As reported by John Kelly in September, there has been an ongoing investigation into Tony Abbott’s eligibility to enter Parliament as dual citizenship precludes you from running for office.
Tony Magrathea filed a Freedom of Information application to the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Peta Credlin rejected his request stating, “The document you have sought is not an official document of a Minister and therefore there is no right of access to the document under the FOI Act.”
Ninemsm also asked for confirmation that the Prime Minister had renounced his British Citizenship. They were advised by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet that, “The Prime Minister is an Australian citizen and does not hold citizenship of any other country.”
Robert McMahon, Assistant Secretary of the Parliamentary and Government Branch, apparently disagrees with Credlin’s stonewalling.
On October 8 he responded to a FOI application lodged by Jan Olsen with the following:
Having regard to my knowledge of where documents potentially relevant to the applicant’s request would be held, if they existed, the following locations were searched:
- The Department’s file management system
- The Department’s current and former ministerial correspondence database
- Computer drives of relevant branches in the Department
- Email accounts of current officers in relevant branches in the Department
As a result of these searches, no relevant documents were found in the Department.
I am satisfied that all reasonable steps have been taken to identify documents relevant to the applicant’s request and that no documents relevant to the request are in the possession of the Department.
The British Home Office, following a FOI request, have also been unsuccessful in finding Tony’s RN form which relinquishes British citizenship.
I wonder where Credlin gets her information from and why she is keeping it a secret.
And now another rather ironic possible connection has emerged.
In the Sue vs Hill case, Henry Sue, a voter from Queensland, disputed the election of Hill and filed a petition under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 in the High Court of Australia, sitting in its capacity as the Court of Disputed Returns. Sue argued that on the date of Hill’s nomination to the Senate she was still a citizen of the United Kingdom and thus, because of the operation of section 44 of the Australian Constitution, was ineligible to be elected to the Parliament of Australia.
Terry Sharples, a former One Nation candidate who had stood for the Senate in the 1998 election as an independent candidate, made a similar petition. Because both cases involved constitutional questions, and were substantially identical, they were heard together from 11–13 May 1999.
In 1998, Abbott privately agreed to bankroll Terry Sharples, a disaffected One Nation member, to take legal action against Pauline Hanson.
Less than 2 weeks later, he categorically denied to the ABC that he had done so, and 18 months later he repeated the lie, this time to the Sydney Morning Herald’s Deborah Snow. But when she confronted him with his signed personal guarantee, he said that:
‘…misleading the ABC is not quite the same as misleading the Parliament as a political crime’.
He then created a slush fund he called Australians for Honest Politics and raised $100,000 for it from 12 people he declined to name. The fund began bankrolling more court actions against Hanson and her party.
Could Tony’s slush fund have financed the Sharples vs Hill case?
I wonder if Geoffrey Robertson might be interested in taking on a crowd-funded People vs Abbott case?