Archive for October, 2018

28 October
Comments Off on Twist in bid to extradite alleged people-smuggler

Twist in bid to extradite alleged people-smuggler

The ongoing battle to extradite an alleged people-smuggler to Australia has been escalated to the Court of Appeal.

Iraq-born Maythem Radhi is sought by the Australian Government over the notorious SIEV X boat which sank in 2001 on its way from Indonesia to Australia, resulting in 350 deaths.

At the High Court in Auckland today, Justice Edwin Wylie granted the Crown leave to appeal a reserved decision he made in February when  he set aside Rahdi’s detention order and discharged him.

Radhi’s extradition was initially ordered by a district court Judge Jonathan Moses last year, but Justice Wylie reversed that after ruling the alleged offence did not constitute an extraditable crime.

Radhi, who was found living in south Auckland in 2011, was allegedly one of the key organisers of the boat later known as the SIEV (Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel) X.

The boat-load of 421 asylum seekers sank in international waters south of Indonesia on October 18, 2001, en route to Australia’s Christmas Island.

Officials estimated 146 children, 142 women and 65 men drowned when the 19.5-metre fishing boat sank.

For Radhi to be extradited to Australia to face trial, the Crown had to show there was a comparable offence in New Zealand law that Radhi had broken and that the offence was punishable by more than one year in prison.At the time, the penalty for people-smuggling was worded such that it had a maximum three month prison term, or $5000 fine for each person smuggled.

Radhi’s defence has argued the “multiplier” aspect only applied to the fine part of the penalty and could not be used for the imprisonment part.

The Crown needed to convince Justice Wylie the multiplier could apply to imprisonment so the prison term could be multiplied and get over the one-year threshold for extradition.

Justice Wylie said there was no offence of attempting to traffic illegal immigrants and the multiplier clause only applied to a fine and not a prison sentence. As such Radhi was not extraditable.

Radhi’s lawyer Roger Chambers had argued the New Zealand law was not comparable as it was stated in terms of helping people ‘‘arrive’’ in New Zealand.

In the SIEV X no-one arrived or even entered extra-territorial waters, he said.

He pointed out that no illegal immigrants arrived in Australia, and that no aspect of the conduct attributed to Radhi was alleged to have occurred within Australia.

The Crown called in extradition expert Christine Gordon SC, who argued the legislation at the time was focused on the intent of those involved and it did not matter that it occurred outside New Zealand.

Australian police alleged three men were responsible for organising the people smuggling operation — Khaleed Daoed, Abu Quassey and Maythem Radhi.

The “non-citizens”, who were of Middle Eastern origin, travelled to Indonesia to make the journey between July and October 2001.

On October 18 2001, passengers were transferred to a beach in Sumatra where they were ferried by larger boats on to the SIEV X.

“The SIEV X was so overcrowded that 20 passengers refused to board it and after several hours into the journey, 23 passengers who were concerned about the vessel’s safety, negotiated with a fishing boat to take them back to Indonesia,” the Crown said.

Most of the passengers drowned but about 45 were rescued by fishing vessels and were returned to Indonesia. The remaining passengers and crew struck rough weather on October 19 and sank.

Australian police alleged that Radhi was present during negotiations about price and terms of travel and that he received payments from some passengers, controlled their movements and accommodation, accompanied some of them to Sumatra and assisted some to board the SIEV X.

Justice Wylie reversed the earlier decision, set aside Rahdi’s detention order and discharged him.

But today he granted leave to appeal and ordered the New Zealand Police to make submissions to the Court of Appeal within 10 days.


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28 October
Comments Off on Baby bonus ‘scrapped’ in budget

Baby bonus ‘scrapped’ in budget

The government has cut back and will means test the baby bonus.Budget live: Follow our breaking-news coverage from 7.20pm with video streaming from our Parliament House studio, including Wayne Swan’s speech to the nation, headlines, analysis, reaction and your views.The Pulse Live: Stephanie Peatling blogs from Parliament at 7.30pm

The baby bonus has been scrapped in the federal budget, according to reports.

The Howard-era payment that provides $5000 for newborns will be replaced with a much lower payment, according to the ABC.

This will see eligible families receive $2000 for a first child and $1000 for a second child.

This comes as Treasurer Wayne Swan is expected to announce that the budget will be balanced in 2015-16 and back in surplus in 2016-17.

Late last year, Mr Swan abandoned Labor’s long-held pledge to return the budget to surplus, citing a write down in tax revenues.

The budget is also expected to set out a $24 billion infrastructure package for roads and rail.

A spokesman for Mr Swan said he was not able to confirm the reports on Tuesday evening.

