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Tuesday, 2 October 1984
Page: 1020

Senator GARETH EVANS —On the matter of yet another investigation, on 13 September Senator Chaney asked a question about Mr Christo Moll and in particular an Age report about certain cheque butts allegedly having the name Mrs Lionel Murphy on the back of them. I am able to report to the Senate on this matter as follows: Inquiries have been completed by the Perth office of the Australian Federal Police into allegations made by Mr Christo Moll, firstly in relation to a diamond purchase by or for Mrs Lionel Murphy and, secondly, in relation to donations to the Liberal Party of Western Australia through the involvement of Senator Crichton-Browne. I told the Senate on 13 September last that I would find out what information was available on these matters from the long-standing AFP investigation of Christo Moll and advise the Senate in due course of what could be put on the public record. This I now do. The allegations were categorically denied by or on behalf of the persons concerned. The report from the AFP concludes that the assertions made in these respects by Mr Moll cannot be substantiated and it is possible that they are malicious fabrications. In accordance with normal practice relating to police investigation reports, I shall not table the report itself in the Senate. However the following points have been cleared with the AFP and I mention them for the information of honourable senators and the public.

Mr Moll fled from Australia on 17 June 1979 because of taxation inquiries into his business dealings. In 1983 the journalist Marshall Wilson of the Age newspaper interviewed Mr Moll in Europe and was given a book of cheque butts by Mr Moll with some form of notation in various pens on the back of almost every butt. The notation on the back of the butt referring to a Mrs Murphy was written with a different pen from that which was used to write out the cheque and the butt record. The same applies to the two cheques supposedly related to the Liberal Party. The notations made on the back of the cheques had no apparent relevance to the purpose for which the cheques were written out. The preceding cheque book used by Mr Moll, which is held by the AFP, had no notations written on the back of any of the butts. This book of cheque butts was seized in Australia in 1979.

I repeat, against the background of that much information, the conclusion of the AFP that the assertions made in these various respects by Mr Moll cannot be substantiated, and it is possible that they are malicious fabrications.