false oaths before the NSW Licensing Court.

Furthermore, in the second edition of The Politics of Heroin by Alfred W. McCoy, in a chapter summarising the Nugan Hand Bank it is mentioned that Askin and Saffron regularly had dinner together at the Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant, owned by American expatriate Maurice Bernard Houghton.

The NSW Police were unable to effect any substantial convictions against Saffron over a period of almost 40 years, which only served to reinforce the public concerns about his alleged influence over state police and government officials, but after the establishment of the National Crime Authority in the 1980s, he became a major target for the new federal investigative body.

Tax evasion

In November 1987, following an extensive investigation by the NCA and the Australian Taxation Office, Saffron was found guilty of tax evasion. His conviction was largely made possible by evidence provided by his former associate Jim Anderson, who testified that Saffron's clubs routinely kept two sets of accounts—one set of so-called "black" books, which recorded actual turnover, and another set ("white" books) which were purposely fabricated with the intent of evading tax by falsifying income.

Despite several legal appeals, Saffron served 17 months in jail. Judge Loveday said on sentencing "In my view the maximum penalty of three years is inadequate."

Saffron undertook a number of highly publicised defamation cases against various publications; he unsuccessfully sued The Sydney Morning Herald but was successful in later suits against the authors, publishers and distributors of Tough: 101 Australian Gangsters and the publishers of The Gold Coast Bulletin, which contained a defamatory crossword clue.

Death

Prior to his death he lived in retirement at Potts Point, Sydney. Abe Saffron died at St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney in 2006, aged 86. He was interred next to his wife, Doreen, at Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney.

Legacy

In November 2006 the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported that Saffron's son Alan, would receive only $500,000 from his father's multimillion-dollar estate; the article quoted various estimates of the value of the estate that ranged from A$30 million to as much as $140 million. The article reported that Saffron's eight grandchildren (including Alan Saffron's five children) would receive $1 million each, Saffron's mistress Teresa Tkaczyk would receive a lifetime annuity of $1000 a week and the couple's apartments in Surry Hills, Elizabeth Bay and the Gold Coast and that Melissa Hagenfelds (Saffron's daughter by his former mistress Rita Hagenfelds) would also receive a $1,000 a week annuity and apartments at Centennial Park and Elizabeth Bay. Other reported provisions of the will included bequests of up to $10 million to various charities.

In May 2007 the Sydney Morning Herald published an article on Saffron's reputed involvement in the infamous Ghost Train fire at Luna Park Sydney in 1979, when a suspected arson attack destroyed the popular ride, killing seven people. In an interview with Herald journalist Kate McClymont, Saffron's niece Anne Buckingham linked Saffron to the fire, stating that her uncle "liked to collect things" and that he intended to purchase Luna Park.

At the time of the fire, the park was being leased to property developer Leon Fink (businessman) and his partner, who told the Herald that he had been stopped from purchasing the park by the then state ALP government of Neville Wran—reputedly because Fink's business partner Nathan Spatt had made derogatory comments about Wran's use of a private aircraft belonging to Sir Peter Abeles—and Fink said that Wran once said to him at a function: "While my bum points to the ground, your partner will not get that lease." The Herald story also stated that a parliamentary report revealed that then Deputy Premier Jack Ferguson had told John Ducker (head of the Labor Council of New South Wales) that Wran had decided that Fink would not get Wran's support because he did not donate enough money to the ALP.

In August 2007 Allen & Unwin published the first major biography of Saffron, written by investigative journalist Tony Reeves, author of the 2005 biography of notorious Sydney gangster Lenny McPherson.

In July 2008 Abe Saffron's son Alan returned to Australia from his home in the USA to promote his memoir Gentle Satan: Abe Saffron, My Father and the publication of the book was widely covered in the Australian media. According to a Sydney Morning Heraldreport, Saffron's book names former Saffron associate James McCartney Anderson as the chief agent of the conspiracy to silence Juanita Nielsen. Anderson (who died in 2003) consistently denied any involvement while he was alive, but police reportedly failed to check Anderson's alibi that he was interstate when Nielsen disappeared.

In an interview with Herald reporter Lisa Carty, Alan Saffron said that he had received death threats over the book because it would name some of the people involved in the Juanita Nielsen conspiracy, but that he was unable to name all those involved for legal reasons, because some were still alive.

Saffron claimed he could name people "much bigger" than former NSW premier Robert Askin and former police commissioner Norman Allan, with whom his father corruptly dealt to protect his gambling, nightclub and prostitution businesses. Saffron specifically referred to:

... one particular businessman I was desperate to name, and there's one particular police officer who is extremely high ranking. They're the biggest names you can imagine in Australia.

According to the Herald article, all the conspirators are named in the original manuscript of the book, which is now in the possession of Saffron's publishers, Penguin, and that the book would be re-published with additional names after people not originally named had died.

A follow-up article published the next day carried Alan Saffron's assertion that his father controlled the vice trade, including illegal gambling and prostitution, in every state except Tasmania and the Northern Territory, and that he bribed "a host of politicians and policemen" to ensure he was protected from prosecution.

Later in his career Abe Saffron reportedly began laundering his huge illegal income through loan sharking and that the late media magnate Kerry Packer was among those who borrowed money from Abe Saffron, allegedly to cover gambling debts.

The book also alleges that Saffron lent money to several other prominent Sydney businessmen including Frank Theeman (whose controversial Kings Cross development was the target of Juanita Nielsen's campaign) as well as former TNT boss Sir Peter Abeles and property tycoon Sir Paul Strasser, both of whom received knighthoods during Askin's premiership.

The book lends further weight to the long-standing allegations of corruption against former NSW Premier Robert Askin and Police Commissioner Norman Allan. It claims that Saffron made payments of between A$5000 and $10,000 per week to each man over many years, that Askin and Allan both visited Saffron's office on several occasions, that Allan also visited the Saffron family home, and that Abe Saffron paid for an all-expenses overseas trip for Allan and a young female 'friend'.

Later in Askin's premiership, according to Alan Saffron, his father became the "bagman" for Sydney's illegal liquor and prostitution rackets and most illegal gambling activities, collecting payoffs that were then passed to Askin, Allan and others; in return his father was completely protected.

It was reported on 9 October 2011 that Abe also fathered another son, Adam Brand.

References

https://youtu.be/8GGCoHfPixQ


Abe Saffron- Sydney's 'Mr Sin'

Tuesday 19 September 2006

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/abe-saffron-6231450.html

Abraham Gilbert Saffron, nightclub owner: born Sydney, New South Wales 6 October 1919; married (one son, one daughter); died Sydney 15 September 2006.

At the funeral service on Monday of Abe Saffron, "Mr Sin", last of the so-called East Coast Milieu who dominated organised crime in Sydney from the 1940s to the 1980s, the rabbis spoke of him as "acknowledged as a man of goodwill" and "a true Australian icon". One of his former employees thought differently, saying,

He made sure his girls had enough heroin to work and make him a dollar. He always took 60/40. He was a hoon.

The small, dapper Abraham Gilbert Saffron was born in 1919, one of five children of a draper in Annandale, Sydney. According to underworld legend there was a judge in his family tree. Saffron's mother wanted him to be a doctor but he had a taste for business begun by selling cigarettes to players at his father's poker games.

Educated at Fort Street High School, whose other alumni included the New South Wales Premier Neville Wran and another Sydney identity, James "Paddles" Anderson, Saffron left at the age of 15 and began work in his father's shop. In 1938 he acquired his first gaming conviction and the next year he was sentenced to six months' hard labour, suspended provided he joined the forces.

Despite this, he was able to open a number of clubs. His most celebrated, the Roosevelt, in Orwell Street, Kings Cross, which catered for resting American troops, was temporarily closed in 1944 when it was described by Mr Justice Maxwell as "the most notorious and disreputable night-club in the city". Saffron then took up bookmaking in Newcastle, New South Wales, acquiring the licence of the Newcastle Hotel. By the end of the Second World War he was one of the biggest of Sydney's illegal liquor dealers, owning a string of clubs and hotels and often using his family as front men.

In addition to the clubs his interests included brothels, arson, bribery, blackmail and extortion and by the 1950s he was regarded as one of the principal figures in organised crime. He was also heavily involved in illegal baccarat games. He denied involvement in drugs, but the comments of his employee seem to give the lie to this. In 1974 he was dubbed Mr Sin at the Royal Commission into Organised Crime conducted by Mr Justice Moffitt. To his great annoyance it stuck.

The next year the renegade and crusading heiress Juanita Nielsen, who was trying to prevent redevelopment of part of Sydney's Kings Cross, disappeared, presumed murdered, after a mid-morning appointment at Saffron's transvestite night-club Les Girls. Her body was never found.

In the early 1980s Saffron had free access to high-ranking police and in particular to the office of Bill Allen, the Assistant Commissioner, something which contributed to the officer's speedy dismissal. The next year he was named by Senator Don Chipp in the Federal Parliament as "one of the most notorious, despicable human beings - if one can use that term loosely - living in this country".

Because of Saffron's connections, over the years there were few prosecutions and those which were brought mostly failed or convictions were overturned on appeal. In perhaps the most celebrated of them, in 1956, he was acquitted of "scandalous conduct" involving four girls, feather dusters and oysters.

In 1988, Saffron fell out with a former partner in his night-clubs who gave evidence against him about the book-keeping. Now, Capone-like, Saffron went to prison for three years for tax fraud and served 17 months. While inside he organised the cabaret from his club to give a performance for his fellow prisoners. Another prisoner had food brought in for the concert from a Chinese restaurant he owned.

Either out of the goodness of his heart or, said his critics, an effort to improve his image, he turned to charitable work, organising a party for crippled children - at which he nearly electrocuted himself - and helping to raise money for the Miss Australia Quest.

He remained spiky to the end of his life, in 2004 suing The Gold Coast Bulletin over the answer (3, 7) to a crossword clue, "Sydney underworld figure, nicknamed Mr Sin" and, rather less successfully, John Silvester and Andrew Rule over his entry in their Tough: 101 Australian gangsters (2002). He settled the action on part payment of his lawyers' costs, and the sales of the book increased enormously.

Abe Saffron is survived by his son, Alan, and by Melissa, his daughter from a long-standing relationship with Rita Hagenfelds, a former Tivoli dancer. His wife of 52 years, Doreen, died in 1999.

James Morton


SIN CITY

Sydney’s hidden underbelly of judges, politicians and the original King of the Cross exposed after 30 years of secrecy

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)- 15 Sep 2017- Janet Fife-yeomans

https://www.pressreader.com/australia/the-daily-telegraph-sydney/20170915/281479276582259

ALLEGATIONS linking a High Court judge to Sydney’s original “King of the Cross” along with brothels, hitmen, prime ministers, premiers and even Soviet spy rings have been revealed after 30 years of secrecy.






Danny Sankey

The Sydney Solicitor who launched private court proceedings alleging a criminal conspiracy claiming that the ten Prime Minister of Australia ..Gogh Whitlam, the ten-Attorney General of Australia Lionel Murphy and two other government Ministerd mislead Governor General John Kerr over approval of a $4 billion dollar loan arranged through a Pakistani con-man

About 4000 sealed pages from the covert investigation into former High Court judge Lionel Murphy — a Whitlam government attorney-general — reveal a criminal web that also included Swiss bank accounts, mafia bosses and lucrative deals that changed the Sydney landscape forever.

Before Roger Rogerson and the Ibrahims, there was Murphy and the first boss of Kings Cross Abe Saffron.

Saffron was so notorious he was known as Mr Sin. Murphy faced a 1986 parliamentary inquiry, but the commission was closed down after he died and its documents locked away until they were released in the federal Senate yesterday.

THE scandalous ties linking Australia’s High Court and government to Sydney’s criminal underworld have been exposed in sensational documents on controversial Labor politician-turned-judge Lionel Murphy finally released yesterday after over 30 years of secrecy.

The 4000 pages of documents reveal a web of brothels, hitmen, diamonds, Swiss bank accounts, meetings with US mafia bosses and dodgy deals done by the High Court judge and NSW Labor Premier Neville Wran.

Behind many of the dirty tricks was Sydney’s original “Mr Sin”, Abe Saffron.

Before disgraced cop-turned-murderer Roger Rogerson and the Ibrahim family, Saffron was the charming and powerful “boss of the Cross” known for his nightclubs, gambling dens, corruption and standover tactics.

Sydney-born Murphy, who died of cancer in 1986, was hailed as a judicial reformer. As federal attorney-general in the ALP government of Gough Whitlam, he established the Family Court, no-fault divorce and national legal aid.

But his long-rumoured seedy side and rogues gallery of mates have been confirmed in documents from a 1986 parliamentary commission of inquiry, which was set up after he was cleared of two counts of trying to influence court cases involving his “little mate”, solicitor Morgan Ryan.

The commission was closed down after Murphy died of cancer that same year and its documents locked away until they were released in the federal Senate yesterday.

Among the explosive claims is that Murphy asked Abe Saffron to intimidate a Sydney solicitor, Danny Sankey, who had brought a private prosecution against him.

“Sankey’s a dead man,” one barrister was told amid the allegations involving the case brought against Murphy, former Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam, Whitlam’s former deputy prime minister Jim Cairns and fellow ALP MP Rex Connor.

The commission was led by three retired judges who indicated they wanted answers to claims that Murphy twice urged Ryan to “harm” the late barrister David Rofe QC in revenge for him acting for Mr Sankey.

Mr Sankey had launched the proceedings during the election campaign in 1975 over the so-called “loans affair”.

He accused the four men of deceiving then governor-general John Kerr to approve the

Whitlam government’s bizarre scheme in December 1974 to raise $4 billion in overseas loans through a Pakistani conman named Tirath Khemlani.

“One would need to ask why a Justice of the High Court would ask a reputed criminal to make representations on his behalf to a person who had launched a private prosecution against him,” states the document in what is called Allegation No.11.

“It must be contended that the judge (Murphy) well knew that Saffron could apply considerable pressure of an impermissible kind to Sankey with a view to persuading him to withdraw the prosecution.”

The documents also reveal claims that at the height of his influence on the High Court, Murphy lobbied Wran’s state government to give Saffron the contract to remodel Central Railway Station and personally spoke to the former NSW premier to give one of Saffron’s companies Luna Park’s lease.

The commission stated it intended to investigate claims that Murphy was a partner in the Kings Cross brothel, Venus Room, with Saffron.

“We have been told that there is evidence available that the judge has had a long association with Abe Saffron,” the commission documents state.

“It is said that there is a long history of the judge receiving sexual favours from women supplied by Saffron.”

An associate of Saffron’s, James West, told the then-National Crime Authority in a transcript released by the commission that Murphy met with “top mafia men” from the US along with Saffron.

“High on the list” of investigations for a state police task force in 1986 was the alleged involvement of Murphy, Saffron, Ryan and two other businessmen and police in illegal casinos in Sydney’s Dixon Street, it was revealed.

However, the commission rejected claims Murphy was a Soviet spy, said it could not conclude that a diamond given to his wife was part of tax avoidance scheme, but it was trying to get more information about documents that purported to show that Murphy and Gough Whitlam had a numbered Swiss bank account and a safety deposit box in Zurich.

When the commission was shut down, the then-Prime Minister Bob Hawke tried to bury the documents forever.

However, the Labor PM was overruled and instead imposed a 30-year limit. Mr Hawke did not respond to a quest for comment yesterday.

Neither Mr Sankey nor Morgan Ryan could be contacted for comment yesterday.

Evidence reveals Murphy was silent partner in Saffron brothel

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/evidence-reveals-murphy-was-silent-partner-in-saffron-brothel/news-story/399cbf3bb511155f263cec22dec0256b


Abe Saffron poses at his Hollywood style Roosevelt Nightclub in Sydney in 1951.

SAM BUCKINGHAM- JONES- The Australian- September 15, 2017

Former High Court judge Lionel Murphy was under investigation over allegations he had an off-the-books stake in one of Abe Saffron’s brothels — the Venus Room — and was a “silent partner”, documents collected by the commission of inquiry reveal.

Thousands of pages released yesterday detail a close relationship between Murphy, Saffron and solicitor Morgan Ryan that allegedly involved women providing sexual favours, suspicions of the illegal importation of Filipina prostitutes, backroom deals to sec­ure construction leases, and friendly dinners stretching back decades.

Commission staff spoke to witnesses — often associates of ­Saffron — who said they saw Murphy in the Venus Room multiple times, almost invariably with Asian women. Police, however, still had their doubts about the depth of the men’s relationship.

James McCartney Anderson, a Scottish self-described “theatrical producer” who supplied entertainers to Saffron’s establishments, said the businesses had “black” and “white” financial records to separate how much was made on and off the books. He spoke about signing a partnership agreement with Saffron.

“We eventually agreed on a split of the profits,” he told the inquiry. “Sixty per cent to him and 40 per cent to me. ... He said he needed the extra percentage because he had to pay what he called ‘silent partners’ in the business.

“I could not give an exact figure but I estimate that over the period of our association, the ‘black’ takings from the businesses I handed over to Abe Saffron amounted to several million dollars.”

In a long interview with the ­inquiry, Anderson said Ryan and Murphy were “partners”.

“I know it. Youse have got to prove it. And Saffron, the deadly threesome, right,” he said.

Murphy’s associations with Saffron concerning allegations of sexual favours and his “silent” partnership in the Venus Room were never put to the late judge by the commission for a response.

Anderson said Saffron admitted to him that Murphy was part of the Venus Room business.

“We had an argument over the 60/40 split,” Anderson said. “Abe said, ‘Look, I've got silent partners I have got to pay’. I said, like who. He said, ‘Oh like Morgan Ryan, ­Lionel Murphy’. He said they have got to be looked after, they look after certain areas.”

Anderson’s wife, Neathia, also said she had seen Murphy at the Venus Room and that he had come in with “a very good-looking Asian lady” she later learned was Junie Morosi.

Rosemary Opitz, a friend of Saffron’s mistress Biruta “Rita” Hagenfelds, said: “I don’t know why they deny it. They were social friends ... They definitely knew each other. I don’t know why they’re so stupid as to say they didn’t.”

Murphy’s former girlfriend Anna Paul could corroborate this, the National Crime Authority told the commission.

In internal memos, the inquiry explored what offences a silent partnership would constitute. “It is likely NSW law makes it an ­offence to be a part-owner of a brothel knowing that the premises are being used for the purposes of prostetution (sic).

“We should also examine the possibility of there being an offence of controlling a disorderly house (common law offence).”

Anderson also said it was “common knowledge” among the ladies that Murphy was involved in sex orgies that Saffron organised.

The commission also learned the NSW police vice squad had been conducting a lengthy investigation into allegations “Philippino girls were imported under some racket involving Morgan Ryan to work as prostitutes in the Venus Room,” according to investigator Andrew Phelan.

“Details of that investigation are to be made available to us.”

In the early 1980s, NSW police sergeant Paul Egge, who was involved in a tap on Ryan’s telephone, told investigators that Saffron had asked him for the lease to Luna Park, when it was put to public tender after the 1979 Ghost Train fire. “Saffron then rang Ryan and said he wanted the lease,” Sergeant Egge said in a statement.

“Lionel Murphy was contacted by Ryan and requested to speak to (Neville) Wran ... Mr Justice Lionel Murphy said, “Leave it with me” and then after a short time (he) rang back Morgan Ryan and said that he had spoken to Neville.”

Likewise, in 1977, Sergeant Egge recalled a conversation between Saffron and Ryan about Central Railway Station in Sydney. “Abe rang up and said to Morgan Ryan that he would like the contract to remodel Central Railway Station ... Morgan Ryan contacted ... Mr Justice Lionel Murphy and Mr Murphy said ‘Leave it with me’,” he wrote in a statement. “Mr Murphy rang back and said the contract would go to Abe Saffron.”

Phelan penned his thoughts after a discussion with senior police about the links between Murphy and Saffron, in which police aired their doubts. “I asked whether any link between Saffron and His Honour had been uncovered at any time by the NSW police,” Phelan wrote.

“Superintendent Drew said that apart from what James McCartney Anderson had told ... no link between Saffron and His Honour had come to light.”


Lionel Murphy files: secret papers reveal allegations of links with crime boss Abe Saffron

Former high court judge was asked to address allegations he asked Saffron to intimidate witness and to find out if police were bribable, documents reveal

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/14/lionel-murphy-files-secret-papers-reveal-allegations-of-links-with-boss-abe-saffron



Lionel Murphy files: secret papers reveal allegations of links with crime boss Abe Saffron

Former high court judge was asked to address allegations he asked Saffron to intimidate witness and to find out if police were bribable, documents reveal

 Justice Lionel Murphy was attorney general in the Whitlam government before being appointed to the high court. Photograph: The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Anne Davies

@annefdavies

Thursday 14 September 2017 03.46 BSTLast modified on Thursday 21 September 2017 12.55 BST

Former high court judge Lionel Murphy was asked to address allegations that he had sought to get Kings Cross crime figure Abe Saffron to intimidate a witness and made inquiries about whether federal police were bribable, documents from the 1980s released on Thursday reveal.

The “Class A papers” published after 31 years, reveal 14 allegations were put to Justice Murphy for his response back in 1986 by a parliamentary commission of inquiry. But many more were investigated by the commission. The documents reveal in total 41 allegations that were investigated by the commission of three judges.

The inquiry followed a turbulent few years in which Murphy was tried on two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice in order to influence the trial of his friend, Sydney solicitor Morgan Ryan. Murphy was accused of approaching the New South Wakes district court judge Paul Flannery, and the NSW chief magistrate, Clarrie Briese, to try to influence the trial.

Murphy was initially found guilty over one of the incidents and cleared of the other, but on appeal was acquitted of both.

Further allegations about the judge emerged as result of reporting by the Age. Illegal police phone taps in 1984 – known as the Age Tapes – and the subsequent Stewart royal commission which investigated organised crime in New South Wales.

Bob Hawke, Gough Whitlam and Lionel Murphy in Sydney in 1974. 
Photograph: The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Murphy was attorney general in the Whitlam government, before he was appointed to the high court by Labor in 1975. Regarded as a leading light of the Left, the judicial scandal which tarnished his later career deeply divided his supporters and critics. His untimely death at 64 left many unanswered questions.

Some of the new papers stem from the now notorious attempts by Murphy during the early 1980s to assist his friend solicitor Morgan Ryan, who was facing prosecution for conspiracy over a visa fraud. Others appear to be based on wire taps of phone calls the judge had with Ryan, which were later reported by the Age.

The documents have emerged after the presiding officers of the federal parliament decided to release the papers. The inquiry was formed to look into whether Murphy had committed misconduct while a high court judge, in breach of the constitution.

It was halted by the Hawke government after it was revealed that Murphy had inoperable cancer. He controversially returned to the high court to hear cases, but died a few months later.

Among the questions before the inquiry were allegations that in 1975 while a judge, Murphy had agreed with Ryan that they should ask Saffron to approach Danny Sankey, who was taking a private prosecution against several Labor figures, including Murphy. The judge was asked to address the specific allegation that he knew this would result in Sankey being intimidated.

Murphy was also accused of urging Ryan to have Sankey’s counsel, David Rofe, harmed because of his role in the case.

Murphy was asked to address allegations that in 1980 he had tried to influence the award of a NSW government contract to remodel Central Railway Station, so it would go to interests associated with Abe Saffron. The commission said at the time Murphy knew Saffron was a person of ill-repute but had tried to assist him regardless.

There were also several allegations relating to attempts to influence police officers. Murphy was asked to address whether he had sought to find out whether particular federal police were bribable or subject to influence. He was reported to have told Ryan in one conversation: “The answer was definitely no, they were both very straight.”

In the case of senior detective Don Thomas, which made headlines in 1986, it was alleged Murphy had sought to influence an investigation, offered to secure him a senior position in the Australian federal police and sought to groom him as a source of confidential information from within the AFP.

There were also several allegations relating to Murphy’s interactions with Briese in an effort to help Ryan who was facing trial for attempting to illegally obtain residency for several Korean nationals.

The attempts led to Murphy being tried and convicted but acquitted on appeal, in a series of cases that gripped the nation.

The commission was restricted from looking at the actual event, but it found a way around that restriction by looking at whether Murphy had breached his duties as an officer of the court.

This included that he had deliberately given sworn false evidence, and had given magistrate Briese’s diaries to a third party to have them photocopied when he knew that the court order restricted access to the legal advisers only. 

Other attempts by Murphy to help his friend also came under scrutiny.

He was also facing allegations that he knowingly swore false evidence over his interactions with Justice Jim McClelland, whom he approached to contact the Chief Judge Staunton over Ryan’s trial.

Murphy claimed in court that he had only spoken to McClelland after McClelland had spoken to Staunton, but this was incorrect, and the judge knew it. The true scenario was that Murphy had approached McClelland in order to persuade him to intercede on Ryan’s behalf with the chief judge.

There were further allegations before the parliamentary commission of inquiry that, at the urging of Ryan, Murphy had sought to get then Premier Neville Wran to appoint a person to the Ethnic Affairs Commission.

Perhaps the most intriguing are documents which are alleged to be records of safety deposit boxes at Union Bank of Switzerland in Zurich.

One is registered in the name of Gough Whitlam and Lionel Murphy. Another is in the name of Murphy and Junie Morosi, the high profile chief of staff to cabinet minister, Jim Cairns, was nominated as holding the keys and is the only person still living who could shed shed light on the matter.

At the time – 1975 – there were persistent rumours of kickbacks as a result of the Kemlani loans affair. The documents were delivered to the commission by two journalists who swore statutory declarations that they had uncovered them as part of an investigation.

Lionel Murphy misconduct inquiry: Senate president to decide on release of files

End of 30-year statutory embargo could provide a treasure trove of information dealing with alleged misbehaviour of the former high court justice

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/sep/24/lionel-murphy-misconduct-saga-senate-president-to-decide-on-release-of-inquiry-files

 The documents dealing with the alleged misbehaviour of the former high court justice Lionel Murphy could open up a treasure trove of historical interest. Photograph: Lionel Murphy Foundation

Sunday marks the end of the 30-year statutory embargo on the release of what could prove a treasure trove of documents dealing with the alleged misbehaviour of the former high court justice Lionel Murphy.

These are what are known as the Class A documents that were collected by the parliamentary commission of inquiry that was established in May 1986 to examine 14 allegations against the high court judge.

The commission of inquiry was wound up before it could report on the allegations because in July 1986, Murphy was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only a short time to live.

In August that year, the Labor government introduced the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (Repeal) Bill, to which assent was given on 25 September 1986.

Section 6 says that for 30 years after the commencement of the repeal act, no one other than a presiding officer of the parliament (the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the president of the Senate) is entitled to access the documents.

From Sunday, the Class A documents can be released “with the written authority of the presiding officers”.

The Class B documents deal with the interpretation of section 72 of the constitution, dealing with the removal of judges on the ground of “proved misbehaviour”.

It is the misconduct documents that are expected to open a treasure trove of historical interest. Murphy was the reformist attorney general of the Whitlam government and was appointed to the high court in 1975 to replace Sir Douglas Menzies.

Justice Roslyn Atkinson of the Queensland supreme court broadly set out the history of the Murphy affair in a speech to a law dinner in 2008.

In November 1983, The National Timesbroke a story that federal and NSW police had commenced a crime intelligence operation against a Sydney solicitor in which they bugged the solicitor’s phone.

The National Times claimed that the conversations showed the solicitor and others were involved in fixing judicial proceedings and providing prostitutes to a senior judge.

In February 1984, The Age published a front page story with the headline: “Secret tapes of judge, lawyer”, with the sub-heading “Sydney solicitor’s phone was tapped”.

The article said that an unnamed judge was taped talking to the solicitor about judicial appointments, politicians and other matters. There was also a conversation between the solicitor and the Sydney crime figure Abe Saffron, in which the judge was described as “the trump”. The provision of “girls” to the judge was also discussed.

In March 1984, Don Lane, a minister in the Bjelke Petersen government said in the Queensland parliament that the judge involved in the illegally taped conversations was Justice Lionel Murphy of the high court. The solicitor was Morgan Ryan. 

Later the chief magistrate of NSW Clarrie Briese and the district court judge Paul Flannery alleged that Murphy had improperly attempted to influence them in relation to charges faced by Ryan.

These allegations were investigated by two Senate committees, which split on party lines, although a majority on the second committee found that Murphy’s conduct might have amounted to “proved misbehaviour”.

In January 1985, the Commonwealth director of public prosecutions charged Murphy with two attempts of perverting the course of justice in relation to the criminal proceedings against Ryan, who was facing a retrial on an alleged conspiracy to obtain permanent resident status for 22 Koreans with the use of forged documents.