It is understood that instead of the baby bonus, those eligible under Family Tax Benefit Part A will see their payments increase for the first three months after their child is born.

The Gillard government had already reined in spending on the baby bonus. Last October, it flagged that payments to second and subsequent children would be cut to $3000 from July 1.

Mr Swan is due to hand down the budget at 7.30pm on Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Fairfax Media reported that almost $100 billion in expenditure on education and disability insurance would be locked in for a decade as the Gillard government tries to insulate its reforms from future economic pressures and force the hand of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

The unprecedented move is designed to guarantee the survival of both signature reforms, quell doubts over their long-term funding and prevent cash-strapped governments from diverting resources to other areas.

The political manoeuvre is set to enrage the Coalition, which has already complained of ”booby traps” being laid in the budget.

The budget will contain savings to limit this year’s deficit and plans to ensure dedicated funding streams for the Gonski education reforms and the national disability insurance scheme, DisabilityCare Australia.

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28 October
Comments Off on ASIC drops Westpoint case, Carey to sue

ASIC drops Westpoint case, Carey to sue

Norm Carey leaving the Federal court in 2010 after ASIC reported they would return his passport. Photo: Erin JonassonAn asset stripping case against former Westpoint officers Norman Carey and Graeme Rundle has spectacularly collapsed after the surprise emergence of a key document two weeks into the trial.

The document could prove the innocence of the property entrepreneurs.

Mr Carey, whose property investment business Westpoint failed in 2006 owing investors more than $388 million, tonight told Business Day he would sue the Commonwealth over the aborted trial with his legal costs at least $500,000 and his reputation damaged.

‘‘This has hung over my head for the last five years and I’ve always maintained that I acted honestly,’’ Mr Carey told Business Day.

‘‘I will definitely be suing ASIC to get back my cost and damages, what ASIC are facing is effectively wrongfully accusing someone.’’

In a brief statement released last night ASIC said it had located an important document from a third party which ended its case against Mr Carey and Mr Rundle in the District Court of Western Australia.

‘‘In accordance with ASIC’s procedural fairness obligations, ASIC immediately disclosed the document and copies were given to Mr Carey and Mr Rundle, and the court.’’

The failed case centred around the allegation that Mr Rundle and his business Westpoint dishonestly backdated the transfer of an option to buy Perth’s Warnbro Fair Shopping Centre knowing that the company was battling to survive.

It is believed the document is a detailed file from auditor KPMG which proves the option to buy the shopping centre was extended, and therefore the transfer was not backdated as alleged.

A media spokesman for ASIC last night said the regulator would not comment further on the failed case against the duo.

‘‘Following an assessment of the document in the context of the prosecution’s case, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions yesterday advised the District Court of Western Australia that the case should proceed no further and filed notices of discontinuance,’’ an ASIC statement said.

This allowed property spruiker Mr Carey to walk free from the Perth District Court Tuesday after the withdrawal the asset stripping charge against the former Westpoint boss and his deputy Mr Rundle.

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28 October
Comments Off on Swans coach Longmire dismisses Brereton attack on Goodes

Swans coach Longmire dismisses Brereton attack on Goodes

Adam Goodes tries to escape the grasp of Hawthorn’s Liam Shiels at the MCG. Photo: Sebastian CostanzoAdam Goodes has won two Brownlows, three club champion awards and owns four All Australian jumpers – not bad for a player who is supposedly guilty of committing one of football’s cardinal sins, says John Longmire.

The Sydney coach has hit back at allegations by former Hawthorn star Dermott Brereton that Goodes did not put his head over the ball in contests, saying the Swans champion’s record for spoke for itself.

Brereton launched a scathing attack on Goodes on Monday night, describing the 33-year-old as a player who avoided body contact in 50-50 ground ball because he “chooses to go feet-first at other people’s peril”.

Goodes received a one-match ban last year for a rough conduct charge after he slid into Port Adelaide’s Jacob Surjan in a contest but escaped sanction from the AFL match review panel for making contact with his foot to Hawthorn’s Josh Gibson’s legs on Saturday night. The panel ruled Goodes had been making a legitimate attempt at kicking the ball.

Longmire rubbished Brereton’s comments on SEN radio, describing them as “completely inappropriate and absolutely wrong”. Goodes is believed to be unperturbed by Brereton’s reaction.

“I had a brief chat with Adam, Adam really doesn’t care what Dermott Brereton thinks and so he shouldn’t,” Longmire said.

“In the end Adam Goodes’ football reputation and integrity stands alone. I just feel it’s a bit of a pity I’ve got to stand here and talk about it to be honest.

“The point’s got to be made, you don’t do what Adam Goodes has done in AFL football and have that accusation levelled at him. You just have to stand by those facts.

