CROWN WITNESS AGREES CITIZENS INSPECTION "MIRACULOUS" - Katie & Jess
AFP Officer in Charge at Pine Gap base Inspector Ken Napier agreed in court today that the Pine Gap 4's successful Citizens' Inspection was "miraculous". During cross-examination of Inspector Napier, defendant Donna Mulhearn described a conversation she had with a police officer prior to the inspection. "He said to me 'you'd need a miracle to breach security at Pine Gap' - would you agree with that?" asked Ms Mulhearn. Smiling, Mr Napier replied "At the time, yes."
Adele in cross examining Ken Napier was able to gain confirmation that the base was locked down for at least ninety minutes after their inspection on the 9th December 2005. Donna was able to gain confirmation that to his knowledge, despite the large number of people who have trespassed on the base, that none have been charged under the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act (1952).
Another Crown witness, Mr Geoffrey Cooper, testified to selling two pairs of bolt cutters to the Mr Bryan Law at an Alice Springs hardware shop. Under cross-examination Mr Law asked Mr Cooper to recall details of the transaction. "The gentleman asked 'Do you know what I want to use them for?' and I said yes, to get into Pine Gap," said Mr Cooper, also smiling. "He asked what chance I thought they had, and I said none."
Federal Agent David Perry was asked to recount a public meeting that he attended on the 6th of December. He very rigidly held up his fingers to display that people had been asked to hold up a peace sign. When asked in cross-examination whether he held up a peace sign, he said “I did but I didn’t hold it up”. He stated that he was unaware of the powers he had under the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act to arrest the group for both the possession of a model or intending to enter a facility. He stated that there was a movie, shot in Fallujiah, shown at the meeting which depicted horrific injuries of children. Donna put to him that “any person presented with this information would be compelled to respond”, to which he replied that he had to disagree, that this was not his experience. It was a profound moment for me, as this agent reflected that his experience was that people do not always step in to help a fellow human being.
A model of Pine Gap was in the courtroom, and Mr Begby, appearing for the Commonwealth, stated (in the absence of the jury) that this could be constituted as a further offence under Section 9 of the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act, and requested that this be placed in the custody of the Court.
The afternoon brought many AFP officer’s evidence about their experience on the day of the “incursion”. We were able to clarify that Jim was kneeling when officers arrested him and pushed him onto his face. It was also clarified by many witnesses that it was only the fence that was cut. One officer obviously wasn’t a fan of the action stating “they were quoting some form of rhetoric…anti-war slogans about the atrocities of Iraq”. What was interesting about this is that even this skeptic called the actions in Iraq atrocities.