NEWS STORY FOR SATURDAY 21ST OF MARCH 1998.
A corruption author who has been giving his books away outside Pentridge Prison, Melbourne has sparked a full scale war with Coburg (AKA Moreland) Council. He will be giving more books away outside the prison again on Saturday 21st March in spite of threats and violence from staff at Coburg Council. The books include a title that the Kennett government has unsuccessfully attempted to ban, The Hoser Files - The Fight Against Entrenched Official Corruption, which has recently gone into reprint due to continuing high demand and documents Police and political corruption in Victoria.
In spite of spending some weeks and over four hundred dollars for a council permit to sell books outside of Pentridge Prison, the head of the enforcement section Heather Jones (Photo to the right of page) has launched a full-scale offensive to have the books banished from the municipality. For the record her contact details are: 97 Burrowye Crs Keilor 3036 Phone: (03) 9449 8623.
The books by corruption Author, Raymond Hoser (left) are Smuggled - The Underground Trade in Australia's Wildlife, Smuggled-2: Wildlife Trafficking Crime and Corruption in Australia and The Hoser Files - The Fight Against Entrenched Official Corruption. The three books which were all banned shortly after release were subject to at least eight unsuccessful defamation claims (none now pending) and have upset large sections of Australia's bureaucracy. Two titles recently reprinted due to continuing high demand for the titles.
A staff member at the Coburg Council, Ms. Heather Jones took umbrage to Hoser selling his books outside the prison because an associate of hers was named in one of the books, so demanded he obtain a permit to do so. Hoser attempted to do this, but was then prevented from getting the permit by the same staff member. Following intervention by the Lord Mayor, Rod Higgins, a permit was issued on Friday 20th February. The following day, Jones twice attempted to stop Hoser from selling books outside the prison, the second time causing a major fracas and (allegedly) assaulting Hoser without provocation in front of many witnesses including a former Police officer (who has already made a statement corroborating the assault).
As a result Hoser notified Police and council that he would no longer sell books, but instead "give' them away, thereby bypassing council bylaws (even though he had been complying with them).To ensure an end to the harassment an intervention order was taken out against the Council staff member the following week.
In spite of this it appears that the battle has escalated with by-laws officers stepping up harassment of Hoser in their attempts to shift him from the Prison entrance, with officers now demanding that no books be displayed in any manner. Hoser has refused to move citing the books as political comment and legitimate protest, noting that freedom of speech is guaranteed by law. Smuggled has a foreword by (former Senator) Graham Richardson, while Smuggled-2 has a foreword by Defence Minister Ian McLachlan. All three books have been reported in Hansards in several states and federally. The Federal Hansard reports the books as "highly credible".
On Saturday, Hoser will again be outside Pentridge Prison and "giving" books away to those with demonstrated interest in the subject matter. It was MP, Chris Hartcher who directed the original unlawful ban on Smuggled be lifted. Quoting Hartcher from the front cover of Smuggled, 'Banning the book was misdirected...the right to free speech is a sacrosanct right in our society and I hope everybody realises this' Hoser says 'It appears that at the moment the Coburg Council don't believe in integrity and free speech'. Hoser's attempts to sort out differences with senior staff at Coburg Council have so far failed with them refusing to meet or even return calls.He says, 'for them, it seems war is their only option'.
Media were invited to film and report on the handing out of banned books outside the Prison at Urquhart Street Coburg (corner Elm Street), between 10.30 AM and 6 PM. None showed up although three thugs employed by Ms. Heather Jones did.
The photos above can be reproduced. High resolution copies can be downloaded by clicking on the above images. They will only take a couple of minutes to download and may be used by newspapers and other media.
Phone enquiries can be made at all hours to 0412 777 211. Raymond Hoser/Whistleblowers Network.
Further documentation about the matter is covered in the letters reproduced below...
A HISTORY OF THE EVENTS INVOLVING MS. HEATHER JONES AND HER CORRUPT, UNLAWFUL AND DISHONEST ACTIVITIES.
THE FOLLOWING STATUTORY DECLARATION WAS LODGED AT THE MAGISTRATE'S COURT OF MELBOURNE TO GET A COURT INJUNCTION TO STOP JONES OR HER AGENTS HARASSING RAYMOND HOSER. MS. JONES VIOLATED THE COURT ORDER AND CONTINUED TO HARASS HOSER BY SENDING PAID THUGS TO ASSAULT AND INTIMIDATE HIM.