This was the first time criminal charges had been laid against a high court judge, and in April 1985 Murphy was committed for trial. The prosecutor was Ian Callinan QC, himself later to be appointed to the high court, with Tom Hughes QC acting on behalf of Murphy.

Murphy was acquitted on the count relating to Flannery but convicted on the Briese charge.

The facts before the court were that Murphy had told the chief magistrate he was concerned about the conspiracy case against Ryan. Briese later told the High Court judge that he had inquired the magistrate hearing the Ryan case and it was likely that the accused would be committed for trial. Murphy replied: “The little fellow will be shattered.”

Later there was a telephone conversation in which Murphy told Briese he had spoken to the NSW attorney general who was in support of legislation to make magistrates independent, rather than employees of the government. According to Briese, the judge then said to him, “And now what about my little mate?”

Various questions of law about the charges and the trial went to the high court and some were sent back to the NSW court of criminal appeal, which quashed Murphy’s conviction and sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment and ordered a retrial.

Murphy was retried before Justice David Hunt and a jury in April 1986. Again he did not give sworn evidence but made a statement from the well of the court. On 28 April 1986, he was acquitted of the charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice in relation to Clarrie Briese.

However, the matter did not rest there. The Stewart Royal Commission reported that the police tapes, the transcripts of which had been published by The Agewere genuine. There was a second confidential volume of the report by Justice Donald Stewart that allegedly contained more allegations against Murphy.

In response to the judicial-political tempest that was adversely distracting the Hawke government, the cabinet agreed to create the parliamentary commission of inquiry, comprising three former judges, Sir George Lush, Sir Richard Blackburn and Andrew Wells QC.

Murphy made an unsuccessful application to the high court seeking an injunction to stop the commission sitting on the ground that the legislation was invalid.

In July 1986, Murphy knew he was terminally ill. He returned to the high court to sit, a move that was supported by the government, which moved to end the work of the parliamentary commission, against opposition protests.

In August 1986, Murphy released a media statement that said that in his view, “purported allegations ... are either untrue or do not constitute misbehaviour”. 

The presiding officers have authorised the clerks of the Senate and the House of Representatives to access, after September 25, the commission’s records.

The office of Senator Stephen Parry, president of the Senate, told Guardian Australia: “As there is a considerable volume of material that could be of a sensitive nature, the task of reviewing, advising and determining appropriate arrangements for access to the records will take some time. The presiding officers will make known their decision on wider access to records of the commission in due course.”

Lionel Murphy drama confirmed but much detail remains under wraps

Newly released archives reveal how Hawke-era inquiry into Labor politician and high court judge was summarily wound up

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/01/lionel-murphy-drama-ended-with-a-whimper-rather-than-a-bang

 

Cabinet not only decided to wind up its commission of inquiry, it resolved 'that material related to allegations obtained by the commission was never to be made public'. Photograph: Lionel Murphy Foundation

In 1986, during the confused final stages of the controversy involving Labor politician and high court judge Lionel Murphy, the Hawke cabinet opened a new inquiry into him, resolved to defend it despite its apparent zeal, then prematurely closed the inquiry and decided a fortnight before Murphy’s death to pay his considerable legal costs.

A release of cabinet documents from the National Archives confirms this much but reveals little more about the messy end of a two-year drama that inflamed passions and tested friendships in legal, political and media circles.

The Hawke cabinet not only decided to wind up its unusual parliamentary commission of inquiry into “various matters relating to the alleged conduct of Mr Justice Murphy”, it resolved “that material related to allegations obtained by the commission was never to be made public or be treated as being subject to the archives legislation”.

The few records about the Murphy saga that have been opened are brief cabinet decisions. All lack the written submissions that usually accompany a decision and give the background and pros and cons of the issue under discussion.

Frustrating as this may be for scholars and the partisans of the pro- and anti-Murphy camps, it is unsurprising. From the start the Murphy saga was murky.

In late 1983 and early 1984 Fairfax papers the National Times and the Age published reports based on tapes, transcripts and summaries of illegal telephone intercepts reportedly made by some New South Wales police. The authenticity and accuracy of the material were never proved. But the headlines it spawned, such as “Secret tapes of judge”, soon led to Lionel Murphy being named as the judge involved.

Murphy, the reformist attorney general in the Whitlam government, had been appointed to the high court not long before Whitlam’s dismissal by the governor general in 1975. Often in dissent, he had shaken up the court as he had earlier shaken up the Senate and the public service, particularly the security services.

At the core of the “Age tapes” controversy was whether there was evidence sufficient for parliament to remove Murphy as a high court judge because of what the constitution calls proved misbehaviour.

The core allegation was that Murphy had tried improperly to influence decision-making by a magistrate and a judge in a case involving a solicitor Murphy had known for many years, a solicitor who had represented a major organised crime figure. The line that became shorthand for the Murphy issue at the time, a line which Murphy denied having uttered, was the favour-seeking question: “And what about my little mate?”

The Hawke government watched on in anguish. Publicity about Murphy revived memories of the Whitlam years, a period the Hawke team had been keen for the public to forget. A taint of perceived corruption could spread. Some objected to what was happening out of principle or loyalty or a mix of both. The Labor party in the 1980s contained Murphy’s former colleagues and admirers as well as his enemies. Many were building on reforms which Murphy had initiated.

Over several months, two heavily publicised Senate committees grappled with a complicated mix of facts, inferences and conjecture. Murphy and his supporters strongly attacked the process. It denied him natural justice, they said. The attack on Murphy was an attack on judicial independence.

They raised a string of objections: that the origins of the material were unknown; most transcripts had no matching tapes and could have been fabricated; the intercepts had been illegal; the newspapers had distorted the material; incidents from Murphy’s social life with innocent explanations were being given false and sinister interpretations adverse to Murphy; and the Senate committee inquiries were a kind of political trial.

Opponents argued that continued public confidence in the judiciary in general, and the high court in particular, depended on Murphy resigning or being removed. Judges were to be judged by a higher standard.

Murphy took leave from his duties on the high court but refused to resign.

The second Senate committee found against him and Murphy was later charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice. In July 1985 he was convicted, but almost immediately members of the jury began to tell media outlets, a legal academic and Murphy’s solicitors that they did not believe Murphy was guilty. Their verdict had been reluctantly reached on the basis of misunderstood directions from the trial judge. An appeal was upheld, the conviction was quashed and at the second trial in April 1986 Murphy was acquitted.

Arrangements were made for Murphy to resume work at the high court on 1 May. Two of his fellow judges sent messages congratulating him on his acquittal, but not everyone at the high court was happy about Murphy’s imminent return.

Almost immediately, new claims about Murphy surfaced. The newly released archives give a glimpse of what happened next in cabinet. At the time, cabinet’s decisions dismayed Murphy supporters, who believed the saga should have ended with the acquittal. “Final codas of farce and tragedy,” one legal academic wrote later.

On 5 May the cabinet heard from the attorney general, Lionel Bowen, that the chief justice of the high court, Sir Harry Gibbs, had advised Bowen that Murphy had met that afternoon with his fellow judges and “it was agreed that he would voluntarily refrain from sitting on the high court until such time as he had an opportunity to answer all matters allegedly involving him”.

Murphy’s “statement by way of an answer” was to be “made available for consideration” to the high court, the attorney general, the opposition leader and leader of the then minor party the Australian Democrats. It reads like a very confidential sort of “mini trial” was envisaged to allow this select group to satisfy themselves about Murphy’s fitness to sit again among the other high court judges.

But two days later the stakes were raised. Cabinet decided to have Bowen tell parliament that it would legislate expeditiously for a “parliamentary commission of inquiry into various matters relating to the alleged conduct of Mr Justice Murphy” so that “proper consideration may be given to the question of possible misbehaviour”. The government, Bowen was to announce, “has had full regard to the necessity of the standing and integrity of the high court to be properly protected”.

By 24 June, cabinet was prepared to defend the constitutional validity of its parliamentary commission against a high court challenge from Murphy, a challenge which Murphy’s fellow judges would have had to determine had it proceeded. Cabinet seems to have been wary of the alacrity the three commissioners showed for their task. Were new lines of inquiry in the offing? The minute of the 24 June decision records that the commissioners had requested that Australian Federal Police officers be made available to “help them with their inquiries”. But Cabinet “was of the view that the commissioners themselves had the power to initiate investigations into a matter only where the allegation was supported by material which established or pointed to a prima facie case being established”.’

The next two documents in sequence, on 11 August and 18 August, record decisions to wind up the parliamentary commission without it having to report, and to stop its records becoming public, even through the archives all these years later.

What had changed? In July, Murphy had been diagnosed with cancer and had only a few months to live.

Over the objections of the chief justice, Murphy returned to sit on the bench on 1 August.

The documents show that on 9 October, cabinet decided to pay legal costs incurred by Murphy of $420,473.

On 21 October, the day on which his last two judgments were delivered, Murphy died.

Lionel Murphy files: Former High Court judge’s link to underworld figure Abe Saffron confirmed

 

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/lionel-murphy-files-former-high-court-judges-link-to-underworld-figure-abe-saffron-confirmed/news-story/4c84e1f603bc2b7244d0ec8203b2bfca

Janet Fife-Yeomans, The Daily Telegraph

September 14, 2017

NOTORIOUS former High Court judge and Labor figure Lionel Murphy asked underworld boss Abe Saffron — known as “Mr Sin’ — to intimidate a lawyer who was suing him, according to secret documents released today.

“Sankey’s a dead man,” it is claimed in the explosive allegations involving the private prosecution brought by former Sydney lawyer Danny Sankey against Murphy, former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, Whitlam’s former deputy prime minister Jim Cairns and Rex Connor, another Whitlam government MP.

Mr Sankey launched the proceedings during the election campaign in 1975 over the so-called “loans affair”. Mr Sankey accused the four men of deceiving then governor-general John Kerr to approve the Whitlam government’s bizarre scheme in December 1974 to raise $4 billion (in 1975 dollars) in overseas loans through a Pakistani conman named Tirath Khemlani.

Murphy’s close links to Saffron, the organised crime figure, nightclub owner and “boss of the Cross”, have long been rumoured.

New documents released today reveal Murphy was involved in an alleged web of blackmail, perjury and bribery

 

The documents confirmed Murphy’s links to nightclub boss Abe Saffron who on his behalf threatened a lawyers who was suing him.

They have been exposed in the long-awaited documents from the parliamentary commission of inquiry which was reluctantly set up by Prime Minister Bob Hawke in 1986. The documents were released today after being locked up for 30 years.

They also reveal claims that Murphy lobbied the state government to give Saffron the contract to remodel Central Railway Station and also allegedly lobbied former NSW Premier Neville Wran to give one of Saffron’s companies the lease over Luna Park.

Mr Hawke succumbed to pressure and set up the commission of inquiry after Lionel Murphy’s acquittal on a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice and as he controversially returned to sit on the High Court.

 

Sydney underworld figure Abe Saffron set up an apartment in Kings Cross for former High Court Judge Lionel Murphy.

“One would need to ask why a Justice of the High Court would ask a reputed criminal to make representations on his behalf to a person who had launched a private prosecution against him,” states the document in what is called Allegation No 11.

The commission alleged that Murphy arranged with Saffron to intimidate Mr Sankey between Jubne 1, 1976 and October 31, 1976, while a High Court judge,

It was one of 14 allegations served on Murphy before the commission was shut down following his death from cancer later in 1986.

The commission’s documents reveal an alleged web of blackmail, perjury and bribery as Murphy tried to get his own way

“It must be contended that the judge (Murphy) well knew that Saffron could apply considerable pressure of an impermissible kind to Sankey with a view to persuading him to withdraw the prosecution,” the allegation states.

Secret documens relating to the conduct of the late High Court judge Lionel Murphy were tabled in the House of Representatives.

It is also alleged that Saffron set up an apartment in Kings Cross for the judge.

Mr Sankey told the commission that he had been approached in 1986 — while Murphy was still on the High Court — by Saffron’s right hand man, James McCartney Anderson.

They met at the Caprice Restaurant in Rose Bay which was owned by Mr Sankey. Shortly after that, Mr Sankey said he received a phone call from a man he recognised as Saffron.

The documents, which the Hawke government wanted to bury forever, also reveal claims that Murphy asked his “little mate”, solicitor Morgan Ryan, to “cause harm” to the late barrister David Rofe QC, who was appearing for Mr Sankey in the proceedings.

“The judge’s purpose in doing, urging or encouraging Ryan to cause harm to Rofe was to take revenge upon Rofe for what he had done in the conduct of these prosecutions,” the allegation.

The commission’s documents reveal an alleged web of blackmail, perjury and bribery as Murphy tried to get his own way.

Sankey brought proceeding against former Justice Murphy and three other men including then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, pictured with Bob Hawke.

Morgan Ryan was a business partner of Saffron, who died in 2006.

James McCartney Anderson, a former associate of Saffron, had previously told a NSW parliamentary committee on prostitution in 1983 that he had seen Murphy speaking to Saffron in the Venus Room at King’s Cross.

“He came down with some Asian ladies. That is Mr Murphy’s weakness, incidentally,” Anderson told the committee.

Murphy was a darling of the left who was federal Attorney-General in the Gough Whitlam government and a Labor appointee to the High Court. He set up the Family Court, national legal aid and introduced no-fault divorces.

According to the secret files, Justice Murphy sought to harm late barrister David Rofe QC (pictured), who was appearing in court proceedings against him.

But he was long alleged to have a dark side although Gough Whitlam claimed Murphy was the victim of a witch hunt.

In the commission of inquiry set up in 1986, three retired judges were recruited to advise parliament whether any of Murphy’s conduct was “proved misbehaviour” for which he could be removed from office but their work was seriously curtailed.

They were told not to rake over the matters that had already been canvassed at his two criminal trials but any evidence that Murphy had misbehaved also had to be based on evidence admissible in court.

Classified documents from a parliamentary inquiry into the conduct of Lionel Murphy were released today.

Abe Saffron’s right hand man James McCartney Anderson met Sankey at the Caprice Restaurant in Rose Bay

They could not force Murphy to give evidence and could not use the Federal Police to help investigations.

The commission before former Victoria Supreme Court Sir George Lush, 73, retired ACT chief justice Sir Richard Blackburn, 68, and former South Australia Supreme Court judge Andrew Wells, 67, opened on June 3, 1986 and sat in public for precisely seven minutes before retreating behind closed doors.

The commission, which had advertised nationally for anyone with allegations involving Murphy to put them in statutory declarations, was told to examine the allegations in private and report back by September 30 that year.

Murphy’s High Court bid to block the inquiry was unanimously rejected by his six fellow judges.

Between July 15 and July 30, the commission sent Murphy through his lawyers a list of 14 allegations which they were due to begin examining on August 5.

On August 1, Murphy announced he had inoperable cancer, would return to the bench, denied any wrongdoing and said he would be having nothing to do with the commission.

On August 20 the commission of inquiry was shut down and the Hawke government moved to bury any documents and the allegations forever.

They imposed a six-month jail sentence and a $5000 fine on anyone disclosing the allegations with a $100,000 fine for corporations.

After widespread outrage, the government only partly backed down. The jail terms and fines remained but the records of that inquiry were sealed for 30 years.

Since the embargo ended in September last year, Senate officials have been going through the documents to remove some names and prevent embarrassment.

The “Class A” documents were approved for release by Speaker Tony Smith and Senate President Stephen Parry.

LIONEL KEITH MURPHY

1922: Born at Kensington, NSW.

1947. Admitted to the Bar while still studying at the Sydney Law School.

1958. Appointed a QC.

1961. Elected to the Senate for the ALP.

1967. Elected Opposition Leader in the Senate.

1972. After ALP won election, he was appointed Federal Attorney-General by Gough Whitlam.

1975. Set up the Family Court and introduced “no fault” divorce. Established national legal aid.

1975. Appointed to the High Court, the last politician to join the country’s highest court.

1984. Charged with two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice. One alleged he had tried to influence then-NSW Chief Magistrate Clarrie Briese to help get his criminal chargers dismissed against his friend Morgan Ryan. The other involved trying to get Judge Paul Flannery to take the charges against Ryan away from the jury.

1985. Convicted on the Briese matter and sentenced to 18 months’ jail. Conviction overturned on appeal.

1986. Acquitted at retrial.

1986. Prime Minister Bob Hawke set up a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry to assess Murphy’s fitness to return to the High Court. It was due to report on September 30.

October 1986. His last two judgments were delivered just an hour before he died of inoperable cancer.

2017: Classified documents from the parliamentary inquiry into his conduct are released.

 

 



Lionel Murphy files: Former High Court Judge’s link to underworld figure Abe Saffron confirmed

JANET FIFE-YEOMANS and BRUCE MCDOUGALL, The Daily Telegraph

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/lionel-murphy-files-former-high-court-judges-link-to-underworld-figure-abe-saffron-confirmed/news-story/b9535b060df790bd7afaf5171eae89e4

The former Whitlam-era attorney general was the last politician appointed to the High Court.


SW Premier Neville Wran announces his resignation in 1986.


Former Labor PMs Bob Hawke and Gough Whitlam with Lionel Murphy in 1979.


Lionel Murphy, former Labor Attorney-General and High Court judge

September 15, 2017The scandalous ties linking Australia’s High Court and government to Sydney’s criminal underworld have been exposed in sensational documents on controversial Labor politician-turned judge Lionel Murphy finally released yesterday after over 30 years of secrecy.

The 4000 pages of documents reveal a web of brothels, hitmen, diamonds, Swiss bank accounts, meetings with US mafia bosses and dodgy deals done by the High Court judge and NSW Labor Premier Neville Wran.

Behind many of the dirty tricks was Sydney’s original “Mr Sin”, Abe Saffron.

“.. Sankey’s a dead man - a barrister was told..”

Before disgraced cop-turned-murderer Roger Rogerson and the Ibrahim family, Saffron was the charming and powerful “boss of the Cross” known for his nightclubs, gambling dens, corruption and standover tactics.

By contrast, Sydney-born Murphy, who died of cancer in 1986, was hailed as a judicial reformer. As federal attorney-general in the ALP government of Gough Whitlam, he established the Family Court, no-fault divorce and national legal aid.

But his long-rumoured seedy side and rogues gallery of mates have been confirmed in documents from a 1986 parliamentary commission of inquiry which was set up after he was cleared of two counts of trying to influence court cases involving his “little mate”, solicitor Morgan Ryan.

The former Whitlam-era attorney general was the last politician appointed to the High Court.

The commission was closed down after Murphy died of cancer that same year and its documents locked away until they were released in the federal Senate yesterday.

Among the explosive claims is that Murphy asked Abe Saffron to intimidate a Sydney solicitor, Danny Sankey, who had brought a private prosecution against him.

“Sankey’s a dead man,” one barrister was told amid the allegations involving the case brought against Murphy, former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, Whitlam’s former deputy prime minister Jim Cairns and Rex Connor, another Whitlam government MP.

PM Gough Whitlam whispers to deputy PM Lance Barnard with Lionel Murphy during the opening of Parliament in 1973

The commission was led by three retired judges who indicated they wanted answers to claims that Murphy twice urged Ryan to “harm” the late barrister David Rofe QC in revenge for him acting for Mr Sankey.

Mr Sankey had launched the proceedings during the election campaign in 1975 over the so-called “loans affair”.

He accused the four men of deceiving then governor-general John Kerr to approve the Whitlam government’s bizarre scheme in December 1974 to raise $4 billion (in 1975 dollars) in overseas loans through a Pakistani conman named Tirath Khemlani.

The commission stated it intended to investigate claims that Murphy was a partner in the Kings Cross brothel, Venus Room, with Saffron

“One would need to ask why a Justice of the High Court would ask a reputed criminal to make representations on his behalf to a person who had launched a private prosecution against him,” states the document in what is called Allegation No 11.

“It must be contended that the judge (Murphy) well knew that Saffron could apply considerable pressure of an impermissible kind to Sankey with a view to persuading him to withdraw the prosecution.”

The documents also reveal claims that at the height of his influence on the High Court, Murphy lobbied Wran’s state government to give Saffron the contract to remodel Central Railway Station and personally spoke to the former NSW premier to give one of Saffron’s companies the lease over Milsons Point amusement park Luna Park.

The commission stated it intended to investigate claims that Murphy was a partner in the Kings Cross brothel, Venus Room, with Saffron.

“We have been told that there is evidence available that the judge has had a long association with Abe Saffron,” the commission documents state.

“It is said that there is a long history of the judge receiving sexual favours from women supplied by Saffron.”

An associate of Saffron’s, James West, told the then-National Crime Authority in a transcript released by the commission that Murphy met with “top mafia men” from the US along with Saffron.

‘High on the list” of investigations for a state police task force in 1986 was the alleged involvement of Murphy, Saffron, Ryan and two other businessmen and police in illegal casinos in Sydney’s Dixon Street, it was revealed.

However the commission rejected claims Murphy was a Soviet spy, said it could not conclude that a diamond given to his wife was part of tax avoidance scheme but it was trying to get more information about documents that purported to show that Murphy and Gough Whitlam had a numbered Swiss bank account and a safety deposit box in Zurich.

When the commission was shut down, the then-Prime Minister Bob Hawke tried to bury the documents forever. However, the Labor PM was overruled and instead imposed a 30-year limit.

Neither Mr Sankey nor Morgan Ryan could be contacted for comment yesterday.

Saffron died in 2006.


Lawyer Danny Sankey tells of Abe Saffron’s bid to kill Murphy case

Organised crime boss Abe Saffron at one of his Sydney establishments in the 1950s.



Organised crime boss Abe Saffron at one of his Sydney establishments in the 1950s.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/lawyer-danny-sankey-tells-of-abe-saffrons-bid-to-kill-murphy-case/news-story/34d26cf5fbfe09d54c922efe84fd6ab8

BRAD NORINGTON- Associate Editor of The Australian @BradNorington

The Sydney solicitor named in newly released files about alleged misconduct by late High Court judge Lionel Murphy has spoken out for the first time about how ­organised crime boss Abe Saffron tried to pressure him into shutting down legal action against Murphy.

Danny Sankey has told The Australian an allegation raised in parliamentary commission of ­inquiry documents that Saffron ­approached him about dropping a private criminal prosecution involving Murphy is factually correct.

The comments by Mr Sankey come days after the release of ­inquiry files kept secret for more than 30 years detailing serious ­allegations against Murphy, ­including that he had a close relationship with Saffron.

Mr Sankey said Saffron phoned him twice — in July 1976 and May 1977 — and asked what it would take for him to drop a case alleging a criminal conspiracy by Murphy and three others over the former Whitlam government’s so-called “loans affair”.

Mr Sankey was warned that the first call was coming, he said, when known underworld figure and Saffron associate James McCartney Anderson paid a surprise personal visit.

According to notes from the time, calls from Saffron that came almost 12 months apart followed appeal court decisions in Mr Sankey’s favour that allowed him to continue proceedings against Murphy.

“I wasn’t expressly threatened but when Jimmy Anderson comes and you’re knowing who he represents, I felt quite disturbed,” Mr Sankey said.

Besides knowing Anderson’s link to Saffron, he was aware that Saffron’s solicitor was Morgan Ryan, a close friend of Murphy.

Of Saffron’s phone calls, Mr Sankey said: “He didn’t announce himself, but I’d heard him speak in company; he had a distinctive, smooth voice.”

According to Mr Sankey, ­Saffron did not threaten him ­directly but — similar to the sudden presence of Anderson — he felt threatened on the phone by Saffron’s reputation.

He said he told Saffron the only thing that would influence him to end legal action against Murphy and the others would be an admission that they had been wrong to bypass normal loan council channels and try to borrow $US4 billion from Middle Eastern money men to fund national dev­elopment projects.

Fourteen allegations were served on Murphy in July 1986 by a Hawke government-appointed inquiry set up to deal with fresh claims about the judge’s behaviour that emerged after he was acquitted on charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice by allegedly seeking to influence criminal proceedings against Ryan over a suspected Korean immigration racket.

Three retired judges heading the inquiry were required to ­advise whether Murphy’s conduct amounted to “proved misbehaviour” under section 72 of the Constitution.


Late High Court judge Lionel Murphy.Late High Court judge Lionel Murphy.

When it was revealed Murphy was dying, the inquiry was called off and all related documents were marked “Class A” confidential by law for 30 years.

Allegation No 11 served on Murphy claimed he had “agreed” with Mr Ryan, and Saffron, that Saffron would arrange for an ­approach to Mr Sankey so he could be “improperly and unlawfully intimidated into withdrawing these private prosecutions”.

The inquiry contended that Murphy’s conduct, if proven, amounted to misbehaviour by “entering into an agreement” to threaten or coerce Mr Sankey, and to pervert the course of justice in relation to the judicial power of the commonwealth.

“As such it constituted conduct contrary to accepted standards of judicial behaviour,” the served allegation said. Murphy was ill, did not respond and died three months later.

Another related allegation served on Murphy was that he twice encouraged Mr Ryan — in 1979 and 1980 — to cause “harm” to Mr Sankey’s barrister in the private prosecution, David Rofe.

According to the allegation: “The judge’s purpose in urging or encouraging Ryan to cause harm to Rofe was to take revenge upon Rofe for what he had done in the conduct of these prosecutions.”

Relatives of Rofe, who died in July, recall he had guards placed at his Woollahra home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs at one stage after receiving threats. They were unclear about the nature and source of the alleged threats.

Bob McLaughlin, a Sydney solicitor who worked with Murphy when Murphy was a barrister ­before entering politics, said he did not believe the Whitlam attorney-general and later High Court judge would encourage intimidation or harm against anyone.

Mr McLaughlin said he and Murphy were on different sides politically, but they were friends who dined regularly and spent many late hours together.

“He was a bon vivant, bright and bubbly. I’d be surprised if he had anything to do with stand­overs. It just wasn’t him,” he said.

Anderson fell out with Saffron in the 1980s, turning police ­informant and helping to prosecute his former boss by giving evidence that led to Saffron’s jailing on tax offences. Anderson died in 2003. Saffron, nicknamed “Mr Sin”, died in 2006.

Mr Sankey’s private prosecution dragged into the early 1980s but was ultimately dismissed.


The explosive allegations against former High Court judge-Lionel Murphy files:

 The explosive allegations against former High Court judge

Lionel Murphy accused of bribery and perjury.

Lionel Murphy accused of bribery and perjury.Source:News Corp Australia

Documents relating to the conduct of the late High Court judge Lionel Murphy were tabled in the House of Representatives today. Picture: Gary Ramage

Documents relating to the conduct of the late High Court judge Lionel Murphy were tabled in the House of Representatives today. 

Abe Saffron the King of Vice when he was alive

Documents relating to the conduct of the late High Court judge Lionel Murphy were tabled in the House of Representatives today. Picture: Gary Ramage

Documents relating to the conduct of the late High Court judge Lionel Murphy were tabled in the House of Representatives today. Picture: Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia


THESE are the stunning allegations that a parliamentary commission served on notorious former High Court judge Lionel Murphy before his death in 1986.

http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/lionel-murphy-files-the-explosive-allegations-against-former-high-court-judge/news-story/5172b25c37c5d4054e9d991225e51f7f

The explosive allegations against former High Court judge Lionel Murphy revealed in secret documents.

Allegation 1. Attempting to bribe a Commonwealth officer.

December 1979 at a lunch at Arrirang House, a Potts Point Korean restaurant, Murphy and solicitor Morgan Ryan invited federal police officer Don Thomas to lunch. Thomas was the prosecuting officer in a case alleging social security fraud against a number of people including one of Ryan’s clients. Murphy told Thomas that he would arrange for him to be an assistant commissioner in the soon-to-be-formed Australian Federal Police if Thomas would be his inside man in the AFP and provide convert information about ALP figures. Thomas declines.

Allegation 2. Looking at bribing another two federal police officers.

Between April 21 and July 23, 1981, Murphy agreed with Ryan and unknown people to make inquiries about two AFP officers, James Lewington and Robert Allan Jones, to see if they “could be bribed or otherwise influenced to act contrary to their duty as police officers”. The officers were investigating alleged illegal activities of Korean nationals in Australia with permanent residence status and what role if any Ryan had played in those activities. Ryan told Murphy the two cops were “very straight”.

Allegation 11. Intimidating Danny Sankey.

Between June 1, 1976 and October 31, 1976, Murphy agreed with Ryan and underworld figure Abe Saffron that Saffron would arrange for then-Sydney solicitor Danny Sankey to be “intimidated” to withdraw his private prosecution against the judge.

Allegation 14. Misbehaviour.