“Why should we even discuss it? If you’re not prepared to put your head over the ball you don’t play 50 games let alone 350, two best and fairests and do what he’s done – that’s very difficult to do.”

Longmire refuted Brereton’s suggestions that Goodes was not a fair player or that he received an “enormous amount of leniency” from the MRP.

“The facts are he’s been suspended when he’s done the wrong thing and the fact the match review panel said he was attempting to kick the ball – they’re the facts,” Longmire said.

“To question the MRP as openly as what Dermott’s done – that’s really the issue. He’s questioning the integrity of the MRP.”

Brereton is a respected commentator and also a part-time assistant coach with Greater Western Sydney.

Goodes will reach another milestone this week when he lines up with Ryan O’Keefe and Jude Bolton for their 250th game together.

It is only the second time in the league’s history three players have appeared together 250 times. Western Bulldogs stars Brad Johnson, Rohan Smith and Scott West played 253 games for the Western Bulldogs from 1994 to 2007.

Goodes, O’Keefe and Bolton are on track to equal their record of 253 games against Adelaide in round 11.

“They’re all absolute professionals in the way they go about it, they’re fierce competitors, they want to win and they’ve been fantastic drivers of what this footy club’s about for a long time.

“It’s no accident they’ve been able to play for so long.”

Ruckman Shane Mumford remains in doubt to face Fremantle on Saturday. The big man, who was rated a 50-50 chance to play, was restricted to running laps on Tuesday and did not join the main group in training.

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28 October
Comments Off on Dating advice for entrepreneurs

Dating advice for entrepreneurs

Spend any time on an internet dating site and you will immediately recognise the experienced prospects. They’re the ones who, in addition to outlining a few key details about themselves, will also state what they are (or aren’t) looking for in a potential partner.

Entrepreneurs looking for investors need to use the same approach. Money may be a focus in many cases but, as with relationships, it’s the other traits that bring value to the partnership and make it last.

When my brother Gabby and I started CatchOfTheDay we had a profitable venture so weren’t actually looking for an investor. We had a good-looking business, though, and people quickly become interested in us. So it wasn’t long before we started receiving a lot of courting knocks from interested parties, local and international venture capitalists, private and public companies, high net worth families and wealthy individuals.

There were lots of first dates. It was an honour to be invited for lunches and coffee with people we had only read about in magazines. However, as meeting after meeting passed, I started to question why we were on the investor dating market at all. We had the funds needed for our projected growth, so we didn’t need an investor. Or so we thought.

As with many wonderful relationships, our current partner Tiger Global was introduced to us through a mutual friend. At first we were reluctant to meet yet another international venture capitalist that wanted to offer us a ‘loan’ and considered cancelling. In a moment that changed our future, we decided to go after all, out of respect. I’m glad we did. I compare that meeting to the perfect date, finding simpatico with someone who understood us, where we’ve come from, our challenges and goals. Tiger Global had been on many similar journeys and shared our long-term vision, plus had the skills, resources, network and passion to help us materialise that vision. I saw a relationship where the partnership was more than the sum of its parts.

Tiger Global then introduced us to other like-minded individuals and companies and together they invested in our company. Two years and $80 million later, the investors have delivered everything they promised, providing insights, expertise, ideas, connections and motivation. The relationship has gone from strength to strength.

In this regard, the entrepreneur’s saying that success often comes from the right kind of failure is true. My brother and I learnt from all those failed dates – the coffees, lunches and the couple of boat rides we enjoyed – that there are many different types of investors, each with their own unique personalities, skills, networks, interests and intentions. We came to understand that to form a successful partnership with an investor we would need to find someone whose vision and interests were aligned to ours. Fortunately we persevered to find that ‘special someone’.

The Catch Group has now become an investor in three businesses over the last 12 months: vinomofo苏州美甲美睫培训, mumgo苏州美甲美睫培训.au and eatnow苏州美甲美睫培训.au. The criteria for partnership? Passionate founders with a firm vision and interests that aligned to ours. We in turn provided these founders with knowledge, experience, resources and the funding they needed to succeed, all of which I believe contributes to a solid relationship.

Questions to ask yourself on a date with an investor.

Personal: Do I like them? Can I work with them in the longer term?

Trust: Do I trust them? Do I respect their opinion, even if I don’t agree with it?

Reputation: What do I know about them? What are the reports from the people who have worked with them? Do they have a good reputation with the people I know/respect?

Financial strength: Do they have a track record of delivering what they promise?

Commitment: Are they fly-by-nighters investing in a trend, or do they believe in my business enough to stay with me through the tough times?

Knowledge: Do they understand my objectives, my goals? Other than funds, do they have something that I want/need?

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