I, Raymond Terrence Hoser of 41 Village Avenue, Doncaster, Victoria, 3108, Australia, do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare that:-
1/ I am a zoologist, former taxi driver and author by professions. My home phone number is +61 3 9812 3322. My fax number is +61 3 9812 3355. My mobile phone number is +61 412 777 211. I have written a number of books, five of which have been published to date, two of which have gone into second editions, one of which is called Smuggled - The Underground Trade in Australia's Wildlife. On 21st February 1998 I, Raymond Hoser, was assaulted by a woman I know of as HEATHER V. JONES - 21/2/98 outside the front gate of Melbourne Reception Prison, Urquhart Street, Coburg, (intersection Elm Street).
2/ After the assault, the Police that attended the scene on 21/2/98 identified themselves as M. Donoghue, Sgt. Millett, and others.
3/ Both Police whom identified themselves were from Coburg
Phone: + 61 3 9350-4755 Fax: +61 3 9350-1320
4/ The Assault took place at about 2.30 PM.
5/ There were up to 50 witnesses present at time.
6/ Names were volunteered by the following:-
L. Timmins, Phone: 9728-5016
Ray and Anna Scott, 10 Jackson Street,
Wagga, NSW, 018-693-128
(He also spoke with attending Police and told them what happened).
Ray Scott had also been a Police officer for five years).
7/ Another piece of paper with about 5 names and numbers of other witnesses was LOST, left on a parked car with camera and had blown away when I went back to car and got my camera. (When talking to Police - I had removed film from camera at that stage, and exposed to 9 (no film in camera).
8/ Sequence of events is related below...
9. Over the previous few weeks I had been selling books outside of Pentridge Prison or more accurately Melbourne Reception Prison in Urquhart Street, Coburg, Intersection, Elm Street. Ms. Heather Jones had successfully taken it upon herself to stop me from doing so and as a bylaws officer with the council, insisted that I get a permit from council to do so, then refused to issue one. On Sunday 15th February at 11.30 AM, Ms. Jones took it upon herself to ensure I stopped selling books outside the Prison, in spite of prior statements from other council staff that I was entitled to do so. I then did not return to the area to sell books until everything was cleared with all council people, including Ms. Jones, if that was at all possible. Following a face-to-face meeting with the Lord Mayor, Rod Higgins and others including her on the morning of 20/2/98, a permit was issued AFTER I had taken out a $390 insurance policy that was not required by law, but was taken out by myself in order to keep the peace and allow the permit to be issued. This arrangement was in effect a "negotiated settlement" between myself and Ms. Jones, noting that no one else in the council objected to my selling books at the prison and most in fact openly supported the proposition. The permit was valid from 21/2/98 and after a period of about a week not selling books outside the prison, I recommenced doing so on 21/2/98, which was the commencement date of the permit. I had also been advised my a lawyer, Alex Tees of Remmington and Co, Sydney, Phone +61 2 9267-6133 Mobile +61 14-415-835, that as the contents of the books constitutes political discussion, they cannot be restricted by council through the use of permits to sell. Tees also advised that I could also "give" books away after receiving "donations" equating to the retail price, if I chose, again bypassing council bylaws re "selling". In spite of this advice, I chose to not sell of "give" until all matters with council were resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, which turned out to be the best part of a week.
10. At about 12.30 AM on Saturday 21/2/98 a council by-laws officer came up (stopped car in middle of Urquhart Street, blocking traffic) and told me to close down. I asked why and he said, "you don't have a permit and I've been told you're never getting one". When I asked him who told him that, he said, "Heather Jones, and she issues them". When I produced my permit authority, which had been faxed to me from the council the previous day, he said, "this is a forgery" to which I replied in the negative. He then said he'd check, also acknowledging that he hadn't spoken to Jones for some days and drove off. No apology and he didn't return. This is the first rude encounter to date with a Coburg By-laws officer. All other encounters with bylaws officers and other staff with Moreland/Coburg Council over the previous three weeks have been totally amicable, with exception of a phone conversation with Ms. Jones on 12/2/98, when she had been very rude and aggressive. I also continued selling books after this encounter. For the record a hard copy of the permit arrived through normal post at my home address on Monday 23/2/98.
11. At about 2.30 PM, Ms. Jones stopped car (a late model blue car I think) in haste outside prison and nearly caused rear end crash with car behind her (eastbound, Urquhart Street). She was attempting to reverse into a car that had stopped behind her in order to get into a car space (which was blocked by the other car behind her). She then got out of her car and screamed aggressively, waving her arms about at other driver to reverse so she could park in space (marked disabled - which she is not). Other cars to rear were tooting horns (because of her sudden holding up of traffic) and after a verbal altercation, with driver of car immediately to her rear, Ms. Jones got back in her car and drove off. She had been screaming hysterically at the other driver which had led him and his female passenger to scream abuse back at her. I did not recognize her at that stage, even though I was standing adjacent to where it all was happening.