In April 1986, Murphy faced a retrial on a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice by allegedly trying to influence the then-NSW Chief Magistrate Clarrie Briese to help get criminal charges against Morgan Ryan dropped. Murphy was acquitted but during the trial he made an unsworn statement from the dock upon which he could not be cross-examined in which he implied that Briese had recently fabricated his allegations. The commission of inquiry said that had unfairly deprived Briese or the prosecution of supporting Briese’s credibility while Murphy’s own barrister had rejected any such claim.

Allegation 15. Misbehaviour.

Around April 1985, Murphy gave the diaries of Clarrie Briese to a secretary to be photocopied after they had been subpoenaed by his defence lawyers despite not having permission from the court to do so.

Allegation 16. Perjury.

During his earlier trial in June and July 1985, Murphy lied under oath to the jury when he said that the only thing he had done to help Morgan Ryan on his criminal charges was to speak to Chief Judge Staunton of the District Court to see whether something could be done to get an earlier trial for Ryan. Murphy said he had only spoken to Justice McClelland after this. The truth, said the commission, was that Murphy had approached McClelland first to persuade him to approach Judge Staunton on behalf of Ryan.

Allegation 18. Contravened judicial conduct.

In March 1979, Murphy spoke to then-NSW Premier Neville Wran for the purpose of getting Wadim Jegarow the position of deputy chairman of the NSW Ethnic Affairs Commission. He then told Morgan Ryan that Wran told him Jegarow would get the job. The commission said Murphy entered “into an agreement to influence the making of a public service appointment and actually intervening to achieve that purpose”.

Allegation 20. Contempt of court.

Around March 31, 1979, and again on February 7, 1980, he urged Morgan Ryan to “cause harm” to barrister David Rofe who had appeared for solicitor Danny Sankey in a case against Murphy. The commission said Murphy’s purpose “in urging or encouraging Ryan to cause harm to Rofe was to take revenge upon Rofe for what he had done in the conduct of these proceedings.”

Allegation 16. Perjury.

During his earlier trial in June and July 1985, Murphy lied under oath to the jury when he said that the only thing he had done to help Morgan Ryan on his criminal charges was to speak to Chief Judge Staunton of the District Court to see whether something could be done to get an earlier trial for Ryan. Murphy said he had only spoken to Justice McClelland after this. The truth, said the commission, was that Murphy had approached McClelland first to persuade him to approach Judge Staunton on behalf of Ryan.

Allegation 18. Contravened judicial conduct.

In March 1979, Murphy spoke to then-NSW Premier Neville Wran for the purpose of getting Wadim Jegarow the position of deputy chairman of the NSW Ethnic Affairs Commission. He then told Morgan Ryan that Wran told him Jegarow would get the job. The commission said Murphy entered “into an agreement to influence the making of a public service appointment and actually intervening to achieve that purpose”.

Allegation 20. Contempt of court.

Around March 31, 1979, and again on February 7, 1980, he urged Morgan Ryan to “cause harm” to barrister David Rofe who had appeared for solicitor Danny Sankey in a case against Murphy. The commission said Murphy’s purpose “in urging or encouraging Ryan to cause harm to Rofe was to take revenge upon Rofe for what he had done in the conduct of these proceedings.”

Allegation 23. Demand with menaces.

In March 1980, Murphy agreed wo help Morgan Ryan by arranging a meeting with NSW MP Milton Morris to “threaten Morris with exposure of his alleged involvement in a tax evasion scheme” to induce Morris to get the then-Opposition leader John Mason to stop attacking Ryan for his role in relation to proceedings regarding the Cessna-Milner drug syndicate involving 137kgs of buddha sticks.

Allegation 24. Encouraging an MP to make a false statement.

Around April 2, 1980, Murphy said Morgan Ryan should arrange for an MP to state in parliament that he had made inquiries about Ryan and he had “come up smelling like a rose” when in fact no such inquiries had been made and Murphy knew at the time that Ryan had not been exonerated. Ryan was being investigated by the AFP for any role he played in the alleged illegal activities of Korean nationals who had secured permanent residency in Australia.

Allegation 25. Abe Saffron and Central Railway Station.

In January 1980, Murphy made representations to the state government to try and influence the contract for the remodelling of Central Railway Station to go Abe Saffron.

Allegation 27. Abe Saffron and Luna Park.

In early 1980, Murphy made representations to then-NSW Premier Neville Wran on behalf of Abe Saffron to get him the lease over Luna Park.

Allegation 33. Misbehaviour.

The commission said that Murphy abused his office and improperly attempted to influence a judge in the execution of his duties when he asked Chief Judge James Staunton to get Morgan Ryan an early trial.

Allegation 39. Misbehaviour and trying to influence a judge.

On January 6, 1982, Murphy spoke with then-NSW Ch                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Documents relating to the conduct of the late High Court judge Lionel Murphy were tabled in the House of Representatives today. Picture: Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia



Lionel Murphy accused of bribery and perjury.

 Lionel Murphy accused of bribery and perjury.Source:News Corp Australia

Underworld figure Abe Saffron.

Underworld figure Abe Saffron.Source:News Corp Australia


Lionel Murphy and the presumption of guilt

TONY BLACKSHIELD- 21 SEPTEMBER 2017

http://insidestory.org.au/lionel-murphy-and-the-presumption-of-guilt-by-association

           


Justice Lionel Murphy (second from right) and his legal team — led by Tom Hughes QC (second from left) — arrive at the Old Banco Court, Sydney, on 18 July 1985. A. Short/Sydney Morning Herald

Some of the most serious allegations against the reforming attorney-general turned High Court judge centre on his relationships — real or imagined — with three notorious Sydney figures

Last week’s release of the Class A files of the parliamentary commission of inquiry into allegations against Justice Lionel Murphy reopened a longstanding controversy about the behaviour of the former Labor attorney-general. (The Class B files, concerned simply with the legal definition of the word “misbehaviour” in section 72 of the Constitution, were published in December last year.)

Writing about the Class A files is difficult. It is difficult because the seventy-four files — more than 1700 kilobytes of data in PDF format — are a chaotic jumble of typed memoranda, handwritten notes, correspondence, photocopies, extracts or transcripts from records of interview (often not clearly identified), and excerpts from Hansard, the National Times and Agenewspapers, and Penthouse magazine. Significant information is often tucked away in strange places, and I doubt if anyone has yet unearthed it all.

It is also difficult because much of the material, whether favourable or unfavourable to Murphy, reflects adversely on other individuals, many of them (unlike Murphy) still living. This, of course, is why the release of the Class A files was deferred until now.

Above all, it is difficult because it swamps us once again in the sensationalised nightmare of “the Murphy affair,” for which a few brief words of background are needed. On 6 February 1974, ten years before the publication in Melbourne of the “Age tapes,” the US Congress authorised a committee inquiry into whether president Richard Nixon should be impeached, thus raising the curtain on the final act of the Watergate drama. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein had set a new standard of investigative journalism. Ten years later, a generation of younger Australian journalists were inspired by that standard. But where Woodward and Bernstein published nothing unless it had been objectively confirmed by two independent sources, the rapparees of “the Murphy affair” seized on each new allegation, however improbable, and rushed it into print without ever pausing to consider its credibility, let alone its context. To return in 2017 to what they wrought in the mid 1980s is deeply painful.

While some of the press response in the past few days has once again been “sensational,” the sensationalism this time around is likely to be short-lived, since there is little to give it oxygen. More importantly, some of the reaction has been notably more restrained. In particular, Paul Kelly’s article in the Weekend Australian of 16–17 September was admirably balanced and objective.

FOR THOSE WHO CAME IN LATE

On 22 February 1984, Justices Murphy and Deane dissented from the High Court decision upholding the conviction of Lindy Chamberlain for the murder of her daughter Azaria. Their judgements presaged the end of a shameful history of personal demonisation. But three weeks earlier, on 2 February 1984, the publication of the “Age tapes” had begun another such history with a different target.

A Senate committee established in March that year cleared Murphy of any allegations arising from the “Age tapes,” but received a fresh allegation from Clarrie Briese, the chief stipendiary magistrate for New South Wales. A second Senate committee, established in September, heard a further allegation from Judge Paul Flannery of the NSW District Court. The Briese and Flannery allegations related to the prosecution of Murphy’s solicitor friend Morgan Ryan for conspiracy in immigration matters. Both men reported conversations with Murphy that they now saw (in the context of the “Age tapes”) as possibly intended to influence the result of the Ryan prosecution — Briese because his position might have enabled him to put pressure on the magistrate hearing the committal proceedings, and Flannery because he was the presiding judge at Ryan’s trial.

On 5 July 1985, a jury acquitted Murphy of the Flannery allegation but convicted him of the Briese allegation. On 28 April 1986, a second jury acquitted him of the Briese allegation as well, and it looked as if Murphy’s troubles were over. But on 2 May an emergency meeting between chief justice Harry Gibbs and attorney-general Lionel Bowen resulted — perhaps through a misunderstanding — in the decision that a parliamentary commission of inquiry should review all possible allegations (except those from Briese and Flannery) in order to determine once and for all whether “any conduct” by Murphy might amount to the kind of “proved misbehaviour” that would trigger his removal from the bench.

On 31 July 1986, Murphy announced that he was dying of cancer. The work of the commission was immediately halted, and its constituent statute repealed. Murphy died on 21 October 1986.

It was said at the time that the commission had assembled forty-two allegations; it now appears that there were only forty-one. It was said that the team of counsel assisting the commission had identified fourteen allegations as needing investigation; it now appears that there was a fifteenth, which had only just been identified and had not been served on the judge. For most of the remaining twenty-six allegations, counsel had decided either that what was alleged could not possibly constitute “misbehaviour” or that it was unsupported by evidence. For a few of the allegations, no decision had yet been made.

All of these decisions had been taken only by counsel assisting the commission. In their final report in September 1986 the three commissioners emphasised that they themselves had made “no findings of fact,” and had “therefore formed no conclusions or opinions whether any conduct of the Judge has been such as to amount to proved misbehaviour.”

Since most of the forty-one allegations released last week are not in fact new, their release in fact adds very little to our knowledge. I have written about many of them before, especially in my chapter in the 1987 book Lionel Murphy: A Radical Judge (edited by Jocelynne Scutt) and in an entry on “The Murphy Affair” in the Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia. In particular, my chapter in the Scutt book includes detailed analyses or deconstructions of what are now Allegation 2 (the Lewington matter, pages 236–37), Allegation 18 (the Jegorow matter, pages 231–33), Allegation 19 (the Paris Theatre matter, page 233) and Allegation 26 (the Yuen matter, pages 230–31). In addition, the reasons why no reliable conclusions can be drawn from the illegally recorded “Age tapes” — or rather, from the transcripts of the actual tapes, which in most cases had been destroyed — are summarised on pages 233–35 by reference to the fuller analysis set out in the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Alleged Telephone Interceptions, usually known as the Stewart Report.

Accordingly, I will confine myself here to reviewing some of the material relating to three of the more disreputable characters in what is now a cast of thousands. This review deals with seven of the fourteen allegations initially listed for hearing, and eleven of the twenty-six allegations not listed for hearing. Although it is far from being a comprehensive account of the material released on 14 September, it appears to me to be a representative sample.

MORGAN RYAN

The “Age tapes” came into existence because NSW police were illegally tapping Morgan Ryan’s phone; the recording of his conversations with Murphy was only an unexpected by-product. At least eight of the fourteen allegations initially selected for hearing involved the relationship with Ryan, along with at least another eight of those not so selected.

Ryan had indisputably close associations with many of Sydney’s most notorious underworld figures, notably including nightclub owner and property developer Abe Saffron; and most of the recurring allegations that Ryan himself was directly involved in criminal conspiracies were probably also accurate. The mere fact that the “Age tapes” linked the names of Ryan and Murphy was therefore enough to give rise to an appearance of guilt by association.

But Murphy’s connection with Ryan had primarily been a professional working relationship between barrister and solicitor. At his first jury trial, Murphy gave evidence that although he was frequently briefed by Ryan during the 1950s, it happened less frequently thereafter; and that after having no contact for several years, they were brought together again in 1976 by the case of Sankey v Whitlam.

In that case, the Sydney solicitor Danny Sankey brought a private prosecution against Gough Whitlam and three of his ministers (Murphy, Rex Connor and Jim Cairns) on two charges arising out of “the Khemlani loans affair”: a statutory charge and a common law charge. Ryan was the solicitor for Cairns. On 9 November 1978, a High Court bench (not including Murphy or Barwick) unanimously held that the statutory charge had no basis in law; and on 16 February 1979, a magistrate found that there was “no case to answer” on the remaining common law charge. The conversations between Ryan and Murphy supposedly reproduced in the “Age tapes” took place primarily in the aftermath of that prosecution.

One of the allegations selected for hearing came directly out of that context: Allegation 20 was said to involve discussions of possible vengeance against David Rofe QC, who had acted as Sankey’s counsel. It was alleged that on 31 March 1979, and again on 7 February 1980, Murphy “did urge or encourage Morgan Ryan to cause harm to David Rofe.” Yet the Stewart Report had dismissed the conversations “as not being of any significance,” as had the Director of Public Prosecutions. Counsel assisting the parliamentary commission conceded that in fact the conversations “are vague”:

It may be that they can be construed as an attempt by the judge to instigate Ryan to bring about some misadventure to Rofe QC. The conversations can certainly be seen as “unseemly.” As they stand, however, it does not seem that they are capable of amounting to misbehaviour in and of themselves.

Three other allegations involving Ryan were also listed for hearing. Two of them involved incidents said to have happened after repeated questions in the NSW parliament about Ryan’s involvement in illegal immigration, and also in an alleged agreement with Murray Farquhar (Briese’s predecessor as chief stipendiary magistrate) for summary trial and lenient sentencing in a drug case (“the Cessna-Milner case”). Allegation 24 was that Murphy, in a conversation with Ryan’s wife, had said that Ryan should have an MP announce in the NSW parliament that he had made inquiries about Ryan and that Ryan had come up “smelling like a rose.” As to this, the commission’s counsel were sceptical: if such a suggestion was in fact made, it might have been “no more than a joke.” In any event, it “does not seem to us to be capable of amounting to misbehaviour in the relevant sense.” It was listed for hearing only because it “could conceivably be the subject of cross-examination.”

Allegation 23 was that Murphy had agreed to arrange a meeting between Ryan and an MP, Milton Morris, at which Ryan would ask Morris to intervene with the leader of the opposition, John Mason, asking Mason not to continue his attacks on Ryan. Ryan apparently hoped to put pressure on Morris by threatening him with exposure of his involvement in a tax avoidance scheme. Counsel were sceptical of this story, too: “It is plain that the judge has not aided and abetted, counselled or procured the commission of the offence of blackmail. Nor has he entered into any conspiracy with Morgan Ryan in relation to it.”

This allegation was listed for hearing primarily because Sergeant Paul Egge (one of the police responsible for tapping Ryan’s phone) had offered an explanation “which, if accepted, would implicate the judge in some form of conspiracy to commit blackmail, or at the least put him in the position of being an aider and abetter.” Yet counsel also noted that the Stewart Report had drawn “an adverse inference against the veracity of Egge in regard to this matter” and had also found that in fact “there was nothing whatever to blackmail Milton Morris about.”

Allegation 40, which was also listed for hearing, would have sought to challenge Murphy’s account of his relationship with Ryan by proving that the relationship was in fact much closer, and accordingly that in his evidence to the jury Murphy had been guilty of perjury. It is clear, however, that the attempt to establish a closer relationship was to depend on what might happen at a hearing: that is, on the possibility of eliciting damaging answers from Murphy by questioning him about allegations that were not themselves supported by sufficient evidence to warrant their selection for hearing.

For example, Allegation 4 was not to be listed for hearing; but because it involved trade in narcotics, the asking of questions about it might potentially have been used to suggest a connection not only with Ryan, but also with Saffron. The allegation was that Murphy, as attorney-general, had given favourable treatment to Ryan’s client Ramon Sala, who had been convicted of money smuggling and trafficking in narcotics. On conviction, the court had imposed a fine and ordered that Sala be deported. But after the fine was paid he was still in jail, and Ryan sent a telegram to the attorney-general’s department asking for his prompt release. After consulting the Customs service (who wanted Sala deported) and the Commonwealth Police (who wanted him detained), Murphy ordered not only that Sala be deported but that his French passport be returned to him (although the passport was now known to be false).

Allegation 4 was not listed for hearing, partly because it had been exhaustively explored at Murphy’s first jury trial, with no significant result. In any event, Murphy’s decision was clearly within his power under the Migration Act 1958, and reflected his consistently “strong concern” that people should not be kept in prison for longer than necessary. Counsel made it clear that, at least in this instance, any suggestion of a possible connection with Saffron should be dismissed as “remote.”

Allegation 19 concerned the transcript of a phone call on 20 March 1979, in which Murphy apparently insisted on reading Ryan a passage from a story about the Paris Theatre in that morning’s Sydney Morning Herald. He insisted that the story was “important” and that Ryan “should know” about it. In fact, as I pointed out in the Scutt book (page 233), what Murphy was insisting that Ryan “should know” was that Jim Cairns and Junie Morosi were seeking to use the theatre for a series of public lectures and screenings. It was therefore “obvious” (I wrote) “why Murphy was interested in the story, and why he thought that Ryan ought to be aware of it also.” But an account of the incident in the National Times on 20 September 1985 made no mention of Cairns or Morosi, and instead suggested that Murphy and Ryan were jointly engaged in a dubious real estate venture.

Nothing in the released material suggests any awareness that the conversation was actually concerned with the latest activities of Cairns and Morosi. It appears to have been interpreted rather as a possible reference to corporate interests associated with Saffron. Nevertheless, the allegation was not to be listed for hearing, since it was “impossible to spell… out of the alleged conversation” any “allegation of criminal behaviour or other misconduct which would be capable of amounting to misbehaviour.” Here again, the proposal that Murphy be questioned on this story was intended to elicit evidence of Murphy’s association with Ryan, and possibly also with Saffron.

ABE SAFFRON

Much of the more sensational media coverage of “the Murphy affair” over the years has sought to link Murphy’s name to that of Saffron, and three of the allegations selected for hearing are dependent on such a link. Allegation 25 would have sought to establish that Murphy (in response to a request from Ryan) made approaches to “persons in a position to influence” the decision, attempting to secure a contract for the remodelling of Sydney’s Central Railway Station for a company possibly owned by Saffron, or at least having his nephew as a member. Allegation 27 would have sought to establish that Murphy (again in a response to a request from Ryan) made approaches to Neville Wran on behalf of Saffron, attempting to secure a lease of Luna Park to a company possibly owned by Saffron, or at least having his son as a member. Allegation 11 would have sought to establish (apparently on the basis of a statement given by James McCartney Anderson, himself a notorious underworld figure whose testimony was hardly reliable) that, early in the Sankey prosecution, Murphy agreed with Ryan and Saffron that Saffron would try to persuade Sankey to withdraw the prosecution (presumably by intimidation).

In addition, Allegation 5 was that Murphy (as attorney-general) had given a direction back in 1974 that Customs surveillance of Saffron should be downgraded and that his baggage should not be searched. This last allegation, however, was not listed for hearing, since in 1984 a joint investigation by senior officers of the Customs service, the Australian Federal Police and the attorney-general’s department had concluded that the decision to downgrade surveillance was reasonable and appropriate, and was probably made by the comptroller of Customs rather than the attorney-general.

All four of these allegations seem at first sight highly improbable. The allegation relating to Luna Park seems particularly doubtful. It was said to be based on something heard in the tap on Ryan’s phone; yet there was nothing in the transcripts of the “Age tapes” to support it, let alone any actual tape. The allegation depended primarily on oral evidence by Sergeant Paul Egge; and even he was relying on a transcript he had seen, rather than a conversation or tape he had heard. The allegation relating to Central Station also seems to have depended primarily on evidence from Egge.

And yet, if these allegations could be read in the context of a known association between Murphy and Saffron, all four of them would immediately be accepted as probable. Accordingly, and especially in the National Timeswhen “the Murphy affair” was at its height, a great deal of effort went into attempts to establish such a connection. In part these attempts depended simply on guilt by association: if Murphy was associated with Ryan and Ryan was associated with Saffron, then Murphy must be associated with Saffron. But some of these efforts were more specific, and are now reflected in several allegations not selected for hearing.

In particular, Allegation 3 would have sought to establish “a longstanding association” between Murphy and Saffron; that they were often together; that Murphy owned 5 per cent of the shares in Saffron’s Venus Room; and that Saffron or his associate Eric Jury provided women to Murphy for sex. The allegation was not listed for hearing, in part because when a representative of the commission “asked whether any link between Saffron and His Honour had been uncovered at any time by the NSW police,” he was told that, apart from the statement by McCartney Anderson, “no link between Saffron and His Honour had come to light.” A former associate of Saffron, James West, when questioned about Saffron’s connections, had said, “Well, Murphy is a, you probably know, Murphy’s Abe’s Man, that’s for sure,” but was unable to provide further particulars.

Again, Allegation 12 would have sought to establish that, together with Ryan and/or Saffron, Murphy was involved in an organisation for the illegal immigration of Filipinos and Koreans, and especially of Filipina women. But it was not listed for hearing because no evidence to support it could be found in any of the relevant files from the immigration department, nor in any of the extensive inquiries by the NSW police into the possible involvement of Ryan or of Saffron.

Finally, there were two particularly enigmatic examples of the unhelpfulness of the “Age tapes” — again not listed for hearing, but perhaps to be used as a basis for questions attempting to establish a closer connection between Murphy and Saffron. According to the transcript of the “Age tapes” for 7 February 1980, Ryan (in a phone call to Murphy) made a number of cryptic statements:

Well don’t forget every little breeze… Every little breeze to be told. That those other it’s very simple to three, when, if ever, and how’s it going to be done… The Lush or is it going to be the three, board of three… And don’t forget those pinball machines.

Murphy made only unresponsive replies like “Yeah, OK, terrific, right.” The statements were incoherent and apparently garbled and there was nothing to put them in context; but Allegation 21 would have treated the references to the “Lush” and the “board of three” as referring to the proposal of the Lusher Inquiry into New South Wales Police Administration for the establishment of a NSW Police Board, while Allegation 22 would have treated the reference to “pinball machines” as referring to the fact that Saffron’s son Allan was seeking to obtain the exclusive rights to import a particular type of pinball machine.

Neither allegation was listed for hearing because, even if the transcript was accurate, the quoted statements “consist only of cryptic references not capable of investigation as allegations of substance.” But counsel noted that, as with Allegation 19 (the Paris Theatre allegation), if Murphy were to be cross-examined in relation to Allegation 40 then these other allegations might provide a useful basis for questions which could help to establish a closer link between Murphy and Ryan, and possibly between Murphy and Saffron.

In fact, quite apart from the fact that the only real evidence of any link between Murphy and Saffron had come from McCartney Anderson, I argued in the Scutt book (page 231) that the transcripts from the “Age tapes” had themselves made it clear that no such link existed. The basis for Allegation 26 (the Yuen matter) was the transcript of a phone call from Ryan to Saffron, in which Ryan reported a phone call he said he had received from Murphy. The allegation was not listed for hearing, partly because it was unsupported by evidence: in particular, there was no record of Murphy in fact having made such a phone call.

The gist of this allegation was that Robert Yuen, a neighbour of Murphy’s, had told him that police had raided his illegal casino despite bribes to a senior policeman; and Murphy had rung Ryan to say, in part, “this is a disgraceful turnout… who is this fellow…? … I’ve a good mind to speak to N. about it.” But it was clear that, if Murphy did make such a call, he did so indignantly: “this fellow” could only be the senior policeman allegedly accepting bribes. What was even clearer, as I wrote in the Scutt book, was that in a series of phone calls between Ryan and Saffron over the next three days:

Saffron, in particular, is struggling to interpret Justice Murphy’s intervention without any basis in knowledge or understanding of Murphy’s attitudes or personality. (“I wonder what he meant by he doesn’t like him? In which respect? We have to work that out.”) It is clear, if the transcripts are roughly accurate, that Saffron is looking for ways in which Murphy might be appeased or dissuaded from further inquiry; it is equally clear that he is doing this with no personal knowledge of Murphy at all.

CHRISTO MOLL

At the time of Murphy’s friendship with Junie Morosi, and long before her later notorious relationship with Jim Cairns, she was married to David Ditchburn. It was Morosi who introduced Murphy to his wife-to-be, Ingrid.

Ditchburn was the Australian representative for Ethiopian Airlines. In that capacity, in 1971, he appointed Ingrid Murphy as a public relations consultant for the airline. This may have brought her into contact with Mrs W.A. McKenzie (formerly Mrs Murray Quartermaine).

As attorney-general, Murphy appointed 103 civil marriage celebrants, including W.A. McKenzie, U. Quartermaine, C.M. Ditchburn, Junie Morosi… and, intriguingly, an R.G. Withers, who shared a surname and initials with the Liberal senator who led the charge against the Whitlam government throughout 1975. He also appointed David Ditchburn to an unpaid position on the Film Board of Review.

While some of these appointments were controversial at the time, the only allegation arising from any of this was Allegation 7: that Ingrid, through her position with the airline, was entitled to free travel for herself and her family, and that she and Murphy twice availed themselves of that entitlement for overseas trips. The allegation was not listed for hearing because Ingrid’s entitlements were standard practice in the airline industry, and clearly extended to her husband. “Whatever view one may take as to the propriety of a law officer accepting free or discounted travel… the facts disclosed could not… amount to misbehaviour.”

But Ingrid’s contact with Mrs McKenzie may have brought her within the ambit of Mrs McKenzie’s former husband, Murray Quartermaine, and thus within the ambit of his former business partner Christo Moll — described in the commission’s papers as “a criminal who has fled the country and is wanted for questioning regarding matters of tax evasion, currency smuggling and diamond smuggling.”

From 1972 onwards, Moll was responsible for an elaborate scheme of tax avoidance, primarily for the benefit of medical practitioners in Western Australia. When the scheme was discovered many doctors were forced to pay large sums in additional tax, and some were driven into bankruptcy. But Moll himself had left Australia in 1982, apparently to escape a judgement against him secured (in a South African court) by his former business associate Quartermaine. In what apparently began as a plan for revenge against Quartermaine, Moll then began to forge a variety of documents, aimed first at Quartermaine himself and then at anyone within his ambit, including Ingrid and Lionel Murphy.

For example, Allegation 30 concerned a letter purportedly written by Dr Michael Tiller, a beneficiary (and ultimately a victim) of Moll’s tax avoidance scheme. The letter was addressed to Quartermaine, and said in part: “Can you arrange another meeting with Lionel Murphy as promised as you may be able to obtain his support or his advice.”

The allegation was not listed for hearing. Dr Tiller denied having written the letter, and was able to prove that he was away in Canada when the letter was written. He believed that the letter had been forged by Moll. The Australian Federal Police agreed, concluding that Moll’s animosity to Quartermaine had led him:

to cause the greatest possible mischief for him through the creation of false documents… No theory has been advanced… as to why Mr Justice Murphy and his wife may have been included in these possibly false documents other than the suggestion that he was a prominent public figure at that time.

A number of Moll’s stratagems seem to have come to the attention of the commission through Marshall Wilson and Steve Foley, formerly reporters for the Age, who had apparently met Moll in Europe in 1984. In Allegation 8, Moll told them that he had sold Ingrid Murphy a diamond, allegedly worth $7800. Apparently this was initially thought to need further investigation because it might suggest that Murphy had been given a secret commission, perhaps relating to prosecution for tax fraud. Nevertheless, the allegation was not listed for hearing. Moll had supplied the reporters with an alleged valuation of the diamond by a jeweller in Amsterdam, and also a cheque stub supposedly recording the purchase. But the cheque stub had clearly been doctored, and the Dutch jeweller insisted that invoices apparently signed by her had in fact been fabricated by Moll. Thus both documents appeared to be false, and there was “considerable doubt… whether the relevant diamond ever existed.”

Finally, Allegation 6 suggested that, in March 1975, an East German national named Jochen Zundermann had opened two safety deposit boxes in a Swiss bank, one for Murphy and Gough Whitlam and one for Murphy and Junie Morosi (who was said to hold the key to both boxes). It was also said that 400 shares in the bank (supposedly worth $700,000) had been allotted to Murphy. The timing coincided with that of the Khemlani loans affair; and if Zundermann was party to a conspiracy relating to the loans affair… and if Murphy had a deposit box in a Swiss bank… and if the box could be opened… it seems to have been thought that the box might turn out to contain evidence linking Murphy to that conspiracy. In 1976 R.J. Ellicott (as attorney-general) had in fact initiated inquiries into the loans affair, in which Zundermann’s name featured.

