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Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Page: 4597


Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 16 April 2009:

(1)   In regard to the case of R v Jack Thomas, can the Attorney-General provide total expenditure and costings for the investigation and prosecution of each bail application that was opposed, the first trial, the appeal, the applications for control orders, the second trial and all disbursements including counsel’s fees, for each of the following agencies:

(a)   the department;

(b)   the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP);

(c)   the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS);

(d)   the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO); and

(e)   the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

(2)   In regard to the case of Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v Haneef, can the Attorney-General provide the total expenditure and costings for all disbursements including counsel’s fees and travel, for the following agencies:

(a)   the department;

(b)   the CDPP;

(c)   the AGS;

(d)   ASIO; and

(e)   the AFP.

(3)   In regard to the case of R v Vinayagamoorthy, Yathavan and Rajeevan (Operation Halophyte) in which all charges regarding the Commonwealth criminal code were recently withdrawn, can the Attorney-General confirm, including costs expended in resisting subpoena issued by the defence for all organisations:

(a)   the total expenditure of the department;

(b)   the total expenditure of the CDPP including each bail application, pre trial argument, voir dire and all preparatory work;

(c)   the costs claimed by Mark Dean, SC, for the prosecution and for junior counsel briefed;

(d)   the costs claimed for travel taken by Mark Dean, SC, in this case, and for travel taken by CDPP solicitors in that case;

(e)   the costs of all disbursements incurred by CDPP;

(f)   the total expenditure by the AFP on the Operation Halophyte investigation from its commencement in January 2006 until present, including costs of all travel for the AFP and Sri Lankan Police travelling to Australia;

(g)   the AFP expenditure on monitoring Tamils in Australia each year from 2002;

(h)   the total expenditure of the AGS; and

(i)   the total expenditure by ASIO.

(4)   In regard to Mr David Hicks, can the Attorney-General confirm:

(a)   the total expenditure by ASIO; and

(b)   the total expenditure by the AFP.

(5)   In regard to Mr Mamdouh Habib, can the Attorney-General confirm:

(a)   the total expenditure by ASIO; and

(b)   the total expenditure by the AFP.


Senator Wong (Minister for Climate Change and Water) —The Attorney-General has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)  

(a)   The Department spent $559,685.53 on legal expenses in relation to the case R v Jack Thomas. Records are not generally kept in the Department of staff time spent on specific issues, and so staff time and expenses associated with this case cannot be reliably costed.

(b)   The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) spent $865,589.01 on direct prosecution legal expenses.

(c)   The Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) provides legal advice to the Government. AGS does not generate any costings itself. Rather, it bills government agencies, who seek its advice, for work undertaken.

(d)   The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) does not provide details of operational costs or expenditure other than in its annual Report to Parliament for reasons of national security. To do so would reveal how ASIO directs resources against investigative and operational priorities, and would provide insight into ASIO’s operational capability.

(e)   The total cost to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) relating to the Jack Thomas investigation was $1,789,658.31. The separation of expenditure is not able to be provided to the degree requested as costings are not separated to this level.

(2)  

(a)   Nil. The former Minister for Immigration and Citizenship cancelled Dr Haneef’s visa. The Department was not a party to the case of Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v Haneef.

(b)   Nil. The CDPP was not a party in the case of Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v Haneef.

(c)   The AGS provides legal advice to the Government. AGS does not generate any costings itself. Rather it bills government agencies, who seek its advice, for work undertaken.

(d)   ASIO does not provide details of operational costs or expenditure other than in its annual Report to Parliament for reasons of national security. To do so would reveal how ASIO directs resources against investigative and operational priorities, and would provide insight into ASIO’s operational capability.

(e)   Nil. The AFP was not a party in the case of Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v Haneef.

(3)  

(a)   In this case, charges against each of the three defendants are still on foot under the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945. Legal expenses incurred by the Department as at 30 April 2009 were $17,935.58. Records are not generally kept in the Department of staff time spent on specific issues, and so staff time and expenses associated with this case cannot be reliably costed.

(b)   Legal expenses paid by the CDPP to 30 April 2009 in this matter total $1,161,287.14.

(c)   Out of the total figure provided at (3)(b), as at 30 April 2009, $964,605.85 of this was legal expenses recorded for both senior and junior counsel briefed in this case.

(d)   Out of the total figure provided at (3)(b), as at 30 April 2009, $11,092.39 was expenses recorded for the cost of counsel travel and $22,339.96 was expenses recorded for the cost of CDPP staff travel.

(e)   See answer to Question (3)(b).

(f)   Between January 2005 and April 2009, the cost to the AFP relating to Operation Halophyte was $5,271,706.91. This figure includes direct costs to the AFP of legal proceedings relevant to the case totalling $118,540.91.

(g)   The AFP Protection Intelligence area assesses unrest within community groups generally and it is not possible to provide detail as to expenditure attributable to the costs of engaging individual community groups.

(h)   See answer to Question (3)(a).

(i)   ASIO does not provide details of operational costs or expenditure other than in its annual Report to Parliament for reasons of national security. To do so would reveal how ASIO directs resources against investigative and operational priorities, and would provide insight into ASIO’s operational capability.

(4)   and (5) (a) ASIO does not provide details of operational costs or expenditure other than in its annual Report to Parliament for reasons of national security. To do so would reveal how ASIO directs resources against investigative and operational priorities, and would provide insight into ASIO’s operational capability. (b) Mr David Hicks and Mr Mamdouh Habib were the subjects of one operation which dealt with Australian citizens detained overseas. The total expenditure on this operation between December 2001 and April 2009 was $598,310. This figure does not include direct costs of engaging the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) for matters relevant to Mr Hicks totalling $105,862.17 or the cost relating to imposing the control order on Mr Hicks which was $167,909. This figure does not include direct costs of engaging the AGS for matters relevant to Mr Habib totalling $5,043.41.