12. Shortly thereafter Jones came up to me screaming (again) at me this time and clearly playing for the tape stating "I know you record everything" and "you are in violation of the law" or words to that effect. I denied this, but had trouble conversing with her as she was shouting into the tape recorder which was in my pocket, protruding from it (in my black jeans) (Clearly visible) and refusing to engage in anything resembling a civilized conversation. (I had activated the recorder shortly after she arrived on the scene and had done so by removing it from a pocket in my bag, turning it on and then placing it in my pocket. All bystanders immediately adjacent of us, which soon became quite a gathering, were in my favor and refuted any allegations she (Jones) made against me, including obstructing people. One bystander noted that it was Jones who was the only problem and the cause of any obstruction problems (She's falsely alleged I was obstructing people). A number of them also commented about her earlier road rage. (I had been signing books for a family when the road incident occurred and my mind was more pre-occupied with that, even though I saw the whole incident, also noting that in Urquhart Street, there are many driver incidents/altercations as for some reason cars continually drive westbound along the one way section of the street (where it is prohibited) and I have become somewhat desensitized to these disputes.
13. In order to avoid further conflict, I went across the road and packed my boxes and put them in the car. I then took a camera from my car and went back to the front of the prison where she was standing and took her photo, at some distance from her, upon which she went ballistic and attacked me, by rushing foreword, belting me several times in the face and head (drawing blood from the head), before directing her assault to my camera. She hit me and my camera and attempted to grab it from me. She was clearly trying to inflict maximum pain against me and the camera and when after multiple hits, I said she was assaulting me she said she only wanted to smash my camera or something to that effect, then directing her attention exclusively to wrenching the camera from my hands. (That did not stop her from striking me earlier though). Throughout the attack she was screaming hysterically at me and others. I did not respond in kind or attack in any way. I restricted my efforts to getting free and by speaking, asking her to 1/ stop assaulting me and 2/ Not to damage my camera. To the second statement, she replied to the effect that she hoped she did as much damage as she could.
14. I broke from her and jumped back, upon which she ceased her attack noting that 1/ all others were on my side, 2/ I headed back to my car where I was followed by a pair of people who volunteered their details. These two had been present at all stages of the above reported incident, (Ray and Anna Scott), having apparently sided with me early in the piece due to the unruly conduct of Ms. Jones. I also managed to get other people's details closer to the prison entrance who saw the assault, but misplaced most (thought to have been left on a car). I had never previously met any of the witnesses to the attack or incident prior to it. To say I was shaken by the attack is an understatement. It was also totally unexpected.
15. As I was about to get in my car and drive off, the Police arrived, and parked some distance away from where I was parked. I removed my exposed film from the camera and then snapped off 9 shots (no film) and went to the Police with the camera in hand (expecting them to want to seize film - they didn't). Jones had called the Police in my presence on her mobile phone after she had arrived and started screaming at me. I do not know on what basis she had called the Police, but upon their arrival she immediately told the Police that she didn't want me to take her picture, and that appeared to be her main grievance. She was still going on in a hysterical manner. While she may object to my taking her photo in public, it is not illegal, and I did not invite her there in the first instance.
16. At first Police were aggressive and rude to me, even though 1/ I had said nothing, 2/ I had the decency to walk back to them, even though I was not obliged in any way to do so.
17. Had the Police not arrived when they did, my intention was to drive away, in order to diffuse a potentially hostile scene, noting the irrational behavior of Ms. Jones. This was in spite of my potential losses of substantial book sales (probably about $300 worth of books would have been sold had I remained there for next three and a bit hours). I approached Police when they arrived so that it would not be interpreted by them that I had in some way sought to avoid their contact.
18. Police while taking no action against me, clearly initially sided with Jones and stated I had to sell from opposite the prison (which I had been doing anyway!). I made it clear NO LAW prohibited me from crossing the street on invitation, particularly as that is how I'd got there! (I'd been invited to sign three books for a man and wife). Police became more amicable to me after a witness spoke with them. The witness absolved me of any fault, placing blame for all adverse actions on Jones, including her dangerous driving, screaming at me in front of bystanders and her later unprovoked assault.
19. Jones made it clear to the Police that she didn't want me around and that I would be further harassed. Jones also spoke with a female who runs the prison tours and told her that I was an undesirable and was the cause of all the commotion out the front of the prison which I was not, that I was not to sell books and so on. She also said adverse things about me to others running the prison tours, whom up till this stage I have had no problems, (Jones did this both before and after the Police arrived).