But this allegation also was made by Moll and had reached the commission through Wilson and Foley. They were able to produce photocopies of Swiss bank documents supposedly proving the allegation, claiming that some unknown person (presumably Moll) had left the photocopies under their hotel door. But the photocopies may have been forgeries — and whether they were first produced in 1975 by Zundermann, or more recently by Moll, everything that was known about both Moll and Zundermann appeared to make that more likely. A decision was made to ask the Swiss government whether the photocopies were genuine, but before that could be done the commission’s inquiries were terminated.



Lionel Keith Murphy

http://lionelmurphy.anu.edu.au/lionel_murphy.htm


Lionel Keith Murphy QC (30 August 1922 – 21 October 1986) was an Australian politician and judge. He was a Senator for New South Wales from 1962 to 1975, serving as Attorney-General in the Whitlam Government, and then sat on the High Court from 1975 until his death.

Murphy was born in Sydney, and attended Sydney Boys High School before going on to the University of Sydney. He initially graduated with a degree in chemistry, but then went on to Sydney Law School and eventually became a barrister. He specialised in labour and industrial law, and took silk in 1960. Murphy was elected to the Senate at the 1961 federal election, as a member of the Labor Party. He became Leader of the Opposition in the Senate in 1967.

Following Labor's victory at the 1972 federal electionGough Whitlam appointed Murphy as Attorney-General and Minister for Customs and Excise. He oversaw a number of reforms, establishing the Family Court of Australia, the Law Reform Commission, and the Australian Institute of Criminology, and developing the Family Law Act 1975, which fully established no-fault divorce. In 1975, following the death of Douglas Menzies, Murphy was appointed to the High Court. He is the most recent politician to be elevated to the court.

On the court, Murphy was known for his radicalism and judicial activism. However, his final years were marred by persistent allegations of corruption. He was convicted of perverting the course of justice in 1985, but had the conviction overturned on appeal and was acquitted at a second trial. In 1986, a commission was established to determine whether he was fit to remain on the court, but it was abandoned when Murphy announced that he was suffering from terminal cancer.

Early Life and Education

Murphy was the youngest of five sons, and sixth of seven children of William (b. TipperaryIreland) and Lily Murphy (née Murphy). He was born and grew up in Sydney.  Though the Murphy household was Irish Catholic, albeit estranged from the Church, Murphy became a humanist and rationalist.

He was educated at government schools in Sydney's south-eastern suburbs, including Kensington Public School in Kensington, where he was dux after repeating his final year in 1935, and Sydney Boys High School from 1936–40 in the nearby Surry Hills, graduating with A levels in English, Mathematics, and Chemistry and B levels in Physics and French.[1] After completing his secondary education, in 1941, Murphy matriculated to the University of Sydney, though he had not been successful in gaining a university scholarship awarded to the top 100 in the state.[1] In 1945, after initially ordinary scholastic performance and a brief period of consideration of transferring to study a Bachelor of Arts to major in psychology in the Faculty of Arts, Murphy excelled in his final year, graduating from the School of ChemistryFaculty of Science with a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Organic Chemistry. In 1943, he had commenced working in the chemistry industry, thereby coming under the authority of the wartime Manpower Directorate.

In 1945, Murphy commenced studying law at the Sydney Law School of the University of Sydney and, in 1949, graduated with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours.[1]While at the University of Sydney, during both his science and law degrees, Murphy was politically and socially active and was involved in the Students' Chemistry Society, the Junior Science Association, and the Science Association. In 1944, in his third year of his science degree, Murphy was elected to the Students' Representative Council but was dismissed two hours after his election victory, on a "constitutional technicality". This event is said to have cemented his interest in politics and law, and he commenced participating in the university's debating society and its monthly debates the following year.

Legal Career

Unusually, two years prior to his graduating with and possessing a law degree, Murphy passed the Barristers' Admission Board examination and was admitted to the New South Wales Bar Association in 1947. After graduating from the University of Sydney Faculty of Law, Murphy took up residence in University Chambers, Phillip Street and then moved to the fourth floor of Wentworth Chambers and rapidly established himself as a labour/industrial lawyer, representing left-wing unionists.

In 1960, he took silk.

Parliamentary Career

A member of the Australian Labor Party from an early age, he was elected to the Australian Senate in 1961; and, in 1967, he was elected Opposition Leader in the Senate. In the Senate pre-selection convention in the Sydney Trades Hall in April 1960, with backing from Ray Gietzelt (but lacking factional endorsement) and with the luck of drawing first in addressing the delegates, Murphy won support with an impassioned but well-structured and infectiously optimistic seven-minute speech on the Labor Party's historical commitment to civil liberties and human rights.

Attorney-Generalship

In 1969, Labor Leader Gough Whitlam appointed him Shadow Attorney-General; and, when Labor won the 1972 election, he became Attorney-General and Minister for Customs and Excise.

One of Murphy's more dramatic actions as Attorney-General was his unannounced visit to the Melbourne headquarters of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) in March 1973. This came about because ASIO officers were unable to satisfy his requests for information concerning intelligence on supposed terrorist groups operated by Croatian Australians. Murphy's concern about the matter was heightened by the impending visit to Australia of the Yugoslav Prime Minister Džemal Bijedić. ASIO officers claimed not to be able to locate the file with which to properly brief Murphy. Murphy's belief was that though a security service was an important part of the Australian social fabric, like any other arm of executive government it must be accountable to the relevant Minister. According to journalist George Negus, then Murphy's press secretary: "Lionel had asked for the files of the six most dangerous or subversive people in Australia". When they arrived, Murphy found they were of several Communist Party unionists and people such as CPA leader and peace movement activist Mavis Robertson… When he told Whitlam they both laughed.

Murphy was highly involved in the behind-the-scenes machinations and parliamentary debates around the appointment of DLP Senator Vince Gair as Ambassador to Ireland in 1974 (see Gair Affair), which preceded Whitlam's calling of a double dissolution election for May 1974.

Murphy's most important legislative achievement was the Family Law Act 1975, which completely overhauled Australia's law on divorce and other family law matters, establishing the principle of "no-fault" divorce, in the face of opposition from the Roman Catholic Church and many other individuals and organisations. This act also established the Family Court of Australia.

Murphy used an existing provision of the Marriage Act 1961 (Section 39C) to establish the Civil Marriage Celebrant program. Using this provision he appointed about a hundred Civil Celebrants and urged them to provide marriage ceremonies of dignity, meaning and substance for non-church people. It was an initiative opposed by the Australian Labor Party, the public servants of his department and his personal staff. Although it was a radical move at the time, the program proved to be very successful. In 2015 74.9% of marrying couples in Australia chose a civil marriage celebrant to officiate. The program broadened into the challenge of secular funerals of substance, namings and other ceremonies which celebrated the landmarks in human existence. Murphy took an enthusiastic interest in this program - sending telegrams of congratulation to the first several hundred couples married by civil celebrants and would often unexpectedly turn up uninvited to weddings performed by celebrants to delight in his achievement.

As Attorney-General, Murphy drew up a Human Rights Bill (which lapsed with the double dissolution of 1974) giving as amongst the reasons: "in criminal law, our protections against detention for interrogation and unreasonable search and seizure, for access to counsel and to ensure the segregation of different categories of prisoners are inadequate. Australian laws on the powers of the police, the rights of an accused person and the state of the penal system generally are unsatisfactory. Our privacy laws are vague and ineffective. There are few effective constraints on the gathering of information, or its disclosure, or surveillance, against unwanted publicity by government, the media or commercial organisations". Murphy also introduced important legislation substantially abolishing appeals to the Privy Council, removing censorship, providing freedom of access to government information, reforming corporations and trade practices law, protecting the environment, abolishing the death penalty and outlawing racial and other discrimination.

Furthermore, Murphy established a systematic legal aid service for all courts, set up the Australian Law Reform Commission (and appointed Michael Kirby to be its inaugural chairman), the Australian Institute of Criminologyand took the French Government to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to protest against its nuclear tests in the Pacific. The French government conducted 41 atmospheric nuclear tests at Mururoa after 1966, formally ceasing atmospheric nuclear testing in 1974 as a result of public pressure facilitated by Murphy's ICJ case.

Judicial career

n February 1975, Whitlam appointed Murphy to a vacancy on the High Court of Australia. He was the first serving Labor politician appointed to the Court since Dr. H. V. Evatt in 1931 and the appointment was bitterly criticised. He resigned from the Senate on 9 February 1975 to take up the appointment. Murphy was the last High Court justice to have served as a Member of Parliament, and the last politician appointed to the High Court. Additionally, Murphy was one of only eight justices of the High Court to have served in the Parliament of Australiaprior to his appointment to the Court, along with Edmund BartonRichard O'ConnorIsaac IsaacsH. B. HigginsEdward McTiernanJohn Latham, and Garfield Barwick.

Although it did not become a constitutional requirement until 1977, it had been long-standing convention that a Senate casual vacancy be filled by a person from the same political party. However, on 27 February 1975, the Premier of New South WalesTom Lewis, controversially appointed Cleaver Bunton, a person with no political affiliations, to replace Murphy in the Senate, beginning the chain of events which led to the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis. These events in turn laid the groundwork for the 1977 constitutional change that now ensures such an appointment can never be repeated. Soon after his appointment to the bench, Murphy visited Justice Menzies' old chambers in Taylor Square, which would now be his. Staring at the volumes of British law reports on the shelves behind his desk, he said, "I want all of these to go". He replaced them with decisions from the Supreme Court of the United States.

Key judicial quotes

Australian Aboriginal history:

The history of the Aboriginal people of Australia since European settlement is that they have been the subject of unprovoked aggression, conquest, pillage, rape, brutalization, attempted genocide and systematic and unsystematic destruction of their culture…a law aimed at the preservation, or the uncovering, of evidence about their history is a special law with respect to the people of this race.

Freedom of religion:

Religious freedom is a fundamental theme of our society. That freedom has been asserted by men and women throughout history by resisting the attempts of government, through its legislative, executive or judicial branches, to define or impose beliefs or practices of religion. Whenever the legislature prescribes what religion is, or permits or requires the executive or judiciary to determine what religion is, this poses a threat to religious freedom. Religious discrimination by officials or by courts is unacceptable in a free society… In the eyes of the law, religions are equal. There is no religious club with a monopoly of State privileges for its members. The policy of the law is "one in, all in".

The faith of members of various religions has inspired concern for others which has often been reflected in humanitarian and charitable works. However, the claim to be the one true faith has resulted in great intolerance and persecution. Because of this, the history of many religions includes a ghastly record of persecution and torture of non-believers. Hundreds of millions of people have been slaughtered in the name of god, love and peace. In the effort to uphold "the one true faith" courts have often been instruments for the repression of blasphemersheretics and witches…Most organized religions have been riddled with commercialism, this being an integral part of the drive by their leaders for social authority and power in conformity with the "iron law of oligarchy".

Freedom of speech:

The absence of a constitutional guarantee does not mean that Australia should accept judicial inroads upon freedom of speech which are not found necessary or desirable in other countries. At stake is not merely the freedom of one person; it is the freedom of everyone to comment rightly or wrongly on the decisions of the courts in a way that does not constitute a clear and present danger to the administration of justice.

Trial by jury:

The Constitution s.80 states: "The trial on indictment of any offence against any law of the Commonwealth shall be by jury…" This Court has construed this section to mean that if there be no indictment there must be a jury but there is nothing to compel procedure by indictment…In a famous dissent Dixon and Evatt JJ described this construction as a mockery of the Constitution and considered that anyone charged with any serious offence against the laws of the Commonwealth was entitled to trial by jury (Lowenstein (1938) 59 CLR 556, 582).

The jury is a strong antidote to the elitist tendencies of the legal system. It is "the means by which the people participate in the administration of justice" (Jackson v the Queen (1976) 134 CLR 42 at 54). The greatest respect should be given by appeal courts to jury verdicts and any attempt to downgrade the jury to a mere nominal or symbolic role should be restricted.[24]

Preservation of the world's natural heritage:

Suppose that in the next few decades, because of the continuing rapid depletion of the world's forests and its effect on the rest of the biosphere, the survival of all living creatures becomes endangered. This is not a fanciful supposition… Suppose the United Nations were to request all nations to do whatever they could to preserve the existing forests. Let us assume that no obligation was created (because firewood was essential for the immediate survival of people of some nations). I would have no doubt that the Australian Parliament could, under the external affairs power, comply with that request by legislating to prevent the destruction of any forest.

The world's cultural and natural heritage is, of its own nature, part of Australia's external affairs. It is the heritage of Australians, as part of humanity, as well as the heritage of those where the items happen to be.

  • Constitutional prohibition of slavery:

It would not be constitutionally permissible for the Parliament of Australia or any of the States to create or authorize slavery or serfdom. The reason lies in the nature of our Constitution. It is a Constitution for a free society.

Constitutional prohibition on civil conscription for medical or dental services:

The Australian Constitution "contains an implication of a free society which limits Parliament's authority to impose civil conscription".

Common heritage of humanity:

The preservation of the world's heritage must not be looked at in isolation but as part of the co-operation between nations which is calculated to achieve intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind and so reinforce the bonds between people which promote peace and displace those of narrow nationalism and alienation which promote war… The encouragement of people to think internationally, to regard the culture of their own country as part of world culture, to conceive a physical, spiritual and intellectual world heritage, is important in the endeavour to avoid the destruction of humanity.

Theory of class struggle:

Public statements that the courts are involved in the class struggle may tend to impair confidence in the courts (and amount to criminal contempt on the Dunbabin standard) but do not constitute any clear and present danger to the administration of justice. If all those who advocate that the courts are involved in the class struggle were to be imprisoned for criminal contempt there would not be enough gaols.

Right to vote:

Section 41 is one of the few guarantees of the rights of persons in the Australian Constitution. It should be given the purposive interpretation which accords with its plain words, with its context of other provisions of unlimited duration, and its contrast with transitional provisions. Constitutions are to be read broadly and not pedantically. Guarantees of personal rights should not be read narrowly. A right to vote is so precious that it should not[be] read out of the constitution by implication. Rather every reasonable presumption and interpretation should be adopted which favours the right of people to participate in the elections of those who represent them."[31]

Privilege against self-incrimination:

The privilege against compulsory self-incrimination is part of the common law of human rights. It is based on the desire to protect personal freedom and human dignity. These social values justify the impediment the privilege presents to judicial or other investigation… It is society's acceptance of the inviolability of the human personality… The history and reasons for the privilege do not justify its extension to artificial persons such as corporations or political entities.

Because the privilege is such an important human right, an intent to exclude or qualify the privilege will not be imputed to a legislature unless the intent is conveyed in unmistakable language.

Legal professional privilege:

The privilege is commonly described as legal professional privilege, which is unfortunate, because it suggests that the privilege is that of the members of the legal profession, which it is not. It is the client's privilege, so that it may be waived by the client, but not by the lawyer… Its rationale is no longer the oath and honour of the lawyer as a gentleman… It is now supported as a "necessary corollary of fundamental, constitutional or human rights".[34]

Acquisition of property on just terms:

…the extinction or limitation of property rights does not amount to acquisition. The transfer of property from one person to another, not the Commonwealth, does not amount to an acquisition within par. xxxi. Unless the Commonwealth gains some property from the State or person, there is no acquisition within the paragraph."

Control of multinational corporations:

There may be circumstances where Australia's relationship with persons or groups who are not nation States, is part of external affairs. The existence of powerful transnational corporations, international trade unions and other groups who can affect Australia, means that Australia's external affairs, as a matter of practicality, are not confined to relations with other nation states.”

Court Cases and Death

In July 1985, during the term of the Hawke Labor government, Murphy was convicted on one of two charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice, over allegations made by Clarrie Briese, the Chief Magistrate of New South Wales, that Murphy had attempted to influence a court case against Sydney lawyer Morgan Ryan, whom Murphy referred to as "my little mate". A subsequent appeal to the NSW Court of Appeals quashed Murphy's conviction on the grounds that the trial judge had misdirected the jury. A second trial was then held and, on 28 April 1986, Murphy was found not guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice. After his acquittal, Murphy said, "Thank God for the jury system!”

Attorney-General Lionel Bowen, acting on what he said was his belief that the Justices of the High Court were minded to take some independent action to assess Justice Murphy's fitness to return to the Court, introduced legislation for a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, constituted by three retired judges, to examine "whether any conduct of the Honourable Lionel Keith Murphy has been such as to amount, in its opinion, to proved misbehaviour within the meaning of section 72 of the Constitution". (Section 72 specifies that a High Court judge may be removed only by the Governor-General and both houses of Parliament "on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity".) The terms of this inquiry specifically excluded the issues for which Murphy had already been tried and acquitted.

The legislation establishing the Commission of Inquiry received assent in May 1986. In July, Murphy announced that he was dying of terminal cancer, and the establishing legislation was repealed. That repeal legislation vested control of the Commission's documents in the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate. Murphy returned to the Court for one week of sittings. He died on 21 October 1986.

Personal Life

Murphy had a distinctive profile and a large nose that was broken in a 1950 car accident in England and left largely untreated.

In July 1954, he married Russian-born Nina Morrow (née Vishegorodsky; known as Svidersky), a comptometrist, at St John's Church in Darlinghurst, Sydney. Their daughter, Lorel Katherine, was born in 1955. In 1967, Murphy's marriage to Nina ended in divorce.

In 1969, Murphy married Ingrid Gee (née Grzonkowski), a model and television quiz-show compère who had been born in German-occupied Poland. They had two sons, Cameron and Blake. Cameron was President of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties from 1999 to 2013. Ingrid died in October 2007

Legacy

In addition to his work as a legislator, Murphy also took a lifelong interest in science. Having first studied science, then law, at the University of Sydney, Justice Michael Kirby identified Murphy's later scientific reading as "a positive influence on his approach to jurisprudence".

"Lionel Murphy SNR"

N86 is a nitrogen-abundant supernova remnant (SNR) N86 in the Large Magellanic Cloud. It was dubbed the "Lionel-Murphy SNR" by astronomers at the Australian National University's Mount Stromlo Observatory in acknowledgement of Murphy's interest in science and because of SNR N86's perceived resemblance to a Canberra Times cartoonist's depiction of his large nose (prior to surgery), and a picture was hung in his office.

A supernova remnant (SNR) results from the gigantic explosion of a star, the resulting supernova expelling much or all of the stellar material with velocities as much as 1% the speed of light and forming a shock wave that can heat the gas up to temperatures as high as 10 million K, forming a plasma.

Murphy normally rejected public honours (such as a knighthood) but accepted this because of the symbolic resemblance to his own impact on human rights in Australian law and its lasting significance as a "signpost" to space travellers.[41] Murphy asked for a large mounted photo of SNR N86 from the scientific paper and placed it in his High Court chambers in the place where the other High Court justices usually hung a portrait of the Queen.

Lionel Murphy Foundation

The Lionel Murphy Foundation was co-founded by Gough WhitlamNeville Wran, and Ray Gietzelt in 1986. It funds postgraduate scholarships for students who "intend to pursue a postgraduate degree in science, law or legal studies, or other appropriate discipline" with a commitment to social justice.

Judicial philosophy and legacy

Mary Gaudron, who herself would become a justice of the High Court, stated at Lionel Murphy's Memorial Service at Sydney Town Hall: "There are so many words — reformist, radicalhumanitariancivil libertarianegalitariandemocrat — they are all abstractions. My words are no better; but, for me, and perhaps for those of us who believe in justice based on practical equality, Lionel Murphy was — Lionel Murphy is — the electric light of the Law. He would take an ordinary old abstraction — like equal justice — he would expose it, he would illuminate the abstraction, he would make its form stark, and so he could then say as he did in McInnis' case, these words:[45] "Where the kind of trial a person receives depends on the amount of money he or she has, there is no equal justice".

Legal academic Jack Goldring concluded that Murphy's approach as a High Court judge was "marked by a number of features: a strong nationalism conceding and welcoming the existence of States as political (albeit subsidiary) entities; a stalwart belief in democracy and parliamentary rule; a firm support for civil liberties; and overall a 'constitutionalism' in the classical, liberal sense of seeing a constitution as not simply a legal document, but rather as a set of values shared by the community".

Justice of the High Court of Australia

Lionel Keith Murphy was in office as a Justice of the High Court of Australia from 10th February 1975 to 21st October 1986, having been nominated by Gough Whitlam and appointed by Sir John Kerr.

Attorney General of Australia

Lionel Keith Murphy was in office as the Australian Labor Party Attorney General of Australian from the 19th December 1972 to  10th February 1975, and operated under Prime Minister Gogh Whitlam.

Senator for New South Wales

Lionel Keith Murphy was a Senator for New South Wales

from 1 July 1962 – 10 February 1975

Justice of the High Court of Australia

In office
10 February 1975 – 21 October 1986

Nominated by

Gough Whitlam

Appointed by

Sir John Kerr

Preceded by

Sir Douglas Menzies

Succeeded by

John Toohey

Attorney-General of Australia

In office
19 December 1972 – 10 February 1975

Prime Minister

Gough Whitlam

Preceded by

Gough Whitlam

Succeeded by

Kep Enderby

Senator for New South Wales

In office
1 July 1962 – 10 February 1975

Succeeded by

Cleaver Bunton

Personal details

Born

30 August 1922
Kensington, New South WalesAustralia

Died

21 October 1986 (aged 64)
CanberraAustralian Capital TerritoryAustralia

Political party

Labor

Spouse(s)

Nina Morrow
Ingrid Gee (née Grzonkowski)



Lionel Murphy was an extraordinary Australian. He served at the highest level in the three branches of national government in Australia. He was a leading barrister, parliamentarian and judge. He initiated major reforms of the law. But to the friends who remember him, he was a warm, gregarious, engaging personality. His mind was brimming over with ideas – many of them derived from sources far distant from his principal discipline of the law. It is said of the law that it narrows the mind by sharpening its focus. If this is generally true, it did not happen in Lionel Murphy’s case.

Lionel Murphy was born on 30 August 1922 in Sydney. He was educated at the Sydney High School and at the University of Sydney. At the University, he took the then very unusual combination of the Bachelor of Science degree as well as the Bachelor of Laws. He had a lifelong interest in science, which he cultivated by wide reading. This took his mind into many otherwise unvisited areas of activity. It freed it from being captured by well-worn legal assumptions.

After graduation, Lionel Murphy was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1947. He was an instant success. His practice was wide-ranging, but the work in which he attained acknowledged leadership included many leading cases before the Industrial Courts and Tribunals, Federal and State. His distinction in the practice of the law was acknowledged in 1958 by his appointment as Queen’s Counsel.

Lionel Murphy had a life-long commitment to human rights. He was a member of the Executive of the Australian Section of the International Commission of Jurists from 1963. He also played an active part in the work of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, appearing in court for the CCL in several worthy cases.

In 1962, Lionel Murphy was elected a senator for New South Wales in the interests of the Australian Labor Party. In the Senate, he rose to be Leader of the Opposition (1967-72). Upon the election of the Whitlam Government in 1972, he was elected Leader of the government in the Senate. He was appointed Attorney-General and Minister for Customs and Excise. He held these positions until 1975 when he resigned upon his appointment as a Justice of the High Court of Australia.

During Lionel Murphy’s parliamentary years, he also served as a member of the Federal Executive and Federal Conference of the Australian Labor Party (1967-75). He took part in the Australian delegation to the United Nations Conference on Human Rights in Teheran in 1968. In 1973-74, he led the Australian legal team representing Australia’s interests before the International Court of Justice in the successful challenge to the French nuclear tests in the Pacific.

Whilst in Parliament, and particularly as Attorney-General, Lionel Murphy initiated numerous reforms of federal law. He was the Minister responsible for the introduction and passage of the Family Law Act, the Trade Practices Act and many other reforming statutes. He took a leading part in the establishment of federal legal aid. On his initiative, the Australian Parliament established the Australian Law Reform Commission in which he continued, to the end, to take a keen interest.

In the High Court of Australia, to which he was appointed in February 1975, Lionel Murphy rose eventually to be one of the most senior judges. For a time, he served as Acting Chief Justice of Australia. But he never allowed his high judicial office to deflect him from his original and questioning approach to the law, its assumptions, doctrine and institutions. He refused to accept any civil honour. During his eleven years on the High Court, he wrote 632 decisions. In 137 of these, he was in dissent. This represents an average of nearly 22% dissenting opinions, much higher than any previous High Court Justice before, or since. Such a figure put him in the league of dissenting judges in the United States of America. Although at the time, many of his dissenting opinions were regarded by the legal profession as heresy, with the passage of time, they have commanded more attention. Many of the ideas which Lionel Murphy expressed, in dissent, or with the majority, as a Justice of the High Court, have come to influence, or to be reflected in, later High Court opinions. These include his vision of an independent Australian common law, freed from unquestioning captivity to English common law precedent, his notion of implied constitutional rights, inherent in the very democratic structure of the Australian Constitution, his defence of agitators, undefended prisoners and others in special need of protection of their civil liberties, and his insistence that the common law could be a proper vehicle for reform and legitimate change.

Lionel Murphy’s last years were full of stress. He was charged with and convicted of an offence under the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth). However, the conviction was set aside by the New South Wales Court of Appeal. Upon the retrial, he was acquitted by the jury. He returned to his duties on the High Court. But he was to face a battle with cancer which he could not win. He returned to the Court to deliver his last judgments (including dissents) on the day before he died. His death occurred on 21 October 1986. His powerful intellect and major impact on Australia’s institutions continue to influence our national life.

Beyond these public things, Lionel Murphy’s memory is kept alive by his children, Cameron and Blake, and the legion of his admirers in Australia and overseas. They know that the world is a better place for Lionel Murphy’s life and many achievements. The scholars assisted by the Lionel Murphy Foundation will, by their lives and contributions, give continuing testimony to the enduring legacy of this remarkable man.

*High Court Justice, and former President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal; former President of the International Commission of Jurists.

 


Lionel Murphy papers: the allegations the inquiry wanted answering

 

The judge who became attorney general was under investigations over tenders, bribery and breaching duties to court

Lionel Murphy files: secret papers reveal allegations of links to Abe Saffron

                 

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/14/lionel-murphy-papers-the-allegations-the-inquiry-wanted-answering

Lionel Murphy, left, with jockey Athol Mulley, Eric Miller QC and Morgan Ryan, after charges against Mulley had been dismissed

A 1986 parliamentary commission of inquiry inquiring into Justice Lionel Murphy’s conduct identified 15 allegations it believed worth investigating. They are described here. Of those 15, Murphy was sent 14 for a response. The commission investigated 41 allegations in total but did not make findings as the commission was wound up due to Murphy’s terminal illness. The allegations were published by parliament for the first time on Thursday.

The allegations

That in December 1979 Murphy, then a high court judge, spoke to Donald Thomas who was a detective chief inspector of the commonwealth police in charge of the criminal investigation branch regarding a conspiracy prosecution relating to social security. Murphy extended an invitation to Thomas to meet Don Grimes, a Labor senator, who had strongly criticised the conduct of the case in parliament. He also then spoke to Thomas about the impeding formation of the Australian federal police and said “we need someone inside to tell us what is going on,” conveying to Thomas that the judge sought covert information from him. He also suggested that the judge would arrange for Thomas to get rank of assistant commissioner.

That in April 1980 and July 1981 Murphy had agreed with his close friend solicitor Morgan Ryan and others to make inquiries with a view to determining whether two AFP officers could be bribed or otherwise influenced. In a conversation between the judge and Ryan, Ryan asked: “Have you been able to find out about those two fellows who are doing the investigation?” Murphy replied in substance that the answer was: “Definitely no, they were both straight.”

That in November 1975 Danny Sankey had taken a private prosecution against Murphy and others for conspiracy. The judge is alleged to have agreed with Ryan and Abe Saffron that Saffron would arrange an approach to Sankey in order to persuade him to drop the prosecutions. It was alleged that Murphy knew, because Saffron was a well-known crime figure, that this would amount to an attempt to intimidate the witness.

That Murphy had given evidence during his trial in 1985 which had the effect of suggesting to the jury that chief magistrate Clarrie Briese had invented allegations about him. But the judge, through his counsel, had previously expressly disavowed that he would put an allegation of fabrication. This deprived Briese of the right of rebuttal or the ability to support his credibility, and was a serious breach of legal ethics.

That Murphy had given Clarrie Briese’s diaries to Pamela Whitty so they could be photocopied when he knew the judge in the case had ordered that they should be made available only to the legal advisers in the case. This allegation was not put to Murphy due to the wind up of the commission.

