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Friday, 24 August 1984
Page: 359

Senator McINTOSH —Has the Attorney-General's attention been drawn to the article in today's Age, which asserts that the Federal Police in Western Australia have protested about Mr Ian Temby, QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, being briefed on Perth police investigations involving some clients of a legal firm in which he was once a senior partner? I would like to know whether there is any truth in these allegations.

Senator GARETH EVANS —The front page story in today's Age headed 'Police protest about Temby' with the sub-heading 'He is being briefed on a probe into clients of his old law firm' is another highly regrettable piece of journalism from a newspaper which is apparently increasingly determined to publish articles of this type-short on fact but very long on sensationalism and defamatory innuendo. As I understand it, the situation is this: The allegation that the Australian Federal Police in Western Australia has protested, as has been suggested, is quite incorrect. The AFP both at headquarters and in Perth has today in response to follow-up inquiries I have made through the Department of the Special Minister of State made it clear that it has expressed no dissatisfaction at all with Mr Temby's conduct of this matter.

What happened was that Federal police in Western Australia some weeks ago drew to the attention of their central office the very peripheral and indirect connection between Mr Temby and the man that the Federal police were investigating. This connection was, first, that a legal firm, in which Mr Temby was a partner until 1978, at one time acted for this person. Secondly, a trustee company established by that legal firm, Northmore Nominees Pty Ltd, in which Mr Temby and, for that matter, also Senator Chaney, have been directors, lent moneys to the man under investigation. When the matter arose in this way Mr Temby briefed me fully about it some weeks ago, as did the Special Minister of State with briefing material from the Australian Federal Police. Mr Temby has informed me that while his previous firm did some legal work for the person he, Mr Temby, had not, to the best of his recollection, done any professional work for the person, or those associated with him, directly or indirectly. I note that this is accepted by the Age, which does, however, assert that Mr Temby witnessed some documents recovered by the police. Mr Temby has further informed me that he made the AFP aware of the relevant facts at an early stage and has been very careful to disclose these matters at all conferences with the AFP concerning the person. I repeat that there is no substance whatsoever to the highly scurrilous innuendo that permeates this newspaper article. I think yet again the Age newspaper ought to be quite ashamed of itself for running a story in those terms.