20. Hoser's stand and books had been set up (if stand is the correct word) on corner opposite prison with three boxes with writing and a parked car full of books at the closest legal parking space (immediately adjacent to the boxes).
21. At the time this was written the tape had not been checked. It was turned on shortly after Ms. Jones came up to me, having been taken out of my bag and placed in pocket. It was NOT running after I had been assaulted and it is assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that the attack had stopped the recorder.
22. The day after the attack, I spoke with a man running the prison tours and he stated he had no problems with me selling books in front of the prison or anywhere else, only that he didn't want a commotion like yesterday whereby multiple Police cars pulled up outside the prison, as it did not assist in their image of peaceful family tours. I agreed.
23. In two years of selling books at venues throughout Victoria, NSW and the ACT, I have never had incidents like those described above or been attacked by any person in any manner.
24. The day prior to this incident I lodged a lengthy complaint to Coburg Council about Ms. Jones's conduct and that may have caused her unprovoked harassment and attack on 21/2/98. It is suggested that readers of this refer to that letter of complaint and attached documents for details of all my prior dealings with this person (Jones) if they seek that information.
25. On the evening of 21/2/98, I spoke to a witness to the incident outside the Prison (Timmins) and he stated he heard Ms. Jones state that she objected to my selling books to people on the basis that I had adversely named a friend of hers in one of them. She had said this in conversation to another person, believed to be one of the staff working at the Prison. The first by-laws officers from Coburg Council who spoke to me after being sent to speak to me by Jones had also said something similar and also that nobody else at the council had any objections to me selling books outside the prison. He had said "none of us give a shit except for her".
26. It is noted that if Jones or friends took umbrage to material I had published there is a correct procedure of remedy through the Courts via defamation and related procedures. It is noted that no summonses have ever been issued against me for defamation in this State and that all defamation claims against me in NSW have always failed, further noting that I have always answered all charges/writs when summonsed.
27. The camera had also been damaged. A cover for electrical terminals had been removed in the scuffle. The lens on the camera had also been chipped and cracked with a piece of plastic now removed allowing dust inside. Other than minor aches, I had no injuries, except for a small wound on the head (front), but covered with hair. Inspection by my girlfriend indicated that the skin had been pierced by a sharp object which may have been a finger nail. The wound was just under a centimeter long. The camera had been in my car, because I had intended taking photos of myself at the prison gate later that day, in the same manner as many other visitors to the prison.
28. Type written letters were sent by fax on 21/2/98 to various places including Police, Moreland Council and local MP, Carlo Carli, stating that I would pursue the matter of the assault and damage to property in the following week, when time permitted a more detailed complaint.
29. On 22/2/98, at about 9 AM, Sgt. Millett confirmed over the phone that he had received my fax and that his/Police concern was only in maintaining the peace and that they had no concern about me selling books outside the prison or anywhere else.
30. On 22/2/98, I operated outside the prison, showing books and handing out leaflets to people for the entire day without any further harassment or incident (i.e., no contact/interference with/by Jones or Police).
31. On 23/2/98 I priced the Pentax lens and terminal cover (as replacements) at a Camera shop in the main street of Footscray (opposite the Pub, at the corner where the tramways diverge to the right (outbound). The list price for the 35-70 mm lens is $249 retail (not duty free), while the terminal cover is $15.
32. The camera still works OK, as of 23/2/98, in spite of the damage although the openings render them liable to dust intrusion and damage in the long term, while the lens crack will probably expand over time making it useless. The Camera is a SFXN, and the lens is a 35-70 mm Pentax SMC lens, with macro.
33. In 1997, Pentridge Prison opened for four months and a number of people sold goods outside the front of the prison including books, without incident or harassment from Ms. Jones or anyone else, in the same manner as I was until Ms. Jones took it upon herself to use all means, lawful and otherwise to impede my business. It is notable that this is in spite of the prison's immediate proximity to both Police and Council offices and the regular passage of officers past the site.
34. The book being offered for sale (on display), has been Smuggled, which has been reported in several Hansards and has a foreword by Graham Richardson, former Federal MP. Two other books being offered for sale (on request only and not on display), The Hoser Files and Smuggled-2 are also of a political nature in that they discuss government and one has a foreword by Defence Minister, Ian McLachlan, MP. Experience has shown more books are sold when only one title is on display. I have also written and had published, reference books on wildlife.
I make this solemn Statutory Declaration by virtue of the Statutory
Declaration Act 1959 as amended and subject to the penalties provided
by that act for the making of false statements in statutory declarations,
conscientiously believing the statements contained in this
declaration to be true in every particular.