That in June 1985 during his trial before Justice Cantor, Murphy had given false testimony over his dealings with Justice Jim McClelland. Murphy told the court he had only approached McClelland after McClelland had spoken to Chief Judge Staunton, whereas the commission alleged he had approached McClelland earlier, for the purpose of getting McClelland to make an approach to the chief judge on behalf of Morgan Ryan.

That Murphy, while a judge, had approached then New South Wales premier Neville Wran to put Wadim Jegarow on the Ethnic Affairs commission.

That in March 1979 Murphy had urged or encouraged Ryan to cause harm to Sankey’s counsel, David Rofe.

That in March 1980 Murphy assisted Ryan in obtaining a meeting with Milton Morris, then a member of the NSW parliament. The purpose of the meeting was to threaten Morris with exposure over his involvement in an alleged tax-evasion scheme, so that Morris would intercede with the then opposition leader and get him to back off attacks on Ryan in Parliament over a his role in the Cessna-Milner drug case.

That Murphy in April 1980 had discussed with Ryan’s wife, Dorothy, a strategy to get a government member in the NSW parliament to vouch for Ryan and say that an inquiry had had Ryan “come up smelling like roses”. In fact no inquiry had been conducted, and the judge knew that Ryan had not been exonerated in relation to the immigration conspiracy. The commission alleged this amounted to misbehaviour because it involved making false statements.

That in January 1980 Murphy had tried to influence the award of a NSW government contract to remodel Central railway station, so it would go to interests associated with Abe Saffron. The commission said at the time Murphy knew Saffron was a person of ill-repute but had tried to assist him regardless.

That Murphy had agreed with Ryan he would make representations to then Wran, on behalf of a company associated with Abe Saffron in order to obtain a lease over Luna Park.

That Murphy had tried in April 1982 to get the chief judge of the district court to schedule an early trial for Morgan Ryan over the immigration charges.

That Murphy had in January 1982 had conversations with chief magistrate Clarrie Briese about the so called “Greek conspiracy case” which was being heard at the time. He described it as one of the greatest scandals in legal history and said it was “oppressive that 180 people could be charged with a single conspiracy.” He went on to say the magistrate hearing it would be a hero in the community if he dismissed it.

That Murphy deliberately understated and gave false evidence about the frequency of his contacts and the nature of his relationship with Ryan during his 1985 trial.

 



Dirty Girl: 

The State Sanctioned Murder of Brothel Madam Shirley Finn



                         

Mostly it only took a trumped up charge to ruin a reputation and silence a person, but sometimes the rat pack that ruled Perth in the 1970s would have to resort to murder.Not the back room, needle in the arm, overdose kind of murder that could so easily be written off, nor the disappearance altogether of troublemakers like anti-drugs campaigner, Donald Mackay and publisher, Juanita Nielsen on the east coast of Australia.Away from prying eyes in one of the remotest and richest cities on earth, there was no need to hide your crime. A public display, a theatrical performance, murder in the West was a bit of a joke.Dressed to impress in her finest ball gown, dripping with expensive jewellery and driving her limited edition luxury car, society madam Shirley Finn was invited to the busiest spot near town for a very special occasion - a kind of modern day public execution - her own murder.

They knew they wouldn't be caught. Their power reigned supreme.

https://books.google.ie/books/about/Dirty_Girl.html?id=wRgTrgEACAAJ&redir_esc=y&hl=en

About the author (2015)

Juliet Wills has worked for all major television networks in Australia during her twenty-five year career in the media, reporting nationally and internationally.As Executive Producer of Channel Nine's A Current Affair in Perth, the program won three major television awards in its first year. She has written for major newspapers and lectured in broadcast journalism at two universities.The mother of three, Juliet lives in Perth and now works in real estate.Her first book, The Diamond Dakota Mystery was published in 2006.

Bibliographic information

QR code for Dirty Girl

Title

Dirty Girl: The State Sanctioned Murder of Brothel Madam Shirley Finn

Author

Juliet Wills

Publisher

Alto Books, 2015

ISBN

1921526289, 9781921526282

Length

200 pages



Bribery, corruption and a Swiss bank account: the Lionel Murphy allegations

Kate McClymont, Michaela Whitbourn

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/parliament-releases-lionel-murphy-papers-31-years-on-but-the-controversy-continues-20170914-gyhbz6.html

SEPTEMBER 14 2017



Controversial: Then High Court judge Lionel Murphy in January 1985.

More than 30 years after his death, sensational new allegations have been aired about former High Court judge Lionel Murphy including bribery, corruption, secret commissions via a Swiss bank account and perverting the course of justice.

The allegations, contained in documents released by Federal Parliament following the expiry of a 30-year secrecy provision, also include claims Murphy used the then NSW Premier Neville Wran to advance the business interests of crime boss Abe Saffron



Lionel Murphy and his wife, Ingrid, moments after he was found not guilty at his second trial

The documents record the investigations of an aborted 1986 parliamentary commission of inquiry into Murphy's fitness to remain as a judge of the nation's highest court.

The inquiry, which was headed by three judges and held behind closed doors from May to August 1986, was halted when it was revealed Murphy had terminal cancer. He died two months later, aged 64.



Bob Hawke, Gough Whitlam and Lionel Murphy in 1974.  

Murphy and his family had always maintained he was innocent of wrongdoing and supporters have long described the inquiry as a witch hunt.

His son Cameron, a barrister in Sydney, has described the release of the "never tested" allegations as "grossly unfair".

The papers reveal the inquiry examined 41 allegations against Murphy, a former attorney-general in the Whitlam government. Of those, 21 were rejected - including claims Murphy was "a member of a Soviet spy ring operating in Canberra".

Others, including his alleged Swiss bank holdings, the attempted bribery of a police officer, and his associations with Saffron including their dealings over the lease of Luna Park, remained unanswered



Documents released by Federal Parliament on Thursday show an alleged link between Lionel Murphy and a Swiss bank account.

The documents had not been verified when the inquiry was wound up

At the time of Murphy's death, 14 specific allegations had been sent by the commission to his lawyers and a 15th matter was about to be sent.

Murphy had already endured two earlier parliamentary inquiries and two criminal trials, stemming from sensational and illegal NSW Police phone bugging operations.

Those operations were later the subject of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Alleged Telephone Interceptions, conducted by Justice Donald Stewart.

At his first trial in 1985, the jury found Murphy guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice by interfering in the trial of his "little mate", Sydney solicitor Morgan Ryan, over an immigration racket.

Murphy was sentenced to jail but successfully appealed and was acquitted after his second trial in April 1986.

Upon his acquittal, Murphy's determination to return to the High Court was greeted unenthusiastically by some of his fellow judges, who were rumoured to be threatening to boycott sitting with him.

Facing a potential judicial crisis, the Hawke government ordered a secret inquiry to examine fresh allegations of misconduct on Murphy's part.

According to the secret documents released by Parliament on Thursday, the head of the inquiry, Sir George Lush, notified Parliament in September 1986 that the aborted inquiry had made "no findings of fact" and had therefore "formed no conclusions or opinions whether any conduct of the Judge has been such as to amount to proved misbehaviour".

Some of the more serious allegations had been forwarded to the inquiry by the Stewart royal commission, which was triggered by explosive reports published in The Age in February 1984.

From 1976 to late 1983, the NSW Police had been running an illicit phone-tapping operation that targeted drug boss Robert Trimbole and underworld figures George Freeman and Saffron.

The transcripts of these conversations formed the basis of the reports in The Age.

Titled "Secret tapes of a judge", the transcripts suggested corruption in the highest echelons of society.

It was soon revealed that the conversations involved Murphy, then a High Court judge, Ryan and Saffron, one of the major organised crime figures of the day.

One of the royal commission's allegations, forwarded to the parliamentary inquiry, was that Murphy had offered a bribe to senior Australian Federal Police officer Don Thomas.

In December 1979, Thomas had lunched at a Korean restaurant with Murphy and Ryan, the solicitor.

During the course of the lunch, it was alleged that Murphy had said "we need somebody inside to tell us what was going on", meaning they wanted an insider to inform them about the activities of the Australian Federal Police.

In return, it was alleged that Thomas would be promoted to the rank of assistant commissioner.

The parliamentary inquiry said this conduct could amount to misbehaviour for attempting to bribe a Commonwealth officer or encouraging an officer to make unauthorised disclosures of official information.

A second allegation was that - between April 21, 1980, and July 23, 1981 - Murphy agreed to make inquiries to see whether the federal police officers, who were investigating his friend Ryan in relation to a Korean immigration racket, could be bribed.

According to transcripts of The Age tapes, Ryan had said: "Have you been able to find out about those two fellows who are doing the investigation; are they approachable?"

Murphy got back to him to report that they were both very straight.

In papers released on Thursday, the commission told Murphy's lawyers that this conduct could amount to judicial misbehaviour.

Of central interest to the inquiry was Murphy's alleged "long-standing association with Abe Saffron, a person of notoriously low repute".

The inquiry was investigating claims Murphy was involved in securing for Saffron the lease of Luna Park, a Sydney amusement park.

In early 1980, police phone taps suggested Saffron told Ryan he wanted to obtain a lease for Luna Park.

Ryan then called Murphy who said: "Leave it with me." Later, Murphy allegedly called Ryan to say he had spoken to "Neville", a reference to Wran, and he was going to try to make some arrangements for Saffron to get the lease.

In 1981, the state government granted a 30-year lease over Luna Park site to Harbourside Amusement Park Pty Ltd, a company linked to Saffron.

This was one of the allegations the commission intended to pursue when the inquiry was aborted, along with claims Murphy had made "representations" to influence the NSW government to award Saffron a contract to remodel Central Railway Station in Sydney.

It was also alleged that in about 1979 Murphy contacted Wran, at Ryan's instigation, to get Wadim (Bill) Jegarow appointed to the Ethnic Affairs Commission. Jegarow was appointed to the position.

Another allegation that was still being considered when the inquiry was terminated was a claim Murphy was given a parcel of shares in a Swiss bank account in 1975, and was also the joint holder of safety deposit boxes in Switzerland.

The shares were said to be worth up to $750,000.

Among the papers released was a July 1986 letter to the secretary of the Attorney-General's Department, which said Murphy and others were alleged to have received "secret commissions in respect of the large sums of money which were to be borrowed at the time of the so called 'Loans Affair'."

The Loans Affair, also known as the Khemlani Affair, involved allegations the Whitlam government sought to enter into an unconstitutional arrangement to borrow money from Middle Eastern countries.

The inquiry was wound up before it could be established whether the documents purporting to show Murphy's Swiss holdings were genuine.

The commission also sent Murphy's lawyers an allegation that the judge agreed with Ryan and Saffron that Saffron would "cause [Sydney lawyer Danny Sankey] ...to be improperly and unlawfully intimidated" into dropping private prosecutions he had initiated against Murphy, former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, former deputy prime minister Jim Cairns and former Whitlam government minister Rex Connor over the Loans Affair. Ryan was acting for Cairns in the case.

The commission alleged that this could amount to an agreement to pervert the course of justice.

Three years later, in March 1979, Murphy was alleged to have urged Ryan to harm Sankey's counsel David Rofe, QC. This was allegedly payback for Rofe's role in the ultimately unsuccessful proceedings brought by Sankey.

The commission of inquiry outlined that this was possibly contempt of court and "constituted conduct contrary to accepted standards of judicial behaviour."

Another avenue explored by the commission was whether Murphy had lied at his first trial in 1985 by downplaying his association with Ryan.

Murphy's solicitor was provided with an extensive list of meetings and calls between Murphy and Ryan which allegedly refuted his testimony. Sensationally, the document suggested the judge and Ryan had been business associates during 1967-1975 and had been partners in a number of restaurants and clubs, including Saffron's Kings Cross nightclub, the Venus Room.

Murphy was also accused of "knowingly" giving false testimony when he swore that the only effort he made on Ryan's behalf was talking to District Court chief judge Jim Staunton in April 1982 to see if Staunton could arrange an earlier trial for Ryan. This conversation with Staunton, the parliamentary commission suggested, was an abuse of Murphy's office.

It was also alleged that Murphy had lied when giving evidence because he knew he had asked former Whitlam government minister and environment court chief judge, the late "Diamond" Jim McClelland, to speak to Staunton on behalf of Ryan, which Justice McClelland had done.

The documents reveal that Nick Cowdery, then a barrister involved in the prosecution of Murphy and later the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions, told the inquiry of allegations McClelland had told journalist Wendy Bacon that "Murphy had telephoned him a number of times asking him to intercede with Chief Judge Staunton on behalf of Morgan Ryan".

Cowdery also said that Kristen Williamson, the wife of playwright David, had been at a Christmas party in 1985 where McClelland, "apparently a little tired and unwell", discussed his evidence in the Murphy case and allegedly said: "There's nothing much I can do about it. I don't want to be shown to be a perjurer".

Rather than resolving unanswered questions about the nation's most infamous judicial scandal, the release of the long-awaited Murphy papers means the controversy lives on, 31 years after his death.






Lunacy of park ploy is revealed

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) 15th September 2017

Yanet Fifi-Yeomans

When gangster Abe Saffron wanted to take over Luna Park, he got his business partner, Morgan Ryan to ring none other than then-High Court judge Lionel Murphy.

“leave it with me,”  Murphy allegedly said – and sure enough, the Sydney  amusement park’s lease went to a company linked to the underworld developer, Abe Saffron.

How the judge pulled strings with the then- NSW premier Neville Wran to secure the lease for one of the Australia’s most notorious organised crime figure is detailed among 31-year old documents released yesterday in the Senate. It was early 1980, the year after a fatal fire destroyed the park’s Ghost Train, killing seven people. In 2007, Abe Saffron’s niece claimed the underworld figure Abe Saffron was responsible. She later withdrew the claim.

Originally the tenders for the new lease closed in late 1979. But in January 1980 the government announced allasix tenders had been unsatisfactory but that they were negotiating with one of them,the Grundy Organisation. There was evidence from Sergeant Pul Egge before a 1986 parliamentary commission of inquiry about phone intercepts i9n 1980 when Abe Saffron rang Morgan Ryan and said:  “ I want the lease.”  Morgan Ryan called Lionel Murphy.

The officer said Lionel Murphy then rand Morgan Ryan back and said he had spoken to “Neville”. In May 1981, the state government gave a 30-year  lease of Luna Park to Harbourside Amusement Park, an Abe Saffron “front” company.

https://www.pressreader.com/australia/the-daily-telegraph-sydney/20170915/281595240699251

Lunacy of park ploy is revealed

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) 15th September 2017

Yanet Fifi-Yeomans

When gangster Abe Saffron wanted to take over Luna Park, he got his business partner, Morgan Ryan to ring none other than then-High Court judge Lionel Murphy.

“leave it with me,”  Murphy allegedly said – and sure enough, the Sydney  amusement park’s lease went to a company linked to the underworld developer, Abe Saffron.

How the judge pulled strings with the then- NSW premier Neville Wran to secure the lease for one of the Australia’s most notorious organised crime figure is detailed among 31-year old documents released yesterday in the Senate. It was early 1980, the year after a fatal fire destroyed the park’s Ghost Train, killing seven people. In 2007, Abe Saffron’s niece claimed the underworld figure Abe Saffron was responsible. She later withdrew the claim.

Originally the tenders for the new lease closed in late 1979. But in January 1980 the government announced allasix tenders had been unsatisfactory but that they were negotiating with one of them,the Grundy Organisation. There was evidence from Sergeant Pul Egge before a 1986 parliamentary commission of inquiry about phone intercepts i9n 1980 when Abe Saffron rang Morgan Ryan and said:  “ I want the lease.”  Morgan Ryan called Lionel Murphy.

The officer said Lionel Murphy then rand Morgan Ryan back and said he had spoken to “Neville”. In May 1981, the state government gave a 30-year  lease of Luna Park to Harbourside Amusement Park, an Abe Saffron “front” company.

https://www.pressreader.com/australia/the-daily-telegraph-sydney/20170915/281595240699251



Sydney underworld figure Abe Saffron dies aged 86

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2006/s1742491.htm


Sydney underworld figure Abe Saffron dies aged 86

AM - Saturday, 16 September , 2006  08:14:00

Reporter: Michael Edwards

ELIZABETH JACKSON: One of Australia's leading crime reporters says Abe Saffron's death will enable the full extent of his criminality to be revealed.

The 86-year-old dubbed "Mr Sin" died yesterday. He'd been linked to crimes including extortion and prostitution, but in later years he tried to reinvent himself as a legitimate businessman.

But as crime reporter Andrew Rule says, his attempts at legitimacy should not cloud the fact he was at the forefront of organised crime in Australia for decades.

Mr Rule says Abe Saffron should not be painted as a romantic figure. He says he was a vicious and ruthless gangster.

Michael Edwards prepared this report.

ABE SAFFRON: I get blamed for so many things, and it's horrible that this should happen.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: That's Abe Saffron in 1978, defending himself when South Australia's Attorney General described him as the principal character of organised crime in Australia.

He was labelled many things in his time; a businessman, a benefactor to charities, but it's the label of vicious gangster that one of Australia's best crime reporters, Andrew Rule, thinks fits best.

ANDREW RULE: When we say, you know, colourful identity and old-style crook and all these things, these are euphemisms, which cover and probably soften the image of people who were responsible, either directly or indirectly, for very vicious crimes.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Abe Saffron got his start running a nightclub in Sydney's King Cross during World War II.

His clubs were the go-to place for thousands of US servicemen looking for recreation, both legal and illegal.

He eventually established a multi-million dollar business empire.

But according to Andrew Rule, Abe Saffron and his colleagues didn't play by the rules.

ANDREW RULE: They ruled by fear. They would collect debts for over illegal activities. 

They would used armed people who were willing to injure people or to kill them, to collect debts or to dominate a certain industry, whether it be gaming machines or brothels or strip clubs or whatever it might be.

You know, it's all very much like the Sopranos, really.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Abe Saffron might have given up using street muscle, but he wasn't afraid of using legal muscle to help with this venture.

Andrew Rule was among many journalists to feel the sting of Saffron's lawyers via defamation cases.

He says his death will enable the real story to be told.

ANDREW RULE: Now that he's dead it's quite clear that people will link him without fear with the death of Juanita Nielsen, I believe.

The Sydney heiress, who was ... opposed certain development in Kings Cross and vanished, most certainly murdered.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: And that's not the only one.

ANDREW RULE: He was also, I'm told by very good sources, responsible for the torching of Luna Park, one of the rides at Luna Park in Sydney, in which some children died.

This was being burned off presumably for insurance purposes. He was never held accountable for that. Again, now he's dead, that's a story that can be pursued.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Crime reporter Andrew Rule ending that report from Michael Edwards.

LIONEL KEITH MURPHY

1922: Born at Kensington, NSW.

1947. Admitted to the Bar while still studying at the Sydney Law School.

1958. Appointed a QC.

1961. Elected to the Senate for the ALP.

1967. Elected Opposition Leader in the Senate.

1972. After ALP won election, he was appointed Federal Attorney-General by Gough Whitlam.

1975. Set up the Family Court and introduced “no fault” divorce. Established national legal aid.

1975. Appointed to the High Court, the last politician to join the country’s highest court.

1984. Charged with two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice. One alleged he had tried to influence then-NSW Chief Magistrate Clarrie Briese to help get his criminal chargers dismissed against his friend Morgan Ryan. The other involved trying to get Judge Paul Flannery to take the charges against Ryan away from the jury.

1985. Convicted on the Briese matter and sentenced to 18 months’ jail. Conviction overturned on appeal.

1986. Acquitted at retrial.

1986. Prime Minister Bob Hawke set up a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry to assess Murphy’s fitness to return to the High Court. It was due to report on September 30.

October 1986. His last two judgments were delivered just an hour before he died of inoperable cancer.

2017: Classified documents from the parliamentary inquiry into his conduct are released.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/lionel-murphy-documents-how-a-high-court-judge-helped-a-gangster-get-his-hands-on-an-icon/news-story/e0e2ccdac7c0badb917a349ce7060682

SIN CITY

Sydney’s hidden underbelly of judges, politicians and the original King of the Cross exposed after 30 years of secrecy

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)-15 Sep 2017- Janet Fife-yeomans

https://cdn2-img.pressreader.com/pressdisplay/docserver/getimage.aspx?regionKey=iNQ4UbwfjGxEM%2bjFgEO9ZQ%3d%3d

ALLEGATIONS linking a High Court judge to Sydney’s original “King of the Cross” along with brothels, hitmen, prime ministers, premiers and even Soviet spy rings have been revealed after 30 ...

https://www.pressreader.com/australia/the-daily-telegraph-sydney/20170915/textview

Gillard’s ex-boyfriend linked to Brothel Madame Shirley Finn unsolved 1975 Murder.

Former union box Bruce Wilson – the Ex-partner of the former Prime  Minister of Australia Jillian Gillard is linked to Brothel Madame Shirley Finn unsolved1975 Murder. Mr Hooper told the Inquest he was with his girlfriend parked near the murder scene in South Perth in 1975 when he heard gun shots. Mr Hooper gave evidence that Mr Wilson had later threatened him to stay  quiet by placing a .357 Magnum bullet on his car at his work place with a note that  said: “Keep your mouth shut or else you’ll get one of these.” Mr Hooper described Mr Wilson as a “violent person who liked to get his own way”. Mr Hooper, 68,reportedly broke down in tears as he described “being scared for 42 years”.

Mr Hooper also told the court that two men –ne one of whom was identified as Perth identity Laurie Tudori – had instructed him not to give a police statement. Mr Hooper said that Mr Wilson’s threat let him to give a statement to police in 1994. Mr Wilson has never been previously linking to the murder of Brothel Madame Shirley Finn unsolved in 1975.


Lunacy of park ploy is revealed

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) 15th September 2017

Yanet Fifi-Yeomans

When gangster Abe Saffron wanted to take over Luna Park, he got his business partner, Morgan Ryan to ring none other than then-High Court judge Lionel Murphy.

“leave it with me,”  Murphy allegedly said – and sure enough, the Sydney  amusement park’s lease went to a company linked to the underworld developer, Abe Saffron.

How the judge pulled strings with the then- NSW premier Neville Wran to secure the lease for one of the Australia’s most notorious organised crime figure is detailed among 31-year old documents released yesterday in the Senate. It was early 1980, the year after a fatal fire destroyed the park’s Ghost Train, killing seven people. In 2007, Abe Saffron’s niece claimed the underworld figure Abe Saffron was responsible. She later withdrew the claim.

Originally the tenders for the new lease closed in late 1979. But in January 1980 the government announced allasix tenders had been unsatisfactory but that they were negotiating with one of them,the Grundy Organisation. There was evidence from Sergeant Pul Egge before a 1986 parliamentary commission of inquiry about phone intercepts i9n 1980 when Abe Saffron rang Morgan Ryan and said:  “ I want the lease.”  Morgan Ryan called Lionel Murphy.

The officer said Lionel Murphy then rand Morgan Ryan back and said he had spoken to “Neville”. In May 1981, the state government gave a 30-year  lease of Luna Park to Harbourside Amusement Park, an Abe Saffron “front” company.

https://www.pressreader.com/australia/the-daily-telegraph-sydney/20170915/281595240699251

Lionel Murphy documents: How a High Court judge helped a gangster get his hands on an icon

JANET FIFE-YEOMANS, News Corp Australia Network

September 14, 2017

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/lionel-murphy-documents-how-a-high-court-judge-helped-a-gangster-get-his-hands-on-an-icon/news-story/e0e2ccdac7c0badb917a349ce7060682


Former High Court Judge  Lionel Murphy

Former High Court judge linked to underworld king





Abe Saffron the notorious crime boss of Kings Cross and Australia's Crime Boss who had control of many senior senior politicians, police, government employees, lawyers, barristers, magistrates, judges, justices, premiers, prime ministers, business people and organisations, bankers, financiers, criminal networks gangs and organisations and major criminals.
One of Abe Saffrons control methods was holding embarrassing tapes and videos of such senior people in embarrassing sexual and other encounters ... and other damaging information,which is made public would instantly destroy their career and likely land them in prison with a serious criminal conviction .... Abe Saffron and his even more powerful senior silent partners knew that this was a tried and proven method to keep control of these people .... before such well connected people were allowed to rise to their powerful positions such as a Justice of the High Court of Australia, a premier of a state,a prime minster, a police commissioners etc ... is was necessary to have serious dirt of their private life ...so there is no way they could not obey orders .... from Abe Saffron and his even more powerful senior silent partners

Explosive allegations against Lionel Murphy



In May 1981, the state government gave a 30-year lease of Luna Park to Harbourside Amusement Park.

WHEN gangster Abe Saffron wanted to take over Luna Park, he got his business partner Morgan Ryan to ring no one other than then-High Court judge Lionel Murphy.

“Leave it to me,” Murphy allegedly said and sure enough, the lease of the Sydney fun park went to a company linked to the underworld property developer.

How the judge pulled strings with Labor’s then-NSW Premier Neville Wran to secure the lease of the popular Milsons Point amusement park for one of the country’s most notorious organised crime figures is detailed among 31-year documents released yesterday in the Senate.

“Murphy’s Abe’s man, that’s for sure,” one of Saffron’s associates James West told the National Crime Authority in an interview revealed in the documents.

It was early 1980, the year after a devastating fire destroyed the park’s Ghost Train, killing seven people. In 2007, a niece of Saffron claimed the underworld figure — who died the previous year — was responsible for the fire. She later withdrew the claim.

READ MORE: High court judge’s seedy underbelly

There was no mention of Saffron during the inquest into the deadly blaze.

Originally the tenders for the new lease closed in November 1979.

However, in January 1980 the government announced all six tenders had been unsatisfactory but that they were negotiating with one of them, the Grundy Organisation.“He’s going to try and make some arrangements for Abe to get the lease”.There was evidence from Sergeant Paul Egge before the 1986 parliamentary commission of inquiry about telephone intercepts in early 1980 when Saffron rang Ryan and said: “I want the lease.”

Ryan called Murphy who said: “Leave it with me.”

The officer said that Murphy then rang Ryan back and said he had spoken to ‘Neville”, believed to be then-NSW Premier Neville Wran, and “Neville” had said “he’s going to try and make some arrangements for Abe to get the lease”.

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/2c96a22554e62728308a1d4182b38226?width=316Abe Saffron.

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/3286c1c0f8f2a3242db511ab8cd25217?width=316Justice Lionel Murphy.

A second police officer, Sergeant Treharne, who had listened to the telephone intercepts, gave similar evidence of “a fair amount of discussion as to gaining control of that lease”.

In May 1981, the state government gave a 30-year lease of Luna Park to Harbourside Amusement Park Pty Ltd, said in the commission to be a “front” company for Saffron.

Its directors included one of Saffron’s regular solicitors David Baffsky and the secretary was one of Saffron’s nephews, Samuel King Cooper, the documents stated.



Lionel Murphy files: Talk of bribes, casino on phone on tapes - The Australian

http://www.newsjs.com/au/lionel-murphy-faced-forced-exit-from-high-court/dOz5gTE-wmtCOkM3Es3b1Gsla8vpM/



Lionel Murphy faced forced exit from High Court - The Australian

Lionel Murphy was headed down the path of becoming Australia's first High Court judge to be forcibly removed when his lawyers were served with a torrent of serious allegations — among them that he attempted to bribe police officers, encouraged the ...

