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The Ashby raid and the Potential Charges

November 19, 2015


The following article is by Ross Jones…

The AFP warrant served on James Ashby signals the beginning of the end of the saga that is Ashbygate, a plot hatched deep inside Liberal HQ to sacrifice Australian democracy for its own twisted ends.

It is a cluster bomb with the power to rearrange Australian politics.

The warrant alleges Malcolm Thomas Brough, James Hunter Ashby, Karen Lynette Doane and Steve (no middle name) Lewis were all in breach of either the Crimes Act 1914 or Criminal Code of 1995. Or both.

Let’s start with Lewis and his then employer, News Ltd. It can be proven News paid for at least Ashby’s accommodation while he was in Sydney –

From the new Ashbygate book:

James was up bright and early on the morning of Wednesday 11 April, ready for a big day.

At 6.28 a.m. he asked Lewis:

‘Hi Steve. Do u want me to check out before I leave for the lawyers or am staying another night in the same place?’

[Lewis replied:] ‘Hi mate No stay another night OK? I will sort out paymeent etc Just tell hotel to book u in again and News will sort’

[Ashby:] ‘Ok cheers for that’

The warrant served on Ashby this week by the AFP makes interesting reading.


If it can be proven that Ashby, a Commonwealth official, had benefited from or was influenced by these payments to leak details of Slipper’s diary, that would be a breach of Section 142.1(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 which is concerned with;

‘141.1  Bribery of a Commonwealth public official’

If found guilty, Lewis could face up to 5 years in prison.

I spoke with Steve Lewis this afternoon. He reckons he hadn’t seen the warrant, just read about it. I offered to read it to him. He said he was in a meeting and was busy. I wished him luck.

It could cramp News’ style as well. While it is not mentioned in the warrant, Lewis’ phrase ‘News will sort’ makes it  seem pretty clear what happened.

If found guilty, a corporation can be fined 10% of its turnover for the year following the offence. That would hurt.

The warrant also alleges Ashby was in breach of the Crimes Act 1914 when he gave extracts of Slipper’s diary to ‘third parties without authority’. Section 70 concerns unauthorised disclosure by public officers. Penalty? Two years in a green t-shirt.

The warrant also alleges Ashby was in breach of Section 478.1 of the Criminal Code 1995 when he accessed data in Slipper’s diary without authorisation. That would be another two.

I tried calling James a few times, but my calls went straight through to the keeper.

Karen could also be playing the lead role in her own personal version of Prisoner if she goes down for breaching S70 of the Crimes Act 1914 when she passed on Slipper’s diary information without authority.

And that brings us to Malcolm Thomas Brough, accused by the AFP of counselling and procuring Ashby to both access restricted data and to disclose diary extracts.

These alleged offences are in breach of S70(1) of the Crimes Act 1995 by virtue of S11(2) of the Criminal Code Act 1995, which says:

‘A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission of an offence by another person is taken to have committed that offence and is punishable accordingly.’

and Section 478.1 of the Criminal Code 1995, which is concerned with

‘Unauthorised access to, or modification of, restricted data’.

All up, maybe four years.

Blind optimism I know, but if this warrant leads to formal charges and, thence, to convictions, it will change the landscape.

Such as:

  • News Ltd could risk 10% of annual turnover which might just blunt its bullying, childlike aggression.
  • Pauline Hanson would have to walk.
  • Doane, Lewis, Ashby and Brough will have plenty of time to reflect on their folly.
  • Everyone will try to save themselves by blabbing.
  • The Coalition will then implode.

Now the MSM are so over the shock of the AFP Ashby raid they’ve buried it. I reside in NSW and have heard nothing today on any news bulletin, nothing in the print Sydney Morning Herald, no mention in the Rupert local comic strip, the Daily Telegraph.

But no matter, things are moving along fine.

Ross Jones is author of the new book ‘ASHBYGATE: THE PLOT TO DESTROY AUSTRALIA’S SPEAKER’, which can be ordered HERE and also via selected independent bookstores.





20 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2015 3:32 pm


  2. Tom R permalink
    November 19, 2015 3:51 pm

    The Coalition will then implode.


    Pyne-Brough-Roy to explain their roles

    Tin Foil Hat time.

    After so much (ignored?) pressure applied over the intervening years, to no avail, why now?

    And with three of malcaymans front line in the firing line…………….?

  3. Neil of Sydney permalink
    November 19, 2015 4:03 pm

    What is this all about?

  4. TB Queensland permalink
    November 19, 2015 6:06 pm

    Jesus Christ, Kneel, do keep up!

    And in the real world … Steve Lewis popped up in Utegate too …

    A Senate committee, which reported in November 2009, cleared Grech of charges of contempt, but its report contained the text of hundreds of emails between Grech and third parties, and suggested Grech had been critical in briefing Steve Lewis of the Daily Telegraph about the allegations, and had extensive communication with Liberal Party figures including Turnbull himself.[30][31]

    Turnbull’s leadership ratings in the opinion polls never recovered from the affair, and on 1 December 2009, he was defeated in a party-room ballot by Tony Abbott as leader of the Liberal Party.[32]

    And I always suspected that Brough was involved in that too! But from the perspective of getting Turncoat out … oddly enough … eg Turncoat became the scapegoat for Utegate …

    Royal Commission on The Australian Liberal Party coming up? 😉

  5. TB Queensland permalink
    November 19, 2015 6:07 pm

    Like the photo montage, sreb … really good …

  6. armchair opinionator permalink
    November 19, 2015 10:55 pm

    I expect nothing will come of it. The AFP are pretending they are doing their job, it will all quietly go away with no action or a ‘no case to answer’ for all of them. If they were serious, they would have investigated this before the evidence was destroyed three years ago.