41 VILLAGE AVENUE
DONCASTER VICTORIA 3108
PHONE: +61 3 9812 3322
MARCH 20TH 1998 BEFORE 2.30 PM - BY FAX
TO/MORELAND CITY COUNCIL,
C/O JOHN RANTINO,
MALLESONS STEPHEN JAQUES - SOLICITORS,
28/525 COLLINS STREET,
MELBOURNE CITY, VICTORIA, 3000,
FAX: +61 3 9643-5999
CC FAY MARLES
FAX: +61 3 9417-1084
VIOLATION OF SIGNED AGREEMENTS DATED 11TH MARCH 1998.
I refer to recent dealings between myself and council and Ms. Fay Marles and the terms under which it was agreed for Ms. Marles to mediate in the Heather Jones manufactured dispute between Council and myself.
It was agreed by all parties that Marles would be called in to adjudicate solely on the matter of pedestrian and vehicular safety in the area in question and not on any other matters.
Your side, mainly through Ms. Jones has perverted the process I engaged in with you (in good faith) and broken the trust by successfully seeking to assist Marles in making an incorrect decision against me by raising other and irrelevant issues, including the following:-
? alleged complaints about Hoser selling books (the evidence of which
is not the same as the sworn evidence of Ms. Heather Jones on 3 March 1998),
? raising contents of Hoser's books as an issue,
? false statements about the alleged contents of the books being sold,
? false statement/s about where Hoser sought to sell books from,
? false and irrelevant statements about alleged affects on amenity of the area,
? false statements about an alleged structure which Mr. Hoser sought to use,
? false statements about other books sellers and other traders in the same area,
? false statements about an assault on Hoser on 21 February 1998,
? false, damaging and highly defamatory statements about Hoser by Jones,
? Other serious matters.
It is also noted that Ms. Marles in her report has made a number of serious errors of fact, which may also have played a critical part in her coming to the wrong conclusions. These errors may in fact reflect on her own abilities as opposed to the misinformation given to her by Ms. Jones, but I am not in a position to accurately determine which is the case, nor is it directly relevant to most of the further contents of this letter.
As your side, principally through Ms. Jones has violated the terms and spirit of an arrangement signed and entered into by both parties on or about 11th March 1998, it is now unrealistic to expect me to remain bound an arrangement which your side clearly is not and has already violated. Therefore you are given immediate notice that any written and/or other undertaking by myself (in any way) not to protest inside your municipality is hereby removed.
I furthermore make it known that I immediately affirm and reserve the following and ongoing rights:-
1/ To pursue common law claims against the council, for all
losses in income incurred to date and continuing from the actions by the
council, including through Ms. Jones.
2/ My immediate rights to continue to protest and distribute literature within the municipality and elsewhere at any location, including outside the prison gate by giving it away as opposed to selling it.
3/ My rights to pursue the matters of theft of goods by council officers.
4/ My rights to pursue Ms. Jones for damages in relation to the assault on 21/2/98, including for damage to camera equipment.
5/ My rights to publicize the corrupt and dishonest behavior of council staff including Ms. Jones including on domain name internet sites outside of Australia, in books, through the media and any other lawful way I see fit.
6/ My rights to lawfully force council to act in a lawful and proper manner with regards to my lawful activities, including issue of any permits deemed necessary.
7/ My rights to sue Ms. Jones and/or Moreland Council for defamation and damages.
You are hereby asked to pay me within 7 days of the date at the top of this letter, a total of $3000 for every week, or part thereof, you prevent me lawfully trading outside the prison entrance (or intend doing so), including for any period I distributed literature without "selling" any, including all periods to date since February 1 1998 and any other period, up to and including cease of trading by "Pentridge Unlocked" as well as a further $5000 in costs for related matters to date, including letters, submissions, etc.
You are hereby asked to apologize in writing immediately for your conduct to date (as a council) and issue sought permit/s forthwith, and/or payment as outlined above.
You are hereby served notice that any attempts by council officials to take any of my property on any alleged basis will be forcibly resisted and your officers will be charged with assault and/or theft if they persist in any way in their seizure of goods. If Council believe I am operating illegally in the municipality, you are asked to make a note of times, dates and alleged actions, any other relevant information, such as goods in my possession and to pursue the matters through the courts. I will attend if lawfully summonsed.
In anticipation of your cooperation in these matters,
YOURS FAITHFULLY- RAYMOND HOSER.
Heather Jones - Illegal Internet Censorship
Australians Against Corruption home page
Victoria Police Corruption.