Lionel Murphy files: Talk of bribes, casino on phone on tapes - The Australian

Lionel Murphy was secretly recorded discussing bribes paid to NSW police in connection with an illegal casino in Sydney's Chinatown with his close friend, solicitor Morgan Ryan. The former judge also allegedly lobbied then-premier Neville Wran to award ...

http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=au&usg=AFQjCNEowKUHSxCtqBOoCLwCePSWOWd8nA&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52779606303490&ei=0I-6WcCpB4SWhgG5zI74Dw&url=http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/murphy-files-talk-of-bribes-casino-on-phone-on-tapes/news-story/46205d976d527084a4b75dfeaa0d458f

Lionel Murphy files: Commission's hands tied by restrictive guidelines - The Australian

Lionel Murphy was alleged to have been a Soviet spy, helped a drug dealer get out of Australia on a false passport, got a cheap house for Junie Morosi, imported pornography, dodged tax using diamonds, took free trips with Ethiopian Airlines, undermined ...

http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=au&usg=AFQjCNGdgARu0-1YT139qpcBEBNJ2aV3mw&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52779606303490&ei=0I-6WcCpB4SWhgG5zI74Dw&url=http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/lionel-murphy-files-commissions-hands-tied-by-restrictive-guidelines/news-story/6e7173a87fa10f4143ab2f6234d5a4dd

Lionel Murphy made mistakes but brought change - The Australian

The code of loyalty into which I was born has almost disappeared. In my case it was straight out of my Irish-Catholic heritage. My father placed a huge amount of his very being on its practice. “Even a dog can be loyal,” he would say. You would know ...

http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=au&usg=AFQjCNE-ezDUKgDkxqx7Qk_RFE0CvNmYlQ&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52779606303490&ei=0I-6WcCpB4SWhgG5zI74Dw&url=http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/graham-richardson/lionel-murphy-made-mistakes-but-brought-change/news-story/b0070ec679b4245d63b237382c910afa



Lionel Murphy files: Phone taps reveal links to Sydney crime lord - The Australian

Police phone taps targeting Morgan Ryan, the colourful Sydney solicitor aligned with crime boss Abe Saffron, lay bare the web of intrigue and influence peddling that tarnished the reputation of a giant of Labor politics and the law. New pieces of the ...

http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=au&usg=AFQjCNGwrcEdZJqf7dfzwf115rH4-h7DMQ&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52779606303490&ei=0I-6WcCpB4SWhgG5zI74Dw&url=http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/lionel-murphy-files-phone-taps-reveal-links-to-sydney-crime-lord/news-story/4bb77ee80f52fd1274256e5aad2b9886

Lionel Murphy documents: How a High Court judge helped a gangster get his hands on an icon - Daily Telegraph

WHEN gangster Abe Saffron wanted to take over Luna Park, he got his business partner Morgan Ryan to ring no one other than then-High Court judge Lionel Murphy. “Leave it to me,” Murphy allegedly said and sure enough, the lease of the Sydney fun park ...

http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=au&usg=AFQjCNGTBkj8S38ARci7TSUjbfVCQuMVcQ&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52779606303490&ei=0I-6WcCpB4SWhgG5zI74Dw&url=http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/lionel-murphy-documents-how-a-high-court-judge-helped-a-gangster-get-his-hands-on-an-icon/news-story/e0e2ccdac7c0badb917a349ce7060682

Lionel Murphy files: Former High Court Judge's link to underworld figure Abe Saffron confirmed - Daily Telegraph

The scandalous ties linking Australia's High Court and government to Sydney's criminal underworld have been exposed in sensational documents on controversial Labor politician-turned judge Lionel Murphy finally released yesterday after over 30 years of ...

http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=au&usg=AFQjCNGsy8e1ZE2KMNGuiROQoFeMsdZepA&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52779606303490&ei=0I-6WcCpB4SWhgG5zI74Dw&url=http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/lionel-murphy-files-former-high-court-judges-link-to-underworld-figure-abe-saffron-confirmed/news-story/b9535b060df790bd7afaf5171eae89e4

Lionel Murphy: Police given tip-off in case of the bungling burglars - The Australian

Lionel Murphy was alleged to have perverted the course of justice after he tipped off federal police about a break-in at the Sydney home of Junie Morosi, the public servant who had an affair with then Labor treasurer Jim Cairns. The burglary was ...

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The Lionel Murphy papers shed more light on a controversial life - The Conversation AU

Andrew Lynch does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

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Lionel Murphy files: Swiss bank account, secret keys and an East German operative - The Australian

It reads exactly like John le Carre: there is an East German operative with a secret bank account. There is a set of keys to a Swiss deposit box, ostensibly in the possession of somebody's mistress. There is even the moment when a key individual opens ...

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Lionel Murphy files inconclusive - NEWS.com.au

While a commission of inquiry makes no findings against former High Court judge Lionel Murphy, he emerges from its files as an ethically dubious networker. Don Woolford. Australian Associated PressSeptember 14, 20173:42pm. Lionel Murphy remains an ...

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Lionel Murphy files: secret papers reveal allegations of links with crime boss Abe Saffron - The Guardian

Justice Lionel Murphy was attorney general in the Whitlam government before being appointed to the high court. Photograph: The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media via Getty Images. Crime - Australia ...

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Bribery, corruption and a Swiss bank account: the Lionel Murphy allegations - The Sydney Morning Herald

More than 30 years after his death, sensational new allegations have been aired about former High Court judge Lionel Murphy including bribery, corruption, secret commissions via a Swiss bank account and perverting the course of justice. The allegations ...

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Lionel Murphy papers: the allegations the inquiry wanted answering - The Guardian

Lionel Murphy, left, with jockey Athol Mulley, Eric Miller QC and Morgan Ryan, after charges against Mulley had been dismissed. Photograph: The Age/Fairfax Media via Getty Images. Crime - Australia ...

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Lionel Murphy files: secret documents released - The Australian

Thousands of secret documents have been released that could help answer unresolved questions about Lionel Murphy's conduct as a High Court judge. The sealed files were obtained by a commission of inquiry before Murphy's death in 1986 and have now ...

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Bizarre allegations revealed in declassified files from former High Court judge Lionel Murphy - NEWS.com.au

A HOST of strange allegations against former High Court judge Lionel Murphy that were classified for more than 30 years have finally been aired. Claire Bickers, AAP. News Corp Australia NetworkSeptember 14, 20175:04pm. Video; Image ...

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Lionel Murphy files: The explosive allegations against former High Court judge - Daily Telegraph

December 1979 at a lunch at Arrirang House, a Potts Point Korean restaurant, Murphy and solicitor Morgan Ryan invited federal police officer Don Thomas to lunch. Thomas was the prosecuting officer in a case alleging social security fraud against a ...

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Lionel Murphy files: why were the documents kept secret for 30 years? - The Australian

Why were the allegations against the former High Court judge Lionel Murphy kept secret for more than thirty years? The answer may lie deep within a file marked C2, which is but one part of a 4000-page dossier released by the Federal government this ...

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The outrageous Lionel Murphy memo - The Australian

Former High Court judge Lionel Murphy was accused during his lifetime of everything from being a Soviet spy; arranging cheap housing for the mistress of one of his friends; turning a blind eye to the importation of illegal pornography; and to illegal ...

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Can of Worms II by EVAN WHITT0N- Lionel Murphy: Trials and Tribulations

http://netk.net.au/Whitton/Worms19.asp

Networked Knowledge - Whitton Reports

This version of the book has been set-up by Dr Robert N Moles 
The Evan Whitton homepage

Lionel Murphy: Trials and Tribulations

.. the standards we require of our judiciary are higher than might be reasonable to require of anyone else.

 - Senator Gareth Evans, 29 April 1980.

Napoleon Bonaparte's Spanish Ulcer dragged on for five years. For the Labor Party, the Murphy Ulcer started when Justice Lionel Murphy declined to step down from the High Court after the Age tapes were published in February 1984.

Murphy had great achievements. In five years in Opposition in the Senate from 1967 to 1972, he rejuvenated the parliamentary committee system and transformed the Senate from a debating society to a proper House of Review. In office as Attorney-General for two years from 1973 to early 1975, his memorials are the administrative law regime, the Family Law Act, the operation of the Trade Practices Act, national legal aid, and the beginnings of a national compensation scheme. He also ensured more than a decade of Labor rule in New South Wales by appointing, in October 1973, a Liberal MLC, B. B. Riley, to a post on the Bankruptcy Court. This enabled Neville Wran to descend to the lower house without alteration to the balance of forces in the upper house.

On the other hand, Murphy eventually failed in politics: his March 1973 visit to ASIO headquarters was a media disaster; his failure to get Senator Vincent Gair's resignation in March 1974 enabled the Queensland Government to issue the writs for five Senate seats instead of six as he and Gough Whitlam had planned; and his acceptance of the High Court post prevented Labor from winning an extra Senate seat in New South Wales.

Whitlam's biographer, Graham Freudenberg, argued that 'the strongest ground on which the Labor Party and the (Whitlam) Labor Government stood was its claim to idealism... To take that away is to undermine it at its strongest point'. An Opposition strategy is thus to raise doubts about Labor's probity; Murphy may be seen to have afforded the Opposition much ammunition in this area. An example of this was the storm resulting from the surfacing on 4 December 1974 of his letter to ACT Minister Gordon Bryant seeking preferential housing treatment for Junie Morosi. This put Morosi into the spotlight and marked the beginning of what may be termed Labor's long Cairns-Morosi ulcer.

Two months later, after the Cairns-Morosi problem had subsided for the moment, Whitlam appointed Murphy to life tenure as a Justice of the High Court. In June 1986, the legal newsletter, Justinian, recalled a Whitlam quip said to have been made soon after the appointment. He chided Social Security Minister Bill Hayden for arriving almost an hour late for a Cabinet meeting. Hayden's excuse was that Garfield Barwick had bailed him up and 'bashed my ear about what a dreadful mess we've made of the High Court'. Whitlam replied: 'Yes, comrade, but did you tell him what an improvement we've made to the Cabinet?'

As a Justice of the High Court from February 1975, Murphy offered some useful balance on the Barwick court. It could be argued - and it may be Murphy's ultimate defence - that judges might profit from an acquaintance rather wider and deeper than that of their often conservative colleagues in the judiciary; that to enjoy occasionally the company of common men might be no bad thing.

Whether Morgan Ryan could be seen as an ordinary man is open to question. He was the lawyer described by NSW Opposition leader John Mason in Parliament on 27 February 1980 as being 'listed with both State and federal police as a go-between for major organised crime figures'.

As noted elsewhere, Ryan had a number of significant relationships, apart from Murphy. One was with Mervyn Wood, who was the NSW Police Commissioner, and the first to fall because of a connection with Ryan. Another was with the NSW Chief Stipendiary Magistrate, Murray Frederick Farquhar, whose perversion of the course of justice in the 1977 Humphreys case was well known in the magistracy, and possibly to Ryan. Mason described Farquhar in Parliament on 4 March 1980 as an associate of George Freeman, 'known as an organised crime figure to authorities in Australia and the USA, and a man closely associated with drug traffickers'. Farquhar's connection with Freeman had become publicly known in March 1978.

Mason also said on 4 March 1980: 'The Government even rejected a public plea by the Labor Lawyers' League to remove Mr Farquhar from the Bench "in the interests of the administration of justice", to quote that august body. The Government preferred to take notice of a curious petition and submission presented to the Premier by none other than Morgan Ryan. His petition prevailed, and Mr Farquhar was allowed to stay'.

Ryan was at times lawyer for, and business partner of, Abraham Gilbert Saffron. Saffron was described by South Australian Attorney-General Peter Duncan in Parliament in March 1978 as 'one of the principal characters in organised crime in Australia'. It was revealed in Federal Parliament on 2 June 1986 that on 15 November 1983, James McCartney Anderson, a former associate of Saffron, had given evidence to the NSW parliamentary committee on prostitution that he had seen Murphy speaking to Saffron in the Venus Room at King's Cross. Anderson said: 'He came down with some Asian ladies. That is Mr Murphy's weakness, incidentally'. Anderson apparently did not date the meeting between Murphy and Saffron, but it presumably was before 1979 or 1980, when Anderson is said to have broken with Saffron. Saffron next day denied he had ever met Murphy.

In May 1974, when Murphy was Attorney-General and Minister for Customs, Ryan made representations to him seeking the release of international money smuggler Ramon Sala, suspected by police of being a courier and trafficker in narcotics, and of having a connection with Saffron. As noted in Some Faces in the Crowd, Murphy ordered that Sala's passport, correctly suspected by police to be false, be returned to him, and he was able to leave the country. Early in 1975, not long before Murphy went to the High Court, Ryan made representations to him and other officials to have Customs surveillance of Saffron downgraded. The surveillance was downgraded, by whom is unclear.

The April 1986 Stewart report on the Age tapes indicates that more recent aspects of the Murphy Ulcer derived from a matter that has dogged New South Wales politics and perceptions of the administration of justice in New South Wales since 1979. This was the handling of a case involving the Cessna-Milner drug syndicate, and Ryan's connection with the case.

Early in 1979, New South Wales police tapped the telephone of a suspected drug dealer at Cronulla. This led them to Mosman, and then to Drummoyne, which led to a tap on the phone of Dr Theodore Frederick Knauss, a chiropractor. Knauss had conversations with an American, Roy Bowers Cessna, but was cautious in his remarks, so a tap was placed on Cessna's phone. Soon after, on Wednesday, 14 March 1979, the tap enabled police to arrest Cessna and an Englishman, Timothy Lycett Milner, in possession of 110 000 buddha sticks weighing some 137 kilograms. This amount suggested an intention to supply the drug, so the offence would thus be indictable (i.e. to go before a judge and jury), and carried a maximum penalty of either ten or fifteen years in prison, depending on the strength of -Indian hemp in the material.

Soon after Cessna's arrest, the tappers heard conversations between him and Ryan, and the Bureau of Criminal Intelligence requested that a tap be placed on Ryan's phone. It was this tap that picked up the Ryan-Murphy conversations.

The Ryan tapping operation was code-named Mad Dog. Among the first of Ryan's calls intercepted was one to Cessna on 18 March 1979. Cessna was not at home, and his wife took the call.

'I want to see your other half', Ryan said; '. . . I've formulated a very, very... it's something very important that I've already done... and I think it will make a lot of people happier'.

Ryan appears also to have numbered among his connections corrupt police who were either in the group making the telephone interceptions, the Technical Survey Unit (TSU), or who had access to their information.

'I just can't be talking', he told Cessna on Saturday 31 March. 'I've just got the nod a bit about these phones at the moment'.

'Yeah', Cessna replied, 'well, you're probably right, you know'.

However, Ryan was busy, in a guarded fashion, on the phone that Saturday. Murphy called and asked: 'How is this bloke [Clarence Briese] that is replacing Murray [Farquhar]? Is he the right fellow?'

'Yes;. you're gonna dine with him', Ryan replied.

'He's a good feller, is he?'

'You're gonna find for yourself', Ryan said, and then cautioned: 'We'd better not talk about it now, had we?'

'No; rightho'.

'It'll be well and truly satisfactory, I'd say', Ryan said.

Farquhar was out when Ryan first rang him, but returned the call. Ryan said: 'I would like to, um, I would like to go for a walk tomorrow afternoon for about five or ten minutes'.

'What time do you suggest?' Farquhar asked.

'Four o'clock would be a good time. Four o'clock there'. (It is understood that Ryan and Farquhar had a habit of meeting in Centennial Park.)

'OK', Farquhar said, 'I'll do that'.

Ryan then rang Cessna. 'I have got a very heavy conference tomorrow'.

'Aha', Cessna said.

Cessna told Ryan he was going up to Kurrajong with 'a whole mess of people' for lunch; he could see Ryan in the morning.

'Yeah, but', Ryan said, 'er, all right. I just wanted to put something to you, you understand?'

'Yeah', Cessna said.

'I mean', Ryan said, 'I'm not a person who tells people things; I just prove them ... The thing is this: that tomorrow if you go to lunch - there was something very important that was going to happen in the afternoon... and look, people go back and they say: "Well look, how do we know that what he is doing is right?" or, er, "What am I paying for these shirts for?" and that sort of thing. You understand?'

'Yeah, yeah.'

'But', Ryan said, 'I'm a great believer... in saying: "This is what is going to be done, and here it is. And you can go and see it with your own bloody eyes". . . I mean, when you see people, you remember their faces, don't you?'

'Yeah'.

'. . . I'm only going to give you the opportunity of either saying: "Well, what you say is right", or "Yes, I'll go along and have a look with my own two eyes". That's the choice you're going to get... I'm talking about the other party... I'm going to tell you what can be done, and what has been done, and what has got to be done, if he wants to do it'.

'Aha.'

'You understand?' Ryan asked.

'Yeah'.

Next morning, Sunday, Ryan rang Cessna and arranged to meet him at Lane Cove. He then rang Farquhar, and said: '. . . I'll be there at 4pm, but I'm going to - but I have never spoken to anyone, you understand?'

'I'm with you', Farquhar said.

'. . . But, um, I've got to see my friend this morning, but I want to be able to say that, you know...'

That's right', Farquhar said, 'a combination of circumstances... will have to be brought together...'.

On the Monday, 2 April 1979, Ryan rang Cessna and said: 'Well, what I rang to tell you was I'm very, very happy at the moment, very happy, and I think everyone will be happy, everyone will be happy... Now, I want to see you if I can today, and tell you. OK?... You'll find me painting a much better picture today. Not only a better picture: I've got it all now...'

The tap on Ryan's phone, which appeared as if it might produce a heavy yield, was left on for less than a month, and appears to have been taken off about 12 April.

In mid-April Ryan conferred with Wood about the Cessna-Milner case. Wood then sought details about the matter from CIB Superintendent Patrick Watson. On 4 May, an anonymous dossier on organised crime was sent to Premier Neville Wran and other members of Parliament. It appeared to have been written by a police officer. Part of the dossier, which was later read in the Supreme Court, said Wood had a corrupt connection with George Freeman and an association with Saffron and illegal casino operator George Ziziros Walker.

An internal investigation by Assistant Commissioner James Black found nothing untoward in connection with Wood and he told a later court action he had found no direct evidence that Wood had an association with Walker, Saffron or Freeman.

The dinner, apparently referred to by Ryan in the above conversation with Murphy, was held on Thursday 10 May 1979 at Ryan's house in Neutral Bay. Present were Murphy, Ryan, Farquhar, Wood, and Briese, by then NSW Chief Stipendiary Magistrate-elect, who was invited by Farquhar. According to Briese, a function of the dinner was to determine whether he would be a 'flexible' chief magistrate. What interest the various parties, including a justice of the High Court, would have in any such flexibility remains a matter for speculation.

On the Monday following the dinner, Ryan and a legal associate, Bruce Miles, conferred with a former Drug Squad officer to see if the Cessna-Milner case could be heard on a summary basis. Maximum penalty would then be two years. This was referred to the chief of the prosecuting branch, Superintendent G. Fryer. He directed that the case was to be dealt with by indictment only.

About 9.30 am the next morning, Tuesday 15 May, the day the case was to be heard, Wood rang Fryer. According to Fryer, Wood said: 'Mr Farquhar has indicated that he would be prepared to deal with the matter summarily if the prosecution consented. He is the chief magistrate and also the chairman of the drug authority and is an expert on these things, and if he is prepared to do that, then that's the way I want it handled'. Fryer said he accepted this direction. Wood claimed he gave no direction, but did confirm that he suggested to Fryer that Farquhar's guidance be sought.

Farquhar shifted the court to one in which there was no sound recording equipment, and gave Milner eighteen months, of which he served six. On 24 May, the day before Farquhar's retirement, he fined Cessna $1000 and gave him an eighteen-month bond.

The handling of this case caused some talk in the Police Department and the magistracy. Wood abruptly resigned on 5 June, partly, it seems, to save the force embarrassment from false allegations in the anonymous dossier, and partly because of his involvement in the Cessna case. Briese questioned the handling of the case, but, at Farquhar's request, did not tell Under-Secretary for Justice Trevor Haines about the Farquhar-Murphy-Ryan-Wood dinner. Inspector Cecil Abbott conducted an investigation, and the results of his inquiries were given to the Solicitor-General, Gerry Sullivan QC, for an opinion.

Abbott was perhaps awkwardly placed. He had been, as he later informed Stewart, aware of the phone-tapping operation since it was instituted by Commissioner Norman Allan in 1967 or 1968. Stewart reported: 'Abbott stated that he was aware of the procedure for making a request for the use of that facility and of the fact that the facility was utilised by various units within the NSW Police'. Abbott had formerly been head of the Drug Squad for fifteen years. The Cessna case was a drug matter. Abbott might thus guess that the Cessna arrest and seizure were not merely fortuitous. However, he could not overtly use the transcripts, since that would disclose the illegal tapping, but the question remains: Did Abbott seek a steer from the intelligence people, so that he could in turn give Sullivan a steer, as he did with Ryan and Wood, that Farquhar's role was at least open to suspicion?

It appears Abbott felt obliged to avoid the intelligence material. Ryan and Farquhar declined to be interviewed by Abbott, but Farquhar did assert that no approach had been made to him on the Cessna case outside the courtroom.

Sullivan reported: 'I think the evidence is such that a trial would result in a directed acquittal without the parties being called upon to explain anything they have done... there is so much hearsay in the statements given, and lack of contemporary documentation by those concerned, that we can only be suspicious that the law was bent by the ex-Commissioner to oblige a friend, a common, but tolerated source of trouble in this community'.

Sullivan also said: 'I might add that no tracks lead to Mr Farquhar which would demonstrate complicity'. Even so, the Government felt obliged to change the Poisons Act to prevent a recurrence of Farquhar's behaviour in the Cessna case. Nonetheless Farquhar continued for nearly another year as principal adviser to the Government on drug matters.

Following their meeting at dinner on 10 May 1979, Murphy and Briese had conversations about proposals for the independence of magistrates from the public service, a cause in which Briese was much interested. Murphy agreed to intervene in the matter with local politicians, Premier Neville Wran and Attorney-General Frank Walker.

In late 1979, Murphy invited a federal police officer, Inspector Don Thomas, whom he had never met, to lunch at Arrirang House, a Potts Point Korean restaurant, of which David Young Choi was a part owner. Murphy advised Thomas he had also invited 'an old friend', Morgan Ryan. Thomas was the prosecuting officer in a case alleging social security fraud against Greeks. Ryan was acting for one of the accused, Dr Demetrios (Demos) Hadjipanayiopsis. According to Thomas, Murphy made him an offer: '... we can arrange for you to be an Assistant Commissioner [of the Australian Federal Police force] when it is formed'. Murphy later described Thomas' allegation as 'nonsense'.

The tap on Ryan's home phone was resumed, with the code name Rabid, on 25 January 1980. Ryan and David Young Choi were surveilled by Federal police on 3 March 1980 near the Arrirang restaurant. They were placing files in the boot of Choi's car.

The Rabid tap on Ryan remained in place until 23 June 1980. It was then taken off, ostensibly because of a 'lack of worthwhile intelligence', but Stewart was told that members of the Bureau of Criminal Intelligence and the Technical Survey Unit were 'upset about it being terminated'. However, the TSU resumed tapping Ryan's phone early in 1981 at the request of, and on behalf of, the Australian Federal Police.

The Mad Dog, Rabid, and the 1981 taps on Ryan's phone played a role in investigations that led eventually to charges of alleged conspiracy between Ryan, Choi, and James Alan Francis Mason from 30 June 1976 to 30 June 1980. On 16 June 1981, Ryan appeared in court charged with conspiring to obtain permanent resident status for twenty-two Koreans through the use of forged documents. Ryan rang Murphy about the case in September 1981.

It was in this case that Murphy was alleged to have sought to pervert the course of justice on behalf of Ryan.

In November 1981, it appeared that Abbott would succeed Jim Lees as NSW Police Commissioner. Bill Jenkings, the Sydney Daily Mirror's chief crime reporter for thirty-five years, wrote on 26 November: 'The 1274 detectives in the New South Wales police force would welcome, probably to a man, the appointment of Senior Assistant Commissioner Cec Abbott as their new Commissioner. And if they still had to wear hats they'd throw them into the air and cheer, according to a survey this week... Mr Abbott admired and learned from those who have been hailed as the "greats" of the CIB - people like the legendary Detective-Inspector Ray Kelly...' It is assumed that Jenkings was referring to Kelly's investigating skills rather than to his connections with organised crime.

The Ryan case was before magistrate Kevin Jones on 22 December and 29 December 1981, and was completed by 6 January 1982. Jones, the magistrate whom Farquhar had caused to pervert the course of justice in the 1977 Humphreys case, was then considering whether the evidence amounted to a prima facie case against Ryan. For the convenience of the chronology, we insert here the allegations later made about Murphy's role in the case. The Crown alleged, in Murphy's first trial, that Murphy's friendship with Briese quickened when Ryan's committal hearing was going forward, and then died. It claimed that Murphy had the intention to subtly influence Briese to in turn influence Jones to act against his duty, and that Murphy's words and actions had a tendency to alter the ordinary course of justice.

In this, the Crown relied on five events, concerning which it asserted that:

(1) Murphy rang Briese between Christmas of 1981 and New Year 1982. Murphy said he wanted to talk to him about something, but not on the phone. Murphy denied that he had said that.

(2) As a result of that call, the Brieses held a dinner party at their home for the Murphys on 6 January 1982. Murphy said there were four other guests at this dinner. The Crown said these guests were phantoms. Murphy discussed conspiracy cases. He said: 'I will tell you of another wrong conspiracy case', and went on to deal with the Ryan case. Murphy said he was disturbed by the case. Briese said he would make inquiries about it. Murphy denied that he used the words quoted or that he introduced or was disturbed by the Ryan case.

(3) On 27 January 1982, Murphy rang Briese and asked him if he had made inquiries about the Ryan case. Murphy denied this.

(4) That afternoon, Murphy and Briese met at a function at the State Office Block. Briese told him that it was his guess that Jones would commit Ryan for trial. Murphy said 'the little fellow' would be shattered. Murphy denied that he had used the phrase 'the little fellow'. Also in that conversation, according to the Crown, there was a discussion about the possibility of the magistrate's not committing Ryan, and the possibility of a no-bill application.

(5) Two days later, 29 January 1982, Murphy rang Briese and gave him the good news that the NSW Attorney-General, Frank Walker, would be going ahead with legislation to make magistrates independent of the public service. Murphy then said: 'And now, what about my little mate?' Murphy denied saying; 'And now, what about my little mate?'

The Crown also later alleged in another case that Judge John Murray Foord told Briese in March 1982: 'Neville wants something done for Morgan Ryan', but that Briese had replied that Jones had suffered a lot from the Farquhar-Humphreys matter. Jones committed Ryan for trial.

Again, the Crown later alleged that Foord told the trial judge, Paul Flannery: 'Murphy and I have read the evidence in the committal proceedings and we can't find any evidence of conspiracy'.

At his trial in the District Court in July 1983, Ryan declined to take the oath to be cross-examined, but made an unsworn statement to the jury. He was found guilty. On 5 August 1983, Flannery fined Ryan $400 and placed him on a bond of $1000 to be of good behaviour for five years. He appealed.

The sequence of events that led to the delivery of copies of crime journalist Bob Bottom's transcripts to Attorney-General Senator Gareth Evans and their publication in The Ageon 2 February 1984 is detailed elsewhere. A number of points can be made immediately:

 - At this stage, February 1984, Briese and Flannery had made no allegations of criminal conduct against Murphy; there was nothing against him other than what was in Bottom's still unauthenticated transcripts. Murphy could well have robustly stated that there was nothing in the transcripts; but that mud would be thrown by the press and the forces of reaction; some of it would inevitably stick to the High Court; and that he would therefore retire to protect the court's reputation. Had he taken this course, it seems likely that the Murphy affair would have lasted no longer than the Barwick affair, and the Government may have felt obliged to reward his noble gesture no less handsomely than the Liberal-Country Party Government had rewarded Barwick when he retired.

 - It seems unlikely that Briese and later Flannery would have felt compelled to come forward, and no criminal charges would have been laid against Murphy.

 - Section 72 (ii) of the Constitution states that a Justice of the High Court 'shall not be removed except by the Governor-General in Council, on an address from both Houses of the Parliament in the same session, praying for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity'. There has been much argument about what 'proved misbehaviour' means in this context. Some lawyers argue that it means a conviction for a criminal offence. In terms of a justice of the High Court, ordinary people may be inclined to interpret 'misbehaviour' as meaning misbehaviour.

For the most part, members of Parliament are ordinary people. It seems probable that had Murphy not had a strong connection with a political party the material would have been rapidly authenticated and distributed among parliamentarians, and Murphy would have been removed from the court in short order. Indeed, when Murphy declined to resign, it has since been reported that it was Prime Minister Hawke's instinct to settle the matter immediately by way of judicial inquiry, but that Evans talked him out of it.

Evans, some may have recalled, had said in his grave and restrained speech in the Senate on 29 April 1980: 'These are the particular matters which I believe give genuine grounds for concern that the highest standards of judicial behaviour may not have been fully or thoroughly observed by the Chief Justice (Barwick) over a substantial period of his tenure on the High Court Bench.

'It might be thought that the standards I am suggesting are unreasonably high and not such that lesser mortals could reasonably be expected to attain. But the fact remains that the standards we require of our judiciary are higher than might be reasonable to expect of anyone else.

'In that respect I rely on no less a presence than Sir Winston Churchill who, according to Shetreet, said in the House of Commons in 1954: "A form of life and conduct far more severe and restricted than that of ordinary people is required from judges and, though unwritten, has been most strictly observed. They are at once privileged and restricted. They have to present a continuous aspect of dignity and conduct... The judges have to maintain... a far more rigorous standard than is required from any other class that I know of in this Realm".'

