Some say Santa came early for Craig Thomson this year, however the truth is there is no political mileage to be gained by continuing to pursue him.
Yesterday Craig Thomson got off 49 charges on a technicality.
That technicality is that he was not guilty.
Years later and thousands of police hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps millions, in taxpayer expense and the result is a firm Not Guilty for 95% of the charges.
The Coalition that promised to “end the waste” were happy to waste the resources of the courts and police forces in two states for years to end up finding less than $4,000 worth of spending that they could charge Thomson for, and even those charges are highly questionable, and perhaps still subject to appeal.
So while the lawyers all got to loosen their belts and make out like bandits, it will be the taxpayers footing the bill for this witch hunt, and more than likely their grandkids.
Many will remember Tony Abbott’s childish carry on about the “tainted vote” of Craig Thomson. The ridiculous carry on that saw Abbott and Christopher Pyne fleeing parliament like schoolgirls running from a mouse.
Well it turns out that Thomson’s vote never was tainted, in fact after his days in court Thomson is now even clear to have another run at parliament should he choose to do so. Although I doubt he would.
As for the trial by media, the mainstream by and large have shown themselves to be little more than a hangman jury. Even now as they lick their wounds in defeat the media still talk about prostitutes on the basis that Thomson may have spent cash on prostitution. Of course this is despite their being absolutely no evidence whatsoever of what he spent cash on, as the judge said he could have spent it at Bunnings for all we know.
Thomson was fined $25K for the misuse of union funds related to cash withdrawals from his union credit card, these amounted to around $3,500.
However it needs to be remembered when this much effort has been put into destroying someone’s life by a government and a police force or two there is always going to be enormous pressure for Thomson to be found guilty of something.
As for the 13 charges Thomson was found guilty of, it is interesting to note that these charges were amended by the Judge after the hearing. This means that Thomson and his legal team were completely unable to mount a defence against these charges. Knowing what these charges were to be would more than likely have changed the entire strategy of their defence. After all it is hard to defend yourself against the unknown. The ammending of charges after a hearing is highly unusual and it is perhaps only the amendment to those charges that allowed Judge Douglas to find Thomson guilty of anything at all.
Many have questioned why the Judge has seemingly verbally condemned Thomson with talk about prostitutes and self-indulgent behaviour.
Many have criticised the Judge for saying these things as it appears to fly in the face of her findings and some have seen it as an unfair shot at a man who has been found not guilty of 211 charges. The Judges words have fueled speculation that the Judge may have thought Thomson guilty despite being legally bound to find him not guilty due to the way the charges were worded.
In fact, I suspect that what Judge Douglas may have been doing is something called denunciation. While this may seem like she is having a shot at Thomson, it actually means that by publicly reprimanding him the police are unable to appeal against Thomson’s sentence in order to increase it.
The denunciation also gives the media a way of saving a bit of face, kind of a win win scenario.
Meanwhile Kathy Jackson should be looking on with concern, after all the cash she testified under oath to withdrawing is measured not in the thousands but in the hundreds of thousands.
Speaking of Jackson it must please the Federal Court and the members no end to see her out on the town in Sydney on Monday enjoying herself.
The photos above were posted on her friend Michael Smiths blog site one wonders for what reason. To rub the Federal Court judges face in it? To make Victorian Police look foolish? Or just a “screw you” to the members?
Whatever Smith and Jackson’s reason her day of reckoning is yet to come.
For years I have been told that I am a fool for thinking Thomson would not go to jail and Kathy Jackson eventually would, In fact I have been swimming against the media tide for so long I’ve grown accustomed to it.
But guess what?
The tide is turning…