World News – UA – Daniel Andrews grilled over phone records beyond the reach of quarantine investigation


Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews played down suggestions that the hotel’s quarantine investigation lacks sufficient powers to complete its work, after being toasted over the phone from tapes that could answer the main outstanding questions

Prime Minister and political commentator Peta Credlin, former adviser to Tony Abbott, argued during M’s daily press conference Andrews to find out if the investigation could do its job without the full March 27 phone records

In their submission to the investigation released today, Victoria Police said they were unable to provide the full telephone records of Graham Ashton, then Chief Commissioner at the time, due to federal telecommunications laws

In a timeline, Victoria Police claimed that Mr. Ashton had been called and told that security would be used to keep guests quarantined from the hotel between 1:16 p.m. and 1:22 p.m. on March 27

In their testimony, both M Ashton as the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary Chris Eccles were unable to recall who had telephoned Mr. Ashton at the time

According to the Victoria Police statement, M’s mobile billing records Ashton only understood incoming calls from other Victoria Police executives and did not provide access to recordings of other incoming calls

« Victoria Police contacted Telstra and requested data on incoming calls for the former chief commissioner’s phone, but correctly indicated that under the Telecommunications Act 1979 (interception and access), it is not able to provide this data unless it relates to a missing person investigation, « Victoria police said in a statement

He indicated that the information about incoming and outgoing calls could not be collected directly from the phone because too much time had passed and the data was no longer stored on the phone

M Andrews said if commission chair Jennifer Coate thought better access to phone records was needed, he thinks she would have requested it

« If former Judge Coate felt she needed more powers, she would ask, » he said

Asked why telephone records of the prime minister, ministers and senior officials were also not provided, Mr. Andrews replied that it was because they had not been wanted

« I wouldn’t want anyone listening or watching at home to think there is material that hasn’t been handed over This hasn’t been researched, » he said

When asked if he and senior officials would offer their telephone recordings to the investigation « to avoid any ambiguity, » Mr. Andrews replied that he would leave it to the investigation

« Again, with the greatest of respect, I don’t agree with the idea that you and your network have the option of telling me something and asking me, but not the commission of inquiry, « he said

« [The chairman of the investigation] did not even ask the question, which I think seems to be missing here

« After going through nearly 300,000 pages and hearing witnesses from all walks of life, I am convinced that if they believe there is a gap or incompleteness in the image they are working on, it is is in their power to raise these questions « 

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Peta Credlin

World News – AU – Daniel Andrews toasted on phone records beyond the reach of quarantine investigation



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