On 17 February, Evans, who had asked Ian Temby QC for an opinion on what the transcripts revealed about Murphy, announced that Temby had exonerated the judge of criminal misconduct and had also concluded that the transcripts did not reveal any misbehaviour which could lead to dismissal under the Constitution. Accordingly, the Government had decided that the judge was not to be investigated further. Evans thus accepted that there was nothing in the Bottom transcripts that came within his or Sir Winston Churchill's definition of 'misbehaviour'.

On 6 March in the Queensland Parliament, Murphy's name was first mentioned. The Liberal and Country parties sought an inquiry. This apparent concern for perceptions of the integrity of the High Court may have seemed more impressive had they adopted the same posture in regard to Barwick, but in any case their opinion would have counted for nothing had the Labor Party controlled the Senate. By 1984, however, the Democrats held the balance of power there, and events of the intervening years, notably perhaps the Royal Commission into Farquhar's activities in the Humphreys case, had made Chipp ready to face the prospect of investigating a High Court judge. On 28 March, a Senate Committee of Inquiry was formed to examine Murphy's conduct. Briese, having studied the transcripts, came forward with his allegations concerning Murphy and the Ryan case. Briese gave evidence in camera to the committee.

Ryan's appeal was meanwhile in part successful. On 26 July 1984, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal, consisting of Chief justice Sir Laurence Street and Justices Henry Cantor and Adrian Roden, said that Flannery had erred in law in admitting evidence of telephone calls which was unsatisfactory in the alleged identification of Ryan as the caller. They ordered a re-trial. In January 1987 Temby QC announced the re-trial would not be proceeded with.



Director of Public Prosecutions Ian Temby QC decided on 17 August 1984 not to lay criminal charges against Murphy arising out of Briese's allegations. On 24 August, the Senate committee reported. The three Labor members said the evidence against Murphy was not sufficient to warrant removing him from the High Court. Democrats leader Don Chipp was not satisfied and a new Senate inquiry was appointed on 6 September.

On 8 October, Flannery told the committee Murphy had probably tried to influence him on the Ryan case. Murphy declined to take the oath and submit himself for cross-examination before either Senate committee. On 31 October, a majority of this committee, including its chairman, Senator Michael Tate (Labor), concluded, on the balance of probabilities, that Murphy, by trying to influence the Ryan case, could have been guilty of behaviour serious enough to warrant his removal from the High Court. Murphy said he would take leave from the court, but continued to draw his emolument of approximately $2500 a week.

On 13 December, Temby announced that Murphy would be charged under the Commonwealth Crimes Act, on two counts of having attempted to pervert the course of justice in the Ryan case, basically via Briese when it was in the committal stage between 1 December 1981 and 29 January 1982, and, having failed in that endeavour, via Flannery between 1 July and 9 July 1983 in connection with the District Court trial stage. Maximum penalty was two years in prison or a fine of $5000. These charges had the effect of removing for more than a year the responsibility of the Parliament for making a decision about Murphy's fitness to remain on the High Court.

Temby said he had that day received advice that Murphy consented to the matter proceeding by way of ex officio indictment before the Supreme Court of the ACT. It was assumed that the case would be heard in April 1985 by ACT Chief Justice Sir Richard Blackburn, but Blackburn's health allowed this chalice to pass from his lips. He announced on 23 December that he would retire from the end of March.

This presented a problem. Any judge the Federal Labor Government might wish to succeed Blackburn might also have had some sort of relationship with Murphy. If his first task was to preside over Murphy's case, the new Chief justice would have to disqualify himself. It was announced on 30 January 1985 that the ex officio approach would be dropped, and the committal procedure would be undertaken by a Sydney magistrate.

Murphy's chief counsel, Ian Barker QC, was reported to be suffering from hepatitis on 26 February, and he engaged Alec Shand QC. Murphy was committed by Magistrate Arthur Reidel and his trial began in the Central Criminal Court, St James' Road, Sydney on Wednesday, 5 June. The trial judge was Justice Henry Cantor. Ian Callinan QC, of Brisbane, with Nick Cowdery, appeared for the Crown; Shand, with Linton Morris QC, appeared for Murphy.

At this trial, Murphy made an affirmation that he would tell the truth and allowed himself to be cross-examined. None of the material on the Age tapes was introduced in evidence; Justice Stewart was still investigating whether the material could be authenticated. Thus, Murphy's assertion on oath that his only recollection of conversations with Ryan in the 1979 and 1980 period concerned the Sankey matter could not be challenged. Justice Michael Kirby and Justice Elizabeth Evatt gave evidence that Murphy's character and integrity were impeccable.

The Crown's submission to the jury was that the conflict between Murphy and Briese was stark; someone was telling the truth and someone was not; they should consider the demeanour of Briese and Murphy; Briese was straightforward in his answers; Murphy was evasive; Briese had no reason to lie; if Murphy was not telling the truth, they would consider whether an innocent man would fabricate evidence.

After deliberating for twenty-one hours, at 9.29 pm on Friday 5 July, the jury found Justice Murphy guilty on the Briese charge and not guilty on the Flannery charge. Justice Cantor said it was implicit in the jury's verdict of guilty that fundamentally they accepted Briese's evidence and rejected Murphy's, and that they found that what Murphy said was intended to pervert the course of justice, and had a tendency to do so. I recorded the event in these words in The Sydney Morning Herald. The impact of the historic verdict in the Murphy case came twice: with the sharp inhalation that met the foreman's announcement of Justice Murphy's guilt at 9.29 pm, and again 11 minutes later when Justice Henry Cantor referred to him as 'the prisoner.'

Murphy himself revealed little of what he was feeling. He looked quite wretched, with baggy eyes, as he waited for the verdict, but when it came he blinked, looked down and then up, and briefly at the jury, but his expression did not change.

Nor did that of the heavy-lidded Crown Prosecutor, Mr Ian Callinan, QC, of Queensland, who has developed influenza.

Counsel for Murphy, Mr Alec Shand, QC, has not been in the court since Thursday.

Most of the overt emotion came from the jury, who had been deliberating for some 21 hours over a period of elapsed time of 34 hours. Two women appeared to be fighting back tears, and the foreman, a heavy-set man in early middle age with butter-coloured hair, seemed to have developed a habit of biting his knuckles. He shook his head and permitted himself a small wry grin when the judge advised them they could sit on other juries if they were called.

The previous night, Thursday, there had been, in the way of these things, rumours that the jury had reached an early verdict on one charge, and that when the judge wanted to lock them up at 9 pm that night, they had felt a little more time would produce a verdict.

Certainly, a police officer and a prison officer appeared in the court that night, but, in the event, the jury was locked up at 9.30.

They proposed to resume their deliberations at 9 am yesterday, and Murphy arrived a minute ahead of time, only to find the doors of the old Banco Court still closed, and he was obliged to wait in St James Road, with television cameras so pressing in on him that one of his solicitors, Sir Clarence Harders, remonstrated sharply with the crews.

As was his wont throughout the trial, Murphy presented a cheery face when the court business was not proceeding, and after this ordeal by camera, he greeted his old friend, Mr Jack Dwyer, 73, formerly of the Miscellaneous Workers' Union, who has attended every day except one at some risk to a heart condition. Murphy said: 'I don't mind pictures, but not when they start hassling. They've got zoom lenses.'

With Mr Shand elsewhere, Murphy began to write furiously late in the morning when Justice Cantor was answering some questions the jury had put. After the jury left, Mr Linton Morris, QC, for Murphy, was making a submission to the judge and was holding the piece of paper from Murphy in his hand.

Mr Morris, however, appeared to have difficulty in deciphering the writing, and finally begged leave to have a five-minute adjournment, during which Murphy, referred to unkindly by some thereafter, as 'the learned accused', explained the point he wanted made.

The NSW Solicitor-General, Miss Mary Gaudron, was in court with the Murphy entourage for a short time in the evening, but left after what appeared to be a second false alarm. The barristers sat in the court from 8 pm to 8.30 pm and then walked out. Asked what was happening, Mr Callinan said: 'You tell me, and we'll both know.'

At 9.20 a court official kindly suggested to those who were outside having a smoke that it might be in their interest to move inside, among the 100 or so people, including some lawyers a little fatigued from the admission ceremonies for solicitors and barristers that had preceded earlier in the Banco Court.

At 9.26 Justice Cantor returned to the court with the fateful words: 'I've been informed there is a verdict,' and there then ensued an extraordinary period of some three minutes of absolute quiet in the court, while the jury were being fetched, until Justice Cantor's associate put it to the jury: 'How say ye ... ?', and the remarkable career of Justice Murphy was, it must be assumed, over.

It is a matter for speculation what effect, if any, the humiliation of this jury (detailed elsewhere) had on juries hearing the Foord case and the second Murphy trial.

Murphy's appeal on constitutional points was conducted by Sir Maurice Byers QC and Thomas Hughes QC. The High Court rejected the appeal. On 3 September, Cantor sentenced Murphy to eighteen months in prison, but allowed him bail while he appealed on Cantor's charge to the jury. This appeal was conducted by Hughes. On 28 November, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal, consisting of Justices Street, Hope, Glass, Samuels, and Priestley, found that Murphy's appeal for an acquittal had failed. They said: 'There is... evidence available upon which a jury could convict if it regarded that evidence as proving beyond a reasonable doubt an attempt to pervert the course of justice'.

The court, however, quashed the conviction and ordered a re-trial on the basis that the trial had miscarried. They said there was 'a very real risk' that Cantor's summing-up had left the jury confused about how they were to arrive at their conclusions concerning motive and intention. Another principal ground was that Cantor had wrongly advised the jury that the 'overwhelming' evidence of Murphy's good character could be used on the question of his guilt, but not in considering his credibility. Murphy's character was thus expected to be a significant ingredient at his next trial.

The second trial was set down for 14 April 1986, a fortnight before Stewart was due to make his report on the transcripts. However, the Crown's Callinan and Cowdery sought data from Stewart concerning Murphy. It has been reported that Stewart was initially reluctant to supply the material, and that Temby then suggested that he might have to postpone the trial until after Stewart had made his report. In that situation, the Commonwealth and NSW Governments would have the option of not tabling the material until after the trial. However, Stewart did supply the material, including evidence given by Thomas concerning his lunch with Murphy and Ryan at the Arrirang restaurant in late 1979.

Shortly before the trial started, Callinan wrote to Temby to say he saw no 'reasonable and proper alternative' to charging Murphy with conspiracy and attempted bribery in relation to Thomas and the Greek conspiracy case. With Murphy's second trial pending, Temby did not announce a decision.

Justice David Hunt presided at this trial; Murphy's advocate was Barker. It is not obligatory for an accused to go into the witness box, give sworn evidence, and submit himself to cross-examination. This allowance, however, was designed for the protection of the ignorant and unlettered. Such people, it is judged, may be at a disadvantage in getting their side of the story across when confronted by bamboozling lawyers. In a person of Murphy's education and legal stature, his refusal to go into the witness box and affirm that he would tell the truth thus may have taken on the appearance of a legal manoeuvre designed to circumvent examination of his character. Thus, the evidence relating to his character could not be introduced, and he could not be cross-examined on it. Instead, he made an unsworn statement, absolving himself of all blame, to the jury.

While some of his colleagues on the High Court are reported to have been unimpressed with this approach, we may recall that a similar unsworn statement by Barwick was judged sufficient by the Fraser Government, and, apparently, by Barwick's colleagues on the court. On the other hand, it may be noted that in three inquiries and two trials over two years, Murphy gave evidence on oath at only one, the first trial at which the jury had not believed him.

The jury found Murphy not guilty on Monday 28 April. That night, Wran, who described Murphy as 'one of our oldest friends', said: 'I know justice has been done so far as Lionel Murphy's innocence is concerned, but justice has not been done for those who are responsible for the ordeal he has had to endure. I cannot forgive those responsible for the great suffering which had been impacted upon him and his family. I don't intend to discuss Mr Briese's position tonight; suffice to say, the implications of this trial and, might I add the Foord trial, need to be closely examined, and Mr Briese would be one of those whose position would have to be examined. If unpalatable decisions have to be taken, then I won't shrink from taking them. Mr Briese hasn't enjoyed my full confidence for some time, but all the less because of this verdict'. Asked if he was trying to force Briese to resign, Wran said: 'Mr Briese can make up his own mind'.

Next day, NSW Opposition leader Nicholas Greiner said Wran's comments 'represent a clear and unwarranted interference in justice in New South Wales. Not only are they a disgrace, they... undermine the public confidence'. Greiner also said: 'The Premier's delight in seeing his mate cleared in court doesn't justify the grossly improper, spiteful, vindictive, and intimidating remarks about the chief magistrate'.

A spokesman for Wran described Greiner's remarks as 'absolute garbage... that is the sort of purely party political dishonesty which, in one sense, has led to Lionel Murphy being put through such a dreadful ordeal'.

Federal Opposition leader John Howard described Wran's remarks as 'vindictive and unjustified'. Howard asked Federal Attorney-General Lionel Bowen if he had confidence in Briese. Bowen replied: 'Yes'. The deputy chief magistrate, Kevin Anderson, said he 'had the utmost confidence' in Briese's integrity and competence. Anderson said: 'I believe the magistracy gives him unqualified support and deplores recent political comments which can only have the effect of undermining public confidence in the magistracy and the administration of justice in New South Wales'.

Roger Gyles QC, president of the NSW Bar Association, said: 'Any wrong impression that [magistrates] are subject to control or dismissal by the Government is most unfortunate, as it undermines public confidence in a vital part of the system of justice in this State'. NSW Shadow Attorney-General John Dowd said that, under the Local Courts Act, for the Government to remove Briese it would have to claim he was guilty of misbehaviour or incompetence. Wran admitted he did not have the power to sack Briese. He accused him of a cover-up over the matter of the Farquhar-Ryan-Wood-Murphy dinner in 1979, and said Briese had told a Senate committee he had told Farquhar he was prepared to do favours for the Premier.

That same day, Tuesday 29 April, the judges who had sat on the various trials of Murphy and Foord and on Murphy's appeal, Street, Glass, Samuels, Priestley, Maxwell, Hope, Cantor, and Hunt, sent a letter to Wran, with a copy to Briese. The letter said: 'Dear Mr Premier... We wish to advise the Premier that it is our firm opinion that there is not the slightest justification for regarding the course or outcome of the proceedings mentioned above as warranting in any way the taking of any action against Mr Briese in his official capacity or otherwise'.

However, on Wednesday 30 April, the NSW Labor Caucus, consisting of the Labor members of the NSW Parliament, unanimously endorsed a special motion declaring 'its intense satisfaction at the verdict which has completely vindicated the courageous struggle waged by Justice Murphy against his detractors and politically-inspired opponents. We condemn in the strongest terms all those who played a part in this disgraceful campaign and note with approval the recent statements made by the Premier in this regard. If the Premier finds it necessary to take the required unpalatable actions to effect necessary changes as a result of his inquiries, he will do so with the full support of this Caucus'. Briese said: 'I have noted with regret the remarks that have been made about me by the Premier. I do not intend to respond to them. In relation to the matters which have been the subject of charges against Mr Justice Murphy, the judicial process has concluded, and my role in it has come to an end. As far as I am concerned. the matter must rest there'. It thus appeared that Briese did not intend to be pressured into resignation.

Meanwhile, Murphy proposed, like judge Foord, to re-establish his position on the Bench, which he had left nineteen months before, at the earliest possible moment. Unfortunately for Murphy, the court was not scheduled to sit for another eight days, until Tuesday 6 May. The intervening week proved to be one of the longer and more chaotic in Australian politics.

On Wednesday 30 April, The National Times reported that Callinan and the barristers for the Crown had recommended to Temby that Murphy be charged with attempted bribery in connection with the Thomas matter, but that since Murphy's acquittal, Temby had rejected the advice. Speculation at the time, that Ryan might be prosecuted for alleged attempted bribery of Thomas at a later meeting, at which Murphy was not present, proved inaccurate.

Volume I of the Stewart report on the transcripts was tabled on Thursday 1 May. Volume II was secret, but some of its major contents were reported within a fortnight by Andrew Keenan in The Sydney Morning Herald. It emerged that Stewart had examined allegations about Murphy, Ryan, Ronald Lopes Dias, George Freeman, Trimbole, Christopher Dale Flannery, and various police officers including Wood, the late Jack McNeill, Pat Watson, and Roger Rogerson.

Stewart had invited Murphy to comment on seven matters, but Murphy declined on the ground that he was facing a criminal charge in which his, alleged association with Ryan might be raised. For some reason, Stewart's report mentions only four of the seven matters to which he sought a response from Murphy.

Chief justice of the High Court, Sir Harry Gibbs, asked Bowen for a copy of Stewart's secret second volume on Friday 2 May. When Bowen took the document to Gibbs, he appears to have caught some whiff of concern at the court about the Murphy matter, and communicated this to Hawke. Questioned about Murphy's return to the Bench on Friday 2 May, Hawke declined to take the opportunity to endorse his return.

Hawke and Bowen advised the Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen, a High Court judge from 1972 to 1982, to speak to Murphy. According to Murphy, all Stephen did at their private meeting at Government House on Saturday 3 May was to ask Murphy about his intentions. Murphy made it plain he would not budge from an attempt to return to the court.

On Monday 2 May, the Labor leader and deputy leader in the Senate, John Button and Donald Grimes, put an ultimatum to Murphy: the Government would appoint a commission to inquire into the Thomas matter and others arising from Stewart II unless Murphy refrained from sitting on the court until he had given the other judges a response to those matters.

Murphy agreed. That day he had a meeting with the other six judges, Gibbs, Sir Anthony Mason, Sir Ronald Wilson, Sir Gerard Brennan, Sir William Deane, and Sir Daryl Dawson. It was understood that at least four of these indicated that Murphy should resign, and that Wilson and perhaps one other felt he should not, or at least not immediately, but this was later disputed.

Murphy did not sit on the court on the Tuesday, and it was reported that he would give the other judges a response to the allegations. Concerned that this suggested that the High Court itself was undertaking some kind of investigation of Murphy, Gibbs issued a statement on Wednesday 7 May saying that the court had no such function. He said the meeting with Murphy on the Monday had been to consider what part, if any, it was appropriate for them to play. In fact, all the other judges could do was resign; a refusal to sit with Murphy would be nonattendance, which, it is thought, would amount to a type of 'misbehaviour' under which a judge can be removed.

Faced with Gibbs' statement, the Government had no option but to bring down legislation, largely, it appears, drafted by Evans, to set up a commission of inquiry to report by 30 September 1986. The Government appears to have been under some pressure from elements of both the Right and Left of the Labor Party to restrict the terms of reference; the ruling NSW Right might be concerned as to what a public and thoroughgoing inquiry into the Ryan-Murphy relationship might reveal, and the Left, as noted above, has tended to see the whole thing as a conspiracy against Murphy.

In the event, the main terms of reference were:

 - Proceedings would be in secret, but the Commission could hold them in public if the judges wanted to.

 - It would make no finding except on evidence admissible in a court.

 - Murphy would not be required to give evidence, but the Commission could make him give evidence if there was a prima facie case of misbehaviour against him.

 - It would not consider matters from Murphy's trials, but could if proper examination of other issues required it.

The terms were thus a great muddle, and satisfied few, but, the Government may have hoped, secret hearings would at least keep the Murphy problem out of the media for a time. Meanwhile, it left the onus on the Commissioners to thread their way through the terms as best they could. For example, assuming that perjury qualifies as misbehaviour, it might examine evidence given in the first trial by way of establishing whether or not Murphy had committed perjury there.

On Tuesday 13 May, it was announced that three retired judges would form the Commission: the chairman, Sir George Lush, 73, formerly of the Victorian Supreme Court; Andrew Wells, 67, formerly of the South Australian Supreme Court; and, his health apparently now restored, Sir Richard Blackburn, 68, former Chief Justice of the ACT Supreme Court.

Apparently adopting the motto once ascribed to the Church of England, and more latterly possibly that of some elements of the administration of justice in New South Wales, pas trop de zele, Murphy attacked what he called the 'excessive zeal' of some prosecutors at a seminar on the jury system on 20 May.

On the eve of the first day's hearing, Liberal Federal backbencher Ken Aldred read an extract from in-camera evidence given by James McCartney Anderson to a NSW parliamentary committee on prostitution. Asked by John Dowd whether he had ever been present when Abraham Gilbert Saffron was talking to Murphy, Anderson replied: 'Yes, in the Venus Room. He came down with some Asian ladies. That is Mr Murphy's weakness, incidentally'. Murphy said: 'What the member of Parliament (Aldred) did was disgraceful, and I don't propose to make any other comment'. Saffron denied ever meeting Murphy, and said he had not spoken to him either in person or on the phone.

The Commission met in public for seven minutes on 3 June. The same day, former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam said Murphy was the victim of a political and media campaign to remove him from the High Court. He said: 'I have seen no indication at all of anything that could be called misconduct... The way the media can just create or distort the issue, as on this justice Murphy thing, is a real menace... In my view, he's been the outstanding member of the High Court in my time. He has brought a relevant approach to the High Court's very important job'.

On 26 June, Murphy asked the High Court in Brisbane to ban the Special Commission of Inquiry, to disqualify Wells, to prevent the Inquiry from investigating any material not a specific allegation in precise terms, to prevent the Inquiry from examining allegations concerning his conduct before he became a judge, to prevent the Inquiry from investigating certain matters set out in a letter dated 20 June from the instructing solicitor to counsel assisting the Commission, and to prevent the Inquiry proceeding when Murphy was not present. The six members of the High Court unanimously rejected Murphy's application concerning Wells, and adjourned the other matters until its August sittings. The National Times reported that day that Whitlam had warned the Fabian Society earlier that month that the Labor Party would split if the Government did not support Murphy when it was time for Parliament to vote on the findings of the Inquiry.

NSW Minister for Education Rod Cavalier announced on 30 June that Murphy would head an advisory council formed to establish a proposed University of Western Sydney. Cavalier said it was his idea, that he had discussed it with Wran and no-one else, and that Wran had 'put it to Lionel'. Murphy said: 'The west is entitled to a first-rate university and 1 will do what I can to achieve that objective'.

Between 15 July and 30 July, Murphy received from the Inquiry a list of allegations made against him. It was due to begin examining the allegations on Tuesday, 5 August. While Murphy took the position there was nothing in them, a later letter he wrote to the Chief Justice made it clear that he knew it would take the Inquiry many months to examine them.

There is no point in being other than blunt about the following events, touching as they do on the integrity of one of our fundamental institutions, the High Court, an institution, in my view, already tarnished by the activities of a former member of another political party, Sir Garfield Barwick. The Attorney-General, Lionel Bowen, who had generally managed to keep a clear and cool head throughout the Murphy affair, was out of the country at the time, and not due back in Australia until the night of Friday 1 August. Gareth Evans, who might have saved Murphy and his party from ensuing horrors by advising him to resign - or be removed by Parliament - in February 1984, but who instead insisted there was nothing against Murphy in the Age tapes, was acting Attorney General. It was in this period that Murphy, who had played the legal system with virtuoso brilliance, now played his last political card.

It was a masterstroke, playing as it did on deep wells of hypocrisy and sentiment in the community. If the libel laws exist for the protection of rogues in high places, and the de mortuis principle exists to protect them after they've gone, Murphy now invented and called on a third principle: speak no ill of the dying. It is understood that back in May, Prime Minister Hawke, dismayed that his party had been bleeding from the Murphy Ulcer for more than two years, was prepared to leave Murphy to his fate at the hands of the Commission. Now, he underwent an emotional flip-flop, or, as TIME correspondent Alan Ramsey put it, succumbed to Murphy's emotional blackmail.

On Sunday 27 July, nine days before the Commission was to investigate the allegations against Murphy, the Packer television network's programme, 'Sunday', carried a report by Laurie Oakes saying that Murphy was seriously ill, and that his illness had prompted moves to have the Inquiry disbanded. Marcus Einfeld, QC, who was appearing for Murphy at the Inquiry, later said he had remarked to people how robust Murphy had been throughout the Inquiry. He said he had noticed no loss of weight. The Daily Telegraph reported next day that Murphy had arrived at the Woden Valley Hospital for tests on Wednesday 23 July and was discharged the next day.

Murphy withdrew his actions in the High Court on 28 July in order to remove what he later called 'a practical embarrassment' to his resuming his seat on the High Court. That day there were reports that anonymous sources said he had inoperable cancer of the bowel. Acting Attorney General Gareth Evans, a close friend of Murphy, was reported to have refused to comment on Murphy's health.

A statement made by Murphy on Friday 1 August said: 'On Tuesday 29 July, I resumed the full exercise of my constitutional and statutory functions as a Justice of the High Court of Australia. I so informed the Court at its statutory meeting on the Tuesday... My medical advice is that I have an advanced state of cancer - in its secondary stages - that there is no cure and no treatment. The advice is that, in the absence of a remission, I shall not live very long... I have chosen to spend what portion I can of the limited time available in doing as much judicial duty as I usefully can'.

That day, Tuesday 29 July, it was announced that the Federal Government had decided not to give the Inquiry the use of Federal Police to act as investigators, as had been requested, but would instead appoint two members of the Attorney-General's department to assist. No reason was given for this.

The Australian Democrats, who had forced the Senate inquiries into Murphy in 1984, were now prepared, in the light of reports on his illness, to support any legislation necessary to wind up the Inquiry when the Parliament resumed on 19 August, according to a statement by Deputy Leader Janine Haines on 31 July. However, sources said to be close to Murphy told The Daily Telegraph the same day that he was anxious to clear the last cloud hanging over his name, and did not want the Inquiry disbanded. Apparently, Chief Justice Sir Harry Gibbs wrote Murphy a letter on 31 July seeking to dissuade him from sitting. Sources said to be close to Murphy told The Age's Michelle Grattan that Murphy planned to make a symbolic appearance on the Bench on Friday 1 August and that Gibbs was not happy about that.

Gibbs had advised Murphy that if he sat on the court he (Gibbs) would feel obliged to issue a statement that this was undesirable. Murphy in turn advised Gibbs that if he did so, he (Murphy) would release a stinging letter to Gibbs.

As soon as Murphy took his place on the Bench that morning, Friday 1 August, Gibbs released the statement: 'It is essential the integrity and reputation of any justice of this court be seen to be beyond question. That being so, I regard it as most undesirable that Justice Murphy should sit while matters into which the Commission is inquiring remain unresolved, and before the Commission has made its report. Nevertheless, in the circumstances... I do not regard it as appropriate to do more than express that view'.

Murphy then released the statement referred to above concerning his health and his intention to remain sitting on the court. It also said that the allegations given him between 15 July and 30 July were: 'in my view... either untrue or do not constitute misbehaviour. I have already been cleared of many of them by the unanimous decision of the first Senate Committee. In all the circumstances, I do not propose to attend any further proceedings of the Commission'.

Later in the day, Murphy released the letter he had earlier that day sent to Gibbs. It said:

Dear Bill,

I find it extraordinary that you propose to make a news release, especially one in the terms set out in your letter. Although you described it as uncontroversial, it would inevitably provoke an intense public controversy involving you, me and the court. If you do so, this would be the second time within weeks that such a controversy has been provoked. In May, the Government, through two ministers, informed me that you had said that if I resumed sitting, the court would or might go on strike. I now know that most members of the court had not even contemplated such a course. However, I have not heard any public denial by you, although the matter has been widely reported. Your statement questions whether I have a constitutional right to sit on the court. The plain constitutional position is that the ustices, when appointed to the court, have a right to sit until death, resignation or removal under s.72 (on the grounds only of proved misbehaviour or incapacity). It is not for the Chief justice or any Justice to decide whether it is undesirable for any other Justice to sit on the court. It is improper for one judge to publicly express an opinion on the desirability of another to continue as a Justice or to exercise his functions as a Justice. This is at the foundation of the independence of the judiciary. It has been part of Australia's judicial history that a number of appointments to the High Court have been attacked and the integrity and reputation of the appointees have been questioned in and out of Parliament, and occasionally by resolutions of Bar councils. If your contention is correct, it would follow because the Justice's integrity and reputation has been questioned, he should not continue as a judge of the court. Nothing could be more calculated to undermine the independence of the judiciary. It would encourage the promotion of campaigns against judges, and not only those newly appointed. For a Chief Justice to state that, if there is a question about a Justice's reputation or integrity, or if there is an inquiry into a judge's conduct, he should not continue as a justice, undermines the independence of every federal judge. Significantly, you made no such suggestion when the two Senate inquiries were in progress, the second of which included parliamentary commissioners. During both of those inquiries I sat and decided cases. You refer to the undesirability of sitting before the Commission makes its report. As I informed all members of the court, my advice is that there is no reasonable prospect of the Commission reporting by the due date of 30 September. Even if an extension were granted, I am advised that the probability is that the Commission would not report before the end of this year. I wish to avoid any public controversy with you, as this will inevitably encourage others who will be only too anxious to feed on such a controversy. But if you issue the news release I will answer along the lines of this letter, or release the letter. As you suggested, my staff have informed yours of the cases in which I propose to sit. [It later emerged that he proposed to sit on a case involving the Packer organisation.]

