The judges have finished hearing legal argument and have reserved judgement for a date to be fixed...STOP PRESS - Fixed on 6 December for 15 December in the Blue Court.
While the case in terms of facts and evidence is wholly in Raymond Hoser's favor, the fact is that three judges employed by the man who has pressed charges against Hoser will be under immense pressure to find against Hoser and declare him guilty of telling the truth in his corruption books.
As expected the judges have set down their verdict for a date to be fixed.
The crown cross-appeal was pretty much dead in the water as it concentrated on the new fantasy of the idea that the Bingley tape of 1988 didn't exist.
All parties were given a CD-rom with the tape killing off that idea and the related arguments following from the pretense it didn't exist.
Notwithstanding that, the case revolves around overturning a number of defective propositions of fact and perhaps law as cited by Judge Eames in the lower court.
While it's generally conceded that the likelihood of appeal court judges going against a fellow judge from the same court, it was notable today that the Judge Eames conspiracy theory that Hoser had got a rent-a-witness in a court case in 1988 was written off by the judges in this case as just that … a lie.
The verdict will be delivered on a date to be fixed.
In the meantime free speech in Australia and the right to know the truth will sit on tenterhooks until then.
Today the first part of the day was legal argy bargy and so on before the Truth itself got an airing.
The crown and the trial judges conceded that the Judge Geoffrey Eames conspiracy theory about Mr. Desmond Burke being a rent-a-witness in a case in 1988 was just that - a conspiracy theory.
Next in line for debunking was a perverse prosecution theory that the tape recording of corrupt Victorian Policeman Ross Bingley stating that he paid off magistrate Hugh Adams to fix a case in 1988 did not exist.
The tape has been around for some 15 years undisputed and to make sure of the truth, all parties got copies of it today (on a CD-rom with loads of other sound files, transcripts and the like).
Notwithstanding all this, Hoser faced an uphill battle.
When highlighting some serious misquotes and misrepresentations of the truth by Judge Eames in his judgement (being appealed), Hoser was interrupted with undue frequency during his address, by one or more of the appeal court judges making it all slow going.
Most of the questions being put to Hoser were either ones about to be answered or relevant to another matter Hoser was to address later … if allowed to …
You see, the judges have implied and actually stated that Hoser would have a time limit to present his case and bearing in mind that truth itself is on trial and the stakes involved, Hoser and others observing thought it strange that such an important matter and precedent in Australian law can be short-cutted and perhaps a wrong verdict given due to insufficient time to present all facts and legal arguments and to correct lies and falsehoods either by the Hulls side and/or the earlier trial judge Geoff Eames.
The manner of the judges, while at times overbearing and inclined to cut Hoser off mid sentence with frequency, has at least been polite and so far at least, not hostile.
Judge Vincent cut Hoser off when explaining how the books were referenced and how these could be accessed with ease by readers.
Extensive written submissions have been made that spell out a lot of the legal argument AND errors of fact, inference, inconsistencies and so on in the Judge Eames Judgement.
The case is being heard in front of Judges Frank Vincent, Harper and Batt (head) at the Melbourne Court of Appeal.
It continues tomorrow - Wednesday 8 October 2003.
People entering and leaving the court who are either with Hoser or independent observers are being body searched for taping devices as part of the long running campaign against people taping courts.
Those on the Hulls side are being allowed unimpeded access without the humiliation of such searches.
Proceedings today were delayed by about 20 minutes because of a dispute between Hoser and a police officer.
The police officer didn't want Hoser to enter the court with a bag that the same policeman had allowed in the day before!
When the case did start (late) Hoser was improperly blamed for the delay
Notwithstanding this anachronism and blatant harassment in terms of the body searches, this particular case is being recorded following application by Hoser and the basis of the application was public interest and to protect all parties from false allegations or misrepresentations at any time.
TRUTH ON TRIAL UPDATE - DAY ONE
Media release dated 6 October 2003
(This is case where Victoria's Attorney General, Rob Hulls is trying to set a scary precedent of jailing leading corruption author, Raymond Hoser, for publishing the truth in two books, Victoria Police Corruption and Victoria Police Corruption - 2).
Today's hearing was mainly an application to have the trial judges not hear the case on the basis of conflicts of interest, including their all sitting with the judge being appealed (Eames), and in the cases of two of the judges, this is very often (as they are all in the same court and sit in trios) - see earlier posts.
This was refused by the judges, who all claimed impartiality in front of what appeared to be a (by that stage) generally skeptical public gallery and as a result the prognosis for the defence (truth) does not look good. The court was full of interested spectators and a number of reporters.
One judge said that they were not appointed by Hulls, but by the governor, but then I pointed out that this was in fact on the recommendation of Hulls, which was confirmed by the judge as correct.
In other words an equivalent would be me handling a snake with a stick/hook and then denying handling the snake because I used a hook to actually pick it up - hence the hook handling the snake not me.
The claim is in reality tripe as in each case the reality is A/ Hulls appoints the judges and B/ Hoser handles the snake and neither the Governor or the hook could do either if the former didn't "pull the strings".
Anyway, one of the judges then claimed who appointed them was irrelevant due to the "oath" of office he took, but this still didn't remove the obvious conflict of interest in the eyes of some commentators spoken to at the end of the day's hearing.
Heartening was the TV Cameras filming the proceedings (outside the court) and it seems that some of the more responsible media is reporting on the case.
Judges hearing the case are BATT, VINCENT and HARPER.
An application to have the hearing transcribed and made publicly available for scrutiny and accountability was made by the defence (Hoser) and has been held over to the morning for the judges to decide (rule on).
Surely a simple "yes" would have done the job and been the best option.
After all, what's to hide?
Anyway in terms of this and a few other procedural things, the case continues, Tuesday (Tomorrow - AM) at 10 AM in the "Blue Court" at the Supreme Court of Appeal - Melbourne.
The judges didn't seem to keen to strike out the contempt charge on the basis of double jeopardy, claiming it wasn't pushed in the original hearing or specified by name in the appeal documents, instead being referred to in more general terms.
In terms of parliamentary privilege, the judges adopted a similar stance, but the problem here is that it was the books on trial and the pair of VPC books have notes to this effect near the fronts of each.
Further comments will be posted as time permits.
Further details in earlier posts at:
The corrupt and hypocritical Labor Attorney General of Victoria and ALP head-kicker, Robert Justin Hulls is using his influence with the legal system he controls to suppress the efforts of Australian whistleblower Raymond Hoser from publishing truth in Australia's most sought after corruption books. This case revolves around Hoser's deadly disclosures in the book Victoria Police Corruption and Victoria Police Corruption - 2 that were both published in 1999 and led to the demise of the seemingly invincible Kennett government, caused a Royal Commission into the WA Police and another into the Victorian Ambulance Service and mass resignations of cops in Victoria
Hoser was improperly convicted of "contempt" for his truthful disclosures (Truth was apparently not a viable defence in this matter based on the judgement - see relevant link below). Coming up is an appeal hearing against the defective judgement of Labor Appointed Judge Geoffrey Eames (since promoted by Hulls himself to the court of Appeal - the same court as where this appeal is to be heard) and set down for 6 October 2003. Hulls runs this court and so he has control of the judges that will judge his case in what can only be objectively described as likely to be an 'in house hatchet job'.
See history being made as yet another truth-hiding hatchet job on Australia's leading corruption author Raymond Hoser appears likely and at this stage unavoidable. Notable is that we have on the record, a notable Victorian Barrister XXXXX XXXX-XXXX stating that the odds of Appeal Court judges going against their own are effectively remote and regardless of the merits of the case.