Thursday, May 26, 2016

Still waiting for evidence of the crime for which I have been banned for yet another two years!

Senator Mitch Fifield
Minister for Communications and the Arts
Level 2
4 National Circuit
Barton, ACT 2600                                                                                         

25th May 2016

Dear Senator Fifield

Receipt of my letter to you of 19th April remains unacknowledged.  The same applies to all of my letters.

Since 19th April Screen Australia has seen fit to ban me again. Until 2018!

I realize that it is probably an exercise in futility to point this out to you but it is a basic premise of Australia’s justice system that a person accused of a crime must be found guilty beyond reasonable doubt. In order for this to occur the evidence in support of the accused’s guilt must be tested in court.  Or, in my case, tested by my being presented with an opportunity to defend myself against the charges laid against me. In order for me to do so I would need to be provided with evidence of my guilt. No such evidence has ever been provided to me – despite more than four years of asking.

I have been found guilty three times now by Screen Australia without ever having been presented with evidence in support of the charges laid against me – namely intimidation, harassment and placing at risk members of Screen Australia’s staff with my correspondence and now, defamation.

If I am guilty as charged I should be very easy for Graeme Mason to cut and paste examples from my correspondence that bear witness to my alleged crimes. He will not and cannot, any more than Ruth Harley could before him. The reason is simple. I am not guilty as charged.

The key document in this matter is the one Ruth Harley presented to Mr Ian Govey, priot to 9th May 2012, as evidence of the need to ban me, along with her request that Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade be amended to make the ban legal. Graeme Mason has refused to provide me with a copy of this document, citing FOI legislation as a reason:

“Screen Australia is not required to give you access to these documents under section 11A(4) of the FOI Act. This is because they are exempt from disclosure under section 42(1) of the FOI Act because they are subject to legal professional privilege.”

Really, Senator Fifield! A filmmaker accused of a crime sufficiently heinous to warrant the effective termination of his career as an Australian filmmaker is not entitled to be provided with evidence of his crime because the evidence is “subject to legal professional privilege!”

Do you support this clear breach of natural justice?

Why do you think Mr Mason wishes to keep these documents secret? If Ruth Harley’s submission to Mr Govey outlines the times, dates and nature of my offences it will provide definitive evidence that banning me for six years was the appropriate punishment for the offenses I had committed. I will be publically, and appropriately, humiliated by the contents of this document.

On the other hand, if the document contains no evidence of my crimes, the whole Fiona Cameron/Ruth Harley/Graeme Mason house of cards collapses and the ban on me will be seen for what I believe it to be - Ruth Harley’s malicious attempt to not only silence a critic but to destroy his (my) career.

In 2018 I will still be asking for evidence that I intimidated or placed at risk members of Screen Australia’s staff so Graeme Mason and the board will have ample reason to ban me yet again until 2020 since they will present to me the proposition that my attempts to defend myself against false allegations are defamatory.

In you have any commitment at all, Minister, to the basic tenets of natural justice and the basic tenets of Australian law, request of Graeme Mason, today, that he make public the document sent to the Australian Commonwealth Solicitor in which either my guilt beyond reasonable doubt is clear or which reveals that no ban should ever have been imposed in the first place.

yours sincerely

James Ricketson
cc Graeme Mason, Chief Executive, Screen Australia
Kent Purvis, Investigation Officer |Operations Commonwealth Ombudsman
Louise Vardanega, Australian Government Solicitor (acting)

Australian Director’s Guild

No comments:

Post a Comment