    Newscorp doesn’t report the news, it manufactures the news and it will act to achieve a political outcome for murdoch. That’s what the court cases in the UK are all about [and never reported on over here].

    Justice being seen to be done is all it is
    If anyone is to be the scapegoat, they’ve set ashby up for it.

    And I always suspected that Brough was involved in that too!

    I think abbott and his office were in the thick of it, he’s as dirty as they come. Remember those computer timestamps etc. when he obviously knew what was happening? Abbott was visiting qld often.

    Time discrepancies and the strange lack of interest in Ashby affair

    …On that basis, one would assume the mainstream media would have been anxious to clear up the issue of the timing discrepancy. After all, for months we’ve been treated to the minutiae of Julia Gillard’s legal work 20 years ago, with ancient documents pored over, memories dredged and wild claims made. This relates to an issue not 20-years-old, but nine-months-old.

    But, strangely, there’s been nothing. No acres of newsprint from that fine forensic mind of Hedley Thomas. No editorial from The Australian demanding Abbott and Brough allow themselves to be grilled at length. No columns in The Age from Mark Baker. No complaints from Jonathan Holmes about the ABC not following the story up. No interviews on 7.30 with discredited figures making wild allegations against Abbott and then refusing to detail them, let alone back them up…

  7. armchair opinionator permalink
    November 19, 2015 11:11 pm

    I would enjoy seeing them all trooping into a court though, surely we deserve it after abbott’s recent reign of terror!

    Does anyone know the outcome of the david ettridge vs tony abbott court case that was referred to the AFP in June 2013?

    EXCLUSIVE: Ettridge action against Abbott continues — in Canberra,5574

  8. Tom R permalink
    November 20, 2015 8:41 am

    Does anyone know the outcome of the david ettridge vs tony abbott court case

    No, I’m guessing that got quietly washed up under the news media masts in the “not interested” category

    I know John Setka lost his defamation case. But he was always pushing shit uphill in that imo.

    Union boss John Setka loses Tony Abbott defamation appeal

    It amazes me how such an inept person can gain so many powerful benefactors though.

    There’s ways and there’s ways I guess

    Kathy Jackson ‘too sick’ to turn up as court hears her appeal over $1.4m repayment doesn’t have legs

    Read more:
    Follow us: @canberratimes on Twitter | CanberraTimes on Facebook

  9. Tom R permalink
    November 20, 2015 9:49 am

    And speaking of “potential charges”, how these crooks were allowed to skulk off out of hte country is beyond me. Well, considering the “Trading Places” concept, perhaps not 😦

    James Hardie slashes asbestos compensation fund payments by 44 per cent

  10. TB Queensland permalink
    November 20, 2015 10:24 am

    Another two (at least) generations will suffer through the use of asbestos in our communities … and James Hardie are still fudging agreements … at taxpayer expense … double jeopardy?

  11. November 20, 2015 10:38 am

    “”Like the photo montage, sreb … really good …””

    I’d like to take the credit for it, but I ‘borrowed’ it from the internet.

  12. TB Queensland permalink
    November 20, 2015 11:12 am

    snap! TR!

  13. TB Queensland permalink
    November 20, 2015 11:14 am

    I admire your honesty, sreb, a rare trait in these troubled times …

    … taking credit from and discrediting others seems to be on the rise over the last couple years …

    I have no idea why … 😉

  14. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    November 20, 2015 11:30 am

    … taking credit from and discrediting others seems to be on the rise over the last couple years …

    Al Gore invented the internet, apparently

  15. Tom R permalink
    November 20, 2015 11:50 am

    Al Gore invented the internet, apparently

    Yea, but he was taking the credit for what malcayman did.

  16. TB Queensland permalink
    November 20, 2015 1:23 pm

    Al Gore invented the internet, apparently

    Milkum Turncoat according to the Mad Abbott …

  17. Tom R permalink
    November 20, 2015 4:36 pm

    Yet no-one, NO-ONE, in the Press Gallery mentioned his intimate involvement in the hottest political story of 2012, the sexual harassment legal action by James Ashby against Peter Slipper, an action thrown out of Court for abuse of process, then dropped by Ashby after the appeal court ordered it be decided on the merits. Slipper was ruined, and Ashby ordered to pay costs. – See more at:</i?

    Don't worry, it also mentions the gathered thongs disinterest in yabot. And their possible motives for the protection racket they ran for him.

  18. November 20, 2015 7:17 pm

    WILLFUL.CORPORATE.MURDERERS,,,,,,,,,,,,,,James Hardie has cut its contribution to its legacy asbestos compensation scheme, despite increases in its profit and cash flow,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,facing a $184 million shortfall in funding by 2017 and was proposing to move to an instalment scheme to help cover the gap.

    That plan drew heavy criticism from the Asbestos Diseases Foundation, which described it as “morally bankrupt” as “victims don’t die by instalments, they need lump sum payments”.

    However it was NSW taxpayers who covered the shortfall.,,,,,,


  19. TB Queensland permalink
    November 20, 2015 7:33 pm

    its the onions fault!

  20. December 11, 2015 8:31 am


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