Yours sincerely, Lionel

Legal views of this extraordinary turn of events included:

Dr George Winterton, Associate Professor of Law at the University of New South Wales, said both Murphy's move to resume hearing cases and Gibbs' statement were unwise. He said Gibbs had cast doubt on his own impartiality if the Murphy matter came before the High Court in the future.

Dr Mark Cooray, Associate Professor of Law at Macquarie University, said Murphy's decision to sit while the question of his possible misbehaviour was unresolved was 'extraordinary' He said his sitting was 'not desirable', but there was no constitutional barrier to his sitting. He said the issue should have been resolved by parliamentary processes, and that 'the Government has absolved and avoided its responsibility'.

Professor Colin Howard, Professor of Constitutional Law at Melbourne University, and a former adviser on constitutional law to the Whitlam Government, said; 'I think it lies very ill in justice Murphy's mouth to accuse the Chief Justice of dragging politics into the issue, because if any blame of that kind was to be attached to anyone, I would have said it was to be attached to Justice Murphy'. Howard rejected the assertion that Murphy had a constitutional right to resume his seat on the Bench. He said: 'That right is quite clearly qualified by those words in section 72 of the Constitution which contemplate the possibility of a judge being removed from the Bench under certain circumstances.'

Among political views were:

Prime Minister Hawke said: 'Of course he (Murphy) has the constitutional right to sit on the Bench'. Of the Chief Justice's statement, the Prime Minister said: 'He is entitled to his opinion. It is clear it is a different one from mine.'

John Spender QC, Federal Shadow Attorney-General: 'Remember, nothing has in fact changed save the grievous knowledge, and for Justice Murphy and his family, the grievous situation, of his health. The constitutional reasons which led to the establishment of the Commission are the same now as they were two months ago. The Commission has been set up, and it was common ground, I believe, between the Opposition and the Government that during the Commission Justice Murphy would not sit'.

Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen, Premier of Queensland: 'It (the Commission) should not be dropped unless it is proven conclusively that he hasn't got long to live. Some of these cases, as you know, can be operated on and they're okay. Now the point is, if he's not going to get off the High Court, pursue him to the end then. Pursue him to the end if he won't get off the High Court. He has no right or shouldn't be there today... If he's got cancer, he wouldn't be on the High Court. He can't have it too bad if he's going to sit on the High Court'.

Acting Attorney-General Evans got his last shot in before Bowen arrived back that night. Evans said: 'The Government fully accepts the right of Justice Murphy to sit on the High Court, notwithstanding that the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry is still proceeding... The Government's view is that the most appropriate course in all the circumstances would be either for the Commission legislation to be repealed or, alternatively, for the Commission's proceedings to be suspended and then lapse after the presently fixed reporting date of 30 September... The Government has also decided in principle to make a substantial ex-gratia payment towards the costs incurred by Justice Murphy in defending himself in the committal, criminal trial, appeal, and retrial proceedings that have occurred since December 1984.

'While the Commonwealth has paid, or agreed to pay, Justice Murphy's costs before the Senate Committee hearings and the present Parliamentary Commission, no previous decision has been made in relation to the costs of the criminal proceedings... the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions to initiate proceedings here was expressly made on the basis of special considerations said to be applicable to holders of public office. In essence, to the extent that Justice Murphy was only subjected to the ordeal of criminal prosecution because of the high office he held, it is appropriate that he and his dependants not be required to bear the very large burden of defending that prosecution'.

Murphy attended a reception at the home of the Irish Ambassador, Joseph Small, on Sunday 4 August. It was later reported that the NSW Solicitor-General, Mary Gaudron, re-wrote some of the words of the folksong 'Moreton Bay' for a performance of the protest ballad at the reception.

An opinion written by Temby on 21 November 1984 was leaked to the press and published on 4 August. According to the opinion, Temby found there was a prima facie case against Murphy of conspiring to attempt to pervert the course of justice. Temby was said to have believed that a conviction 'is not probable', but he argued that 'the air is very clouded and it should be cleared'. A report in The Sydney Morning Herald that day said that Temby was maintaining his silence, but 'sources insisted that Murphy's standing as a holder of high public office was not the sole or principal reason for launching proceedings against him'.

On Monday, 4 August, Murphy chose to sit on a case that involved a challenge by Kerry Packer's Channel 9 network to certain broadcasting laws. The matter touched on Section 92, which provides for freedom of interstate trade. It was thought to be his last case, if he could get his judgment written before he died.

By this time, reportage of these bizarre events hovered on the brink of the maudlin. On 5 August, The Sydney Morning Herald's legal correspondent, John Slee, sought to introduce some rigour into the debate. He wrote in a column:

'What is Lionel Murphy trying to prove? Certainly, it is not his innocence. For a while, at the beginning of last week, it seemed otherwise. Those close to him who leaked the first news of his illness stressed that he wanted the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry to continue. It was being said that the Inquiry had failed to come up with anything substantial. The implication was that if it completed its work it would put an end to a terrible ordeal for justice Murphy, and that it would confirm his good name.

'Of course, that combination of determination to see the Inquiry through and relaxed confidence about its outcome did not fit with Justice Murphy's previous opposition to the very existence of the Inquiry, whose constitutional validity he had sought to challenge in the High Court. But, if indeed the Inquiry had, after turning every stone, satisfied itself of Justice Murphy's innocence, it was perfectly natural that he would be most anxious for it to complete its work. However, by the end of the week, it was plain that the true position was quite different from that being put about on Justice Murphy's behalf by his friends a few days earlier.

... 'we now know that he has added Parliament's Inquiry to the list of those with which he has refused to be perfectly frank. His acquittal at his second trial, for example, was so compromised by the unsatisfactory circumstance of his refusal to give evidence on oath and submit to cross examination that the Parliamentary Inquiry that followed was inevitable. And of course, the only time Justice Murphy has submitted to full questioning - at his first trial - he was convicted. His supporters talk of how unfairly he has been hounded. But among those who have admired him and care for the judicial spirit he came to epitomise, there are many who have been waiting for him to answer questions that needed to be answered.

'The Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry provided the last opportunity for that to happen. The sycophants and opportunists who see blind support for Justice Murphy as an imperative of Party solidarity and mateship mistake his refusal to take that opportunity for courage. Those who care for his judicial standing can only take it as a disappointment and a betrayal. Justice Murphy might choose to close the affair by putting a spurious kind of political triumph above real vindication of his own and the court's integrity. But the Federal Government should do better. It probably will not.

'By terminating the Parliamentary Commission, the Government will have managed nothing better than to follow behind him once again, this time piping some thin tune to accompany what looks like a sad and solitary danse macabre'.

Murphy resigned his post as chairman of the Western Sydney University Advisory Council on 5 August.

On 6 August, the Commission dashed hopes that the Commission would fold its tents and silently steal away. In a report sent to Parliament's presiding officers and the leaders of the major parties, the Commission said it was set up to perform a task of national importance, and this was still the case. It said it would need at least an extra six months to complete its work, but it would be a denial of justice to continue if Murphy was too ill to attend hearings. It said the Commission was due to examine a series of allegations against Murphy on Tuesday (5 August), but instead considered the future of the inquiry in the light of his health.

It was understood that Murphy would hear his last case on 7 August, but that he did not intend to resign. Spender said the Inquiry should continue if Murphy did not resign. He said the Commission's report referred to a medical certificate concerning Murphy, and added: 'Without in any way raising any question on the medical evidence before the Commission, I think it desirable to point out that I have not seen that certificate'.

Wran, who had resigned as Premier of New South Wales on 4 July, announced on 8 August that he would chair the Lionel Murphy Foundation. The Foundation would aim to raise $100 000 to assist students to study the country's legal system. Wran said the Foundation would provide 'a permanent institution to mark the unique contributions to Australian public life of the Honourable Lionel Murphy in politics, law and social reform'.

Hawke confirmed on 12 August that his Government would revoke the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission after Parliament resumed, and would also then justify the making of an ex gratia payment, reported in some quarters to be $750 000, to Murphy.

On Wednesday 21 August, it was reported in The Bulletin that 'Murphy has said he would like his replacement to be a woman'. If Murphy was saying this in official circles, it could be construed as an attempt to nominate his own successor, it being assumed the person he had in mind was Mary Genevieve Gaudron, 43, NSW Solicitor-General. The same day, after bringing down a severe Budget the previous day, the Government introduced legislation to terminate the Murphy inquiry 'forthwith'. The terms were breathtaking. The documents and allegations made against Murphy at the inquiry were to be suppressed forever. Any person disclosing the allegations could be imprisoned for six months or fined $5000, or both. Corporations disclosing the material could be fined $100 000. Evidence given by witnesses could not be used in any court proceedings, not just in proceedings against the witness. At this time, Murphy had taken sick leave from the High Court, but had not resigned from it.

The legislation could be seen as a brave, if equally futile, attempt to replicate the Menzies Government's determination to bury forever the documents held by the Petrov Royal Commission of 1954-55. The key Petrov material, the so-called Document J, which contained material damaging to members of the Liberal Party, was leaked to the present writer in 1981, and the documents were formally released by the Hawke Government in 1984. It could also be seen as a replication of the Fraser Government's attempts to excise the Mundroola allegations against Chief Justice Barwick.

Introducing the Bill, Attorney-General Bowen, who was understood to be going to retire at the next election, said it was necessary because the Commission 'has not made, and will not be able to make, any findings in relation to matters before it. In particular, it is necessary to protect from access and publication any allegations against Justice Murphy... documents which contain any material relating to the conduct of Justice Murphy, provision is made... to exclude access under any Federal, State or Territory law, including the Freedom of Information Act, 1982, the Archives Act, 1983, and any law which provides for the production of documents'.

Opposition leader Howard called on the Government to reveal what it was covering up. He said: 'The information which can never be disclosed relates not only to Murphy, but to other people who may have been mentioned'.

Liberal backbencher Ken Aldred, who had alleged that Murphy was an associate of Abraham Gilbert Saffron, asked what would happen to such unanswered claims. He said the bill would prevent a resolution of questions which implicated Murphy in crime and even espionage. He said he understood the Commission had reached the point where it was considering twelve counts on which a prima facie case could be made to indict Murphy for criminal offence.

Democrats leader Chipp had retired from Parliament the previous Monday. Janine Haines, the new leader of the party that had forced the investigation of Murphy, said: 'We opposed the Commission of Inquiry in the first place. Had there not been that Commission, those documents would not exist. As far as we are concerned the Government can shred them or bum them'. The Government however did not propose to go that far. Care of the material was entrusted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate, who were empowered to 'take such measures as they consider necessary' to prevent access to the documents.

National Party leader Ian Sinclair said: 'The Hawke Government has moved to guarantee that a cloud of doubt will forever hang over the reputation of Justice Murphy'. Calling for the material to be handed over to the National Crime authority for additional investigation, Sinclair said the provisions would probably force the next Coalition Government to repeal the law and 'reopen the matter'.

NSW shadow Attorney-General John Dowd said the bill would jeopardise a series of inquiries and State and Federal criminal investigations. He said the Government was 'either deliberately or incompetently' enacting a provision which made statements made or documents given to the Commission inadmissible for the purposes of all criminal and civil proceedings.

Federal Opposition shadow Attorney-General John Spender, whose late father, Sir Percy, was mentioned in the Petrov documents, said the bill 'has the effect of denying access to that material in perpetuity even if it is directly relevant to the proof of a criminal offence against some third person'. He said: 'There cannot be one set of constitutional rules for a healthy judge and another set for a sick judge'.

In a leading article, The Sydney Morning Herald said the provisions of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (Repeal) Bill were 'indefensible'. It said: 'The inquiry into Justice Murphy's fitness as a judge, it can be assumed, took the parliamentary commission into the jungle of allegations of corrupt power-broking in New South Wales. While the Commission was confined to considering Justice Murphy's fitness as a judge, its inquiry inevitably must have confronted broader issues. The Commissioners' request for more time cannot be regarded as idle. Nor should it be seen merely in terms of Justice Murphy's personal fate. That is why the Federal Government's action, in one swift stroke, of terminating the inquiry and burying its remains will not be seen by history as simply an act of compassion and propriety to one man. It will be recognised as yet another attempt to delay the full examination of questions concerning the health of basic institutions - the courts and Parliament - in New South Wales; questions which have demanded answers for almost three years since the NSW Police tapes first came to light...'

Professor Colin Howard, Hearn Professor of Law at Melbourne University, said he could think of no law which went so far, and warned that it could be seen as a precedent. He said: ‘As with all concealment of information, it will be interpreted in the worst possible light'. George Winterton, senior lecturer in law at the University of New South Wales, said the secrecy provision was outrageous. John McMillan, lecturer in administrative law at Australian National University, said: 'It is more than extraordinary. It seems to violate the basic archival principles that when individual reputations are not likely to be affected then the public and historians have a right to survey the material'.

The next day, Thursday 21 August, the Government's plans began to unravel when a number of documents were tabled in Parliament, and the Democrats resisted the attempt to bury the affair in perpetuity.

National Party Leader Ian Sinclair said the aim of the legislation was to establish 'a conspiracy of silence' which would suppress investigation c of those with whom the judge has been in communication'. He was later suspended from the House for twenty-four hours for interjecting. In an impassioned speech, Bowen rejected complaints of a cover-up. Overlooking the fact that Murphy had mostly been declining to answer allegations for nearly three years, he said: 'What it's all about (is) to prevent a dying man being maligned, unable to answer accusations'.

A fifty-nine-page report from the Commissioners was tabled at their request. It indicated there were fourteen specific allegations drafted on Murphy's behaviour. We know that Murphy received these allegations between 15 July and 30 July. It is unclear when, if at all, he received the Commissioners' definition of 'misbehaviour' as included in this report. However, it now appeared that, on their ruling of its meaning, and even on the material that was already in the public domain, the Commissioners would have had no option but to recommend to the House to remove Murphy from the Court, and that the Parliament would have had no option but to accept that recommendation.

The Commissioners unanimously rejected submissions by counsel for Murphy on the meaning of misbehaviour. They rejected submissions that Section 72 of the Constitution cannot be confined to misconduct in the office itself, and that it cannot be restricted to a serious offence against the law. Sir George Lush said: 'My opinion is that the word "misbehaviour' in Section 72 is used in its ordinary meaning, and not in the restricted sense of "misconduct in office". It is not confined, either, to conduct of a criminal nature'. He said judges cannot 'be protected from the public interest which their office tends to attract. If their conduct, even in matters remote from their work, is such that it would be judged by the standards of the time to throw doubt "on their own suitability to continue in office, or to undermine their authority as judges or the standing of their courts, it may be appropriate to remove them'.

Sir Richard Blackburn said: 'The material available for solving this problem of construction suggests that "Proved misbehaviour" means such misconduct, whether criminal or not, and whether or not displayed in the actual exercise of judicial functions, as, being morally wrong, demonstrate the unfitness for office of the judge in question'.

Andrew Wells said: 'A man may possess profound learning, intellectual adroitness, and an accurate memory, and, by using them, adequately discharge the duties of many public offices; but, without law, he could not discharge the duties of judicial office. In short, a man's moral worth, in general, pervades his life both in and out of office... The word "misbehaviour" must be held to extend to conduct of the judge in or beyond the execution of his judicial office, that represents so serious a departure from standards of proper behaviour by such a judge that it must be found to have destroyed public confidence that he will continue to do his duty under and pursuant to the Constitution'. He said both Houses of Parliament have the power and responsibility of deciding whether judicial conduct amounts to misbehaviour, but this 'does not however make them masters of the law'. It meant rather that Parliament must 'conscientiously accept the legal test of what is misbehaviour. It is no part of this ruling that the Houses of Parliament may vary that test from case to case'.

The document relating to Murphy's health, tabled at his request, was dated 1 August. It said:

'Justice Murphy is a 63-year-old man whose symptoms, enlarged liver and chronic anaemia, suggested carcinoma of the colon. This was confirmed by X-ray examination of the bowel and by colonoscopy. The cancer had spread throughout the liver, as evidenced by clinical and ultrasound examination. Carcinoma of the colon with diffuse liver involvement is a terminal disease. While it is difficult to prognosticate in any individual, the life expectancy for a patient suffering from this stage of colon cancer, without further treatment, is in the order of three-to nine months. Should chemotherapy be used, there is a limited (about twenty per cent) prospect of prolonging his survival for a further period of months. Justice Murphy has been seen by the following specialists: Professor William Doe, specialist physician, Department of Medicine and Clinical Science, Woden Valley Hospital, Canberra, Ray Hollings, specialist rectal surgeon, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney. They concur with the above statement, Rob Griffiths, MBBS (Hons), MRCP (UK), Red Hill Canberra.'

In the Senate, the coalitions parties, with the help of the Democrats, amended the legislation to remove the fine of $100 000 on corporations who published the allegations against Murphy, and to restrict penalties of $5000 and / or six months in prison to members of the Commission, its staff, and legal counsel. It was announced on Friday 22 August that the Government would not accept this amendment, but it would allow the documents to be published after thirty years, i.e. in the year 2016. Bowen announced that the Government would accept the Senate amendment on 18 September.

Among the public, this last extraordinary episode in the can of worms opened by the NSW Police Tapes probably had the effect of removing any lingering doubt that Murphy was guilty at least of misbehaviour. It also demonstrated that the Hawke Government had failed to learn the great lesson of the Wran years: cover-ups eventually come unglued.

Murphy lapsed into a coma at the weekend of 18/19 October 1986. On Tuesday 21 October, Gibbs and Brennan held a special sitting of the High Court at 3.30 pm to read his last two judgments; in both of which he was in a minority (6-1 in the case of his judgment in favour of TCNG), and he died at 4.30 pm. The Commonwealth Government afforded him a state memorial service in the Sydney Town Hall on Monday 27 October.


Balancing security and privacy: Bob Hawke faced dilemmas familiar today

Then prime minister grappled with the brief and oversight of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/31/balancing-security-and-privacy-bob-hawke-faced-dilemmas-familiar-today

Though set in the distant, final days of the cold war, Australian cabinet documents dating from 1986-87 show a government grappling with many of the same dilemmas Edward Snowden’s disclosures currently illuminate.

Released today by the National Archives, some of the documents are redacted on security grounds. But the available material shows that well before smartphones and social media, Australian MPs were wondering how to balance the public interest in a secure and well-administered free society with the fundamental freedoms that should distinguish that society: privacy, freedom of expression and effective checks on the uses of state power.

The issues that Snowden has raised for Americans by disclosing a trove of data from the National Security Agency (NSA) arise equally for citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK, the countries which since the 1940s have gathered and shared intelligence with the US as the so-called “5-Eyes”.

Snowden’s disclosures, supported at least in part by Barack Obama’s own review panel, have exposed weaknesses in the framework of oversight of US security and intelligence agencies which the Congress built in the 1970s in response to revelations of earlier abuses and unlawful activities.

Australia had something similar, and the newly released documents tell part of the story.

In 1974 the Whitlam government appointed Justice Robert Hope to inquire into Australia’s security services. After 23 years in opposition, many in the Labor party viewed the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (Asio) with suspicion. In 1973 Whitlam’s attorney general, Lionel Murphy, had personally visited Asio’s offices – the media called it a “raid” – in search of information he believed Asio had withheld from him, the responsible minister.

Hope’s royal commission found a history of ministerial ignorance of security and intelligence issues. He discovered that Asio had provided selected journalists with political briefings, and that there were examples of improper use of security and intelligence information for political purposes.

The next Labor government, Bob Hawke’s, was elected in March 1983 during the final big chill of the cold war led by the then US president Ronald Reagan. Hawke soon had a security crisis to handle. The Labor party’s former federal secretary, David Combe, who had become a lobbyist and had good access to ministers, had developed a social relationship with the first secretary of the Soviet embassy, Valery Ivanov, who was believed by Asio to be a spy.

Asio had bugged Ivanov’s home and concluded that Combe was being cultivated, perhaps with a view to recruitment. The Hawke government expelled Ivanov and closed down Combe’s access to ministers. Hope, as royal commissioner, again investigated and controversially vindicated Asio.

Traces of these events can be found in the 1986-87 cabinet documents because the Hawke government was at that time deciding how to implement various Hope recommendations for reform of the security services: how to improve the standard of background checks of security and intelligence staff, and how to create a scheme for the reporting of contacts between Australian officials and overseas representatives within Australia.

The list of countries from which those overseas representatives came has been redacted from the documents on the grounds that its disclosure “could reasonably be expected to cause damage to the security, defence or international relations of the Commonwealth”.

The same exemption has been cited to deny access entirely to two documents which appear to relate to the Spycatcher case from the same period. The present communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, was (victorious) counsel for Peter Wright, a former member of Britain’s MI5 security service, and his publisher Heinemann, when the UK government unsuccessfully tried through the courts to prevent publication of Wright’s memoir Spycatcher, which in part alleged that MI5 had overstepped its remit.

The two closed documents are Memorandum 4290 “Proceedings to prevent publication of books about intelligence and security matters” and Memorandum 4433 “Australian intervention by affidavit in UK Attorney-General v Heinemann and Peter Wright”. It is difficult to imagine why these documents would be so sensitive 28 years after the event that suppression could be justified, and Guardian Australia is considering an appeal.

Here is a summary of some of the issues Snowden’s disclosures have raised, followed by material from the 1986-87 Hawke cabinet documents which demonstrate how similar issues recur and require renewed investigation – and, perhaps, fresh reform.

How best can democracies hold their security services accountable when too much transparency could weaken their effectiveness?

ubmission 3905 briefed cabinet on what Hawke and his closest advisers had decided to do about Hope’s recommendations. A legislative package would:

 Give a person subject to an adverse Asio assessment an opportunity to be heard (a recommendation expressly stated to arise from the Combe-Ivanov affair)

 Narrow Asio’s brief so that it should not limit the right of persons to engage in lawful advocacy, protest or dissent. The exercise of that right should not, by itself, be regarded as prejudicial to security

 Create a joint parliamentary committee of MPs from different parties to oversee Asio

 Create the role of inspector general of intelligence and security “to assist ministers with oversight and review of the intelligence and security agencies: firstly, their compliance with the law; secondly, the propriety of their activities; thirdly, the effectiveness and appropriateness of their procedures”.

 The inspector general, and not the human rights commission, would consider any complaints about the security services.

The joint parliamentary committee and the inspector general are still in existence in 2014. It remains to be seen whether, as Obama’s review panel has done in the US, they will inquire and report publicly into Snowden revelations that have relevance to Australia.

For example, have Australian intelligence agencies, either alone or with other 5-Eyes members, with or without the co-operation or knowledge of phone and internet service providers, been involved in mass collection and/or use of the phone metadata of Australians or of their email or social media activities? If so, has this been done with or without approval from ministers? Would suspicionless mass surveillance of this kind comply with Australian law? With whom is the data shared? Are the agencies’ procedures effective and appropriate so that the stored personal data is secure from, say, a Chelsea Manning or an Edward Snowden?

When phone metadata is collected, perhaps improperly, can the public interest justify its use anyway?

In 1987 in Queensland Tony Fitzgerald, QC, was in the midst of his landmark inquiry into corruption in that state’s public administration, especially its police. Cabinet Memorandum 5404 records the Hawke government’s agreement to Fitzgerald’s urgent request for Commonwealth legislation to enable access for Fitzgerald to phone metadata. The third paragraph says:

“The [Fitzgerald] commission has become aware of the existence in the hands of Telecom [now Telstra], and an officer of Telecom, of information which could considerably assist the commission and is regarded as essential to criminal law enforcement. This information will disclose the fact that various calls have been made or attempted between various telephone numbers, but not the contents of conversations. The information was obtained as a result of ‘interceptions’, some of which may have been in contravention of the Telecommunications (Interception) Act.”

The memorandum indicates the Australian Taxation Office would be empowered to provide “tax-sourced information” to Fitzgerald. It notes the ATO had been given access by the Fitzgerald inquiry to a transcript index and to information sourced from financial institutions and had been able to issue increased tax assessments.

Material disclosed by Snowden, or in response to his leaks, indicates both the importance of appropriate data sharing by government agencies to achieve legitimate ends and the likelihood that when large amounts of the public’s data is collected for a particular purpose there is a tendency to want to use it for other purposes which may have been unforeseen when collection was authorised and may be unrelated to the purpose of collection.

In the information age, to what extent ought government agencies compulsorily collect and use the personal information of citizens, the better to identify and govern them?

In 1986 and 1987 the Hawke government announced its intention to introduce an identity card. The Australia Card proposal met considerable public resistance, essentially on privacy grounds. The year 1984, of the famous Orwell novel’s title, had recently passed, and the implications of data-matching with computers were becoming better appreciated.

The documents show that cabinet considered both the civil liberties issues and a cost-benefit analysis. Cabinet Submission 3510, on civil liberties, emphasises the proposed safeguards, including an independent watchdog to be known as the data protection agency. Submission 3507 noted that while some uses were unquantifiable, the cost effectiveness was $3.20 of benefits for every dollar of costs. Benefits envisaged included reduced tax evasion, better welfare administration and improved census data. The Defence Department is reported to have seen potential secondary uses for the card, but these are unspecified in the cabinet submission.

The government tried to tough out the resistance, and in August 1987 the cabinet decided to push the legislation through a joint sitting of parliament if necessary. Cabinet records show that ministers were formally urged to get behind the government’s position.

But resistance to the Australia Card continued, legal difficulties also emerged and in late September, the cabinet decided to abandon it. The upshot, which endures today, included the tax file numberCommonwealth Privacy Act and office of the privacy commissioner.

The Snowden disclosures – and the reviews, agitation and litigation surrounding them – have the side-effect of demonstrating to the public both the amount of personal information that is generated by commonly used devices and routine activities, and the level of government interest in collecting and using that data.

In that sense, the Snowden story may amount to the most prominent opportunity in this country since the Australia Card debate for reconsideration of the acceptable trade-offs between privacy and government data collection. Whether the same degree of party political combat, public concern or proffered safeguards results in Australia in 2014 as occurred in 1986-87 is yet to be seen.

When is a whistleblower a traitor, and how much should sovereign nations assist the US to impede the international travels of a person who reveals the workings of US intelligence agencies?

The newly released archives show that in May 1987 the Hawke cabinet decided to refuse a visa to visit Australia to Philip Agee.

Agee was a CIA officer who in the 1970s had left the agency and in his book Inside the Company: CIA Diary disclosed details of CIA agents’ identities and activities in which he participated or had knowledge. They included activities seemingly beyond the agency’s proper functions. His passport was revoked and he was expelled from several countries at the request of the US.

Cabinet Minute 9604 does not give reasons for the refusal other than to say that “any public statement about this decision should make the point that both the Callaghan government in Britain and the Mitterrand government in France had refused entry to Agee, referring in particular to the statement made at the time by the Callaghan government which publicised Agee’s hostile intelligence connections”.

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The parallels with recent events involving Snowden and David Miranda are not exact. For instance, a Soviet defector was to claim that Agee had offered his services to Soviet intelligence and, although rejected as a plant, Agee had assisted Cuban intelligence.

Agee was simply denied a visa by Australia. By contrast, Miranda was detained and searched by UK authorities; and several European countries denied access to their airspace to the Bolivian president’s plane when it was thought to be carrying Snowden away from Russia.

However there are similarities enough to indicate that when faced with a person making public disclosures about its intelligence agencies, the US has for many years had a long reach. It has been able to obtain the assistance of governments which in other circumstances might place greater weight on freedom of expression and of association.

Five months before its decision on Agee, the Hawke cabinet had adopted a revised “controversial visitor policy” and agreed the primary criteria to be adopted in deciding whether to accept or reject a visa application from such a visitor. The minister for immigration summarised the policy as involving “some liberalisation of present policy in terms of freedom of speech and in the equality of treatment”.

The criteria focused mainly on whether the visa applicant had undertaken or promoted violence. The revision seems mainly to have been concerned with distinguishing visits by Palestinians, which were to be allowed (unless they did not otherwise meet the criteria), from visits by PLO representatives, which were not. The policy is expressed in generic language to apply to any visa applicant. Attached guidelines state in part that “the mere likelihood of the visit giving rise to discussions or debates that go on in a democratic society is not to be considered sufficient to designate the applicant as a likely controversial visitor”.

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