By Con George-Kotzabasis
Supreme Court judge Bernard Bongiorno, who is presiding over the biggest terror trial in Australia of the twelve radical Muslims (The “Dirty Dozen” bombers) who were allegedly preparing themselves to be holy martyrs in their jihad against Australia by killing innocent civilians, has been persuaded by SC (Senior Counsel) of the defendants, Jim Kennan and Mark Taft, that the alleged terrorists are being treated inhumanely by the authorities and are at a state of mental collapse.
Before we go into the ruling of the judge I think it would be appropriate to know few things about the two SC of the accused,. Jim Kennan, and MarkTaft. The former was a minister in the Kane and Kirner Labor governments in Victoria who held the portfolios of Attorney General and Transport in the mid-eighties. Melbournians will remember the Tramways Union strike in 1989 when trams had blockaded the metropolitan streets of Melbourne for more than a month preventing commuters coming into the city and threatening many small shops with bankruptcy. The strike lasted that long only as a result of Kennan being a weak minister as well as of the incompetence and languid state of his advisors. One example which I remember vividly, was his press secretary watching the Commonwealth Games with his feet on his desk whilst John Halfpenny ( the then Secretary of The Trades Union Council), who was leading the strike, was besieging with his goons the minister and threatening the livelihood of many small shop keepers. At the end of the strike, Jim Kennan was removed from the Ministry of Transport and was placed back to his Attorney General’s position. And Bernard Bongiorno was appointed to the Bench of the Supreme Court by the Brack’s Labor government in 2000. ( Birds of a feather flock together.)
The other SC Mark Taft was a member of the Communist Party following the footsteps of his father Bernie Taft, who, as the Victorian Secretary of the Party dissolved it in 1991 in the wake of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. But he dissolved the Communist Party not for the purpose of expressing his political mea culpa for the millions of peoples who were slaughtered by the Leninists doctrinaires Stalin and Mao, but for the purpose of conceiving its bastard sibling the Socialist Forum hoping that its members would become an influential part of the left of The Labor Party. In the latter goal the older Taft succeeded completely, while the younger Taft as a member of the executive of the Socialist Forum and as one of its foremost ideologues, second only to his father, was ideologically grooming many members of the left of the Labor party, among whom were the present Minister of Finance, Lindsay Tanner, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, of the Rudd Labor Government. Now that both SC Jim Kennan and Mark Taft have abandoned the heavy burdens of the public sector, which for both of them were a total failure, and have chosen to be lured by the entrepreneurial temptations of the private sector and gratify themselves with its rich tastes, they decided to open their appetite for the latter with the “aperitif” of being the defenders of the “Dirty Dozen”, in Australia’s biggest terrorism trial. But enough of this minuscule biographical diversion of our two attorneys of defense, and let us now deal with the “unprecedented “ruling of the presiding judge of the trial.
Justice Bongiorno being a practical judge and not an ivory tower one, was not satisfied of being convinced merely by the “theoretical” pleadings of the two SC that the defendants were treated inhumanely by the authorities, especially when they were shackled hand and foot while they were transported from prison to the Court locked in the steel compartments of the prison vans, and wanted to test this allegation in a practical way. So when he visited Barwon prison where the twelve were being held he had himself locked up in “the small steel compartment…in one of the prison vans… to get a better understanding of their treatment”. Convinced now “beyond a reasonable doubt” by his own “travailed” experience during his own “transportation” to Barwon prison that the alleged would-be terrorists were treated by the authorities brutally and inhumanely he issued his ukase to the latter that unless they stopped this “intolerable” treatment of the prisoners his honor would “suspend the hearing indefinitely and consider releasing the men on bail”.
Victoria’s Department of Corrections under this hovering threat expeditiously responded positively to the Jupiterian ruling of Justice Bongiorno and implemented most of his directions. In doing so it negated the possibility that some of the twelve defendants would jump bail and break away from the “forceps” of Australian justice and disappearing in a Muslim country. But it did so paradoxically at the expense of the Judge. As it deprived his Honor of the honorific that Muslims, moderate and radical alike, at least in Australia, would have bestowed on the Justice as an indelible sign of their gratitude for this service, i.e., giving the opportunity to their co-believers to escape from the unjust Australian terrorist laws, by replacing their traditional greeting of Salam with Bongiorno, for ever after.
What was most interesting and amusing moreover, was the forensic evidence of the psychiatrists whose painstaking analysis had found the defendants to be psychologically and mentally disturbed—as if people who were prepared to kill hundreds if not thousands of innocent people for their messianic goals and in chase of the seventy-two virgins were not already incurable cases of mental disturbance–and “believed that their condition would deteriorate as the trial progressed”. Needless to say Justice Bongiorno was deeply influenced by this forensic evidence extracted from the “psychiatrist’s couch” and was a decisive element in his “extraordinary”, to quote him, ruling.
Thus we will be told as an entertaining and jovial story, that the twelve bearded fanatics who were “toying” with ideas how to blow up Australians, now that they are standing before the bar accused of planning this atrocity they have metastasized themselves into mere “naughty boys” playing among the skirts of the “libertine” legal profession and claiming from the loose garments of the latter their human rights.
Bongiorno Australia:Have a nice day
I rest on my oars: Your turn now.