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Allegations in South Australian Parliament that a former investigator with the National Crime Authority fire bombed his boss's car

PAUL MURPHY: In South Australia there have been more startling allegations concerning the National Crime Authority. In developments today after yesterday's allegations in Parliament that a former senior investigator with the NCA was responsible for fire bombing his bosse's car in April, the investigator said he was shattered by the charge and the parliamentarian who made the claim, the Australian Democrats Leader Ian Gilfillan, apologised for any distress caused. But, as Peter Rapp reports from Adelaide, the former NCA investigator has confirmed a falling out with his former boss.

PETER RAPP: So once again internal tensions and the embattled National Crime Authority have spilled into the open. This episode began with this statement yesterday to South Australia's Legislative Council by Australian Democrat Leader, Ian Gilfillan.

IAN GILFILLAN: I'm advised that there were allegations made by Mr Dempsey and others that Mr Mengler himself threw the bomb into Mr Dempsey's drive.

PETER RAPP: In April someone threw a bomb under the car of the head of the NCA in Adelaide Gerald Dempsey while it was parked in the driveway of the home he was renting. No one was injured but the car was damaged. Mr Gilfillan continued in Parliament that there'd been conflict between Mr Dempsey and Carl Mengler over priorities and the treatment of a now notorious report on the conduct of South Australian police during an Operation Noah anti-drug phone-in last year. He decided to air the allegation because of frustration over the continual refusal of the NCA to answer questions on its operations. The allegation was immediately rejected by Mr Mengler's new boss, the head of Queensland's Criminal Justice Commission, Sir Max Bingham. Mr Mengler says he told the NCA he was leaving the day before the bombing; he's now the CJC's Director of Operations. Sir Max said after talking with Mr Mengler that he was absolutely, totally satisfied that the allegation was untrue, adding that he wouldn't be inquiring into the matter.

SIR MAX; If the Criminal Justice Commission were to busy itself with all the nonsense that went on in the various Houses of Parliament around this country it would never get anything constructive done.

PETER RAPP: However, later today the CJC misconduct division announced it would investigate the matter for its own protection. For his part, Carl Mengler himself says he was in Melbourne when the car was bombed and the allegation was utterly and completely without foundation. But he confirmed to Ellen Fanning on the World Today, that there had been a disintegration of his relationship with Adelaide NCA head Dempsey.

CARL MENGLER: Oh, I rather thought I had a very good working relationship with, him but events thereafter make it quite clear in my mind that that wasn't the case. That clearly was only my point of view.

ELLEN FANNING: What specifically happened after you resigned from the NCA that made you think that relations weren't as good as you'd thought with Mr Dempsey?

CARL MENGLER: I sought legal advice over certain events that occurred and certain things that were said in Adelaide. My legal advisers in Adelaide are acting on my behalf in relation to that, and it wouldn't be very prudent for me to discuss that with you.

PETER RAPP: Mr Mengler urged the South Australian Parliament to censure Mr Gilfillan and he was supported in that today by the South Australian Attorney-General Chris Sumner. And in a personal explanation today Mr Gilfillan denied that he had personally made any allegation against Mr Mengler. He told Parliament that he doesn't believe the allegation he aired yesterday, he admired Mr Mengler and the reasons for bringing the matters forward was to have them cleared up and for the true record of what transpired in the South Australian office of the NCA to be revealed. The NCA said today that the bombing allegation was wrong. To its knowledge neither Mr Dempsey nor any other officer, had made such an allegation.