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8 November 1991. Thought for the Week: "....when an individual has the integrity to question the credibility of a government imposed view of history, we should listen with an open mind and search for the truth. It would seem to me that the truth will be in debate for a long time. But if we silence one side of any dispute, or anyone's view of truth, because we think he is wrong, then society as a whole will suffer... Patrick Henry said, 'Give me liberty or give me death'. If you don't have liberty, you have a kind of spiritual death, the death that comes from people who never use their minds. That's a real spiritual death. If we are to live in a free society, where people are alive and have hope in their lives, then we must have liberty."
Doug Christie in The Zundel Trial And Free Speech
LEAGUE PROTEST AT ADELAIDE WAR CRIMES TRIAL
Led by Mrs. Betty Luks, South Australian State Director, a small group of League of Rights supporters were present outside the Adelaide Magistrate's Court on Monday, October 28th, when Australia's first war crimes trial started. Pensioner Ivan Polyukhovic, of Polish background, is charged with the murder of 25 people and with knowingly being concerned in the murder of about 850 people in the Ukraine during World War II.
Placards carried by the protestors said,
The League protest received national media coverage. In a television interview, Mrs. Betty Luks clearly outlined why the League was protesting against war crime trials, repeating these reasons in an interview with Adelaide's morning newspaper, The Advertiser, which quoted Mrs. Luks as saying the legislation was "retrospective in effect" because "there was no such thing as a crime against humanity at the time these alleged crimes took place". Mrs. Luks said that we should "forgive and forget" war crimes. League protestors will be present again when the trial resumes next Monday, November 11th. It is anticipated that the lead given by the League in Adelaide will encourage other protestors to come forward. Hopefully there will be a national reaction against what can only be regarded as a national disgrace. It is estimated that the cost of the trial will run into millions of dollars, with witnesses being flown in from a number of countries, including Israel. Once again "Holocaust" mythology will be paraded.
MORAL THEOLOGIAN CONDEMNS WAR CRIME TRIALS
In a letter to The Age, Melbourne, of November 2nd, the Rev. Father W. Daniel, a Melbourne moral theologian, writes:
"In his article Justice and the Genocide Machine, ("The Age" 30/10) Geoffrey Barker reviews the various arguments that have been used against the prosecution of Nazi war criminals in Australia. He considers the argument that Australia's war crimes legislation violates fundamental legal principles, but asks, 'Is it worse to violate national legal principles or to violate international moral principles?' He concludes that in the special circumstances of the Nazi crimes it is the lesser evil to violate national legal principles.
"I do not believe that the legal difficulties can be so easily dismissed. The violation of legal principle that is involved in our war crimes legislation is itself a moral issue. "However much we may abominate Nazi crimes, we do not have the jurisdiction to deal with them. Neither the criminals nor the victims were Australian subjects, and the crimes were not committed in Australian territory. They are not the business of Australian courts.
"To prosecute and punish people for matters over which we have no jurisdiction is not a minor matter of legal propriety, it is an immoral act. It is an example of the arbitrariness that we were quick to condemn in totalitarian regimes. Lawless punishment is not an instance of justice but of revenge, which is a world apart from justice.
"Justice is the bond of civilised society. To set aside justice, and to disregard the rights of one guilty of even the most detestable of crimes, is to undermine the rights of all. "Where we do have jurisdiction in such matters is in deciding whether such persons are fit to be part of the Australian community, or whether they should be deported like other criminals. We may also decide, after judicial inquiry, whether they should be returned to the jurisdiction that has the right to try and punish them for their crimes. In the end, it may not be possible for them to receive a condign punishment: but to be branded as a mass murderer is a severe punishment in itself for even the most depraved individual."
While agreeing with Father Daniel's final point, we point out that no realistic "judicial inquiry" is possible concerning a man like Ivan Polyukhovic, who has lived for so long in Australia as a law abiding citizen. How can any realistic judgment be made of alleged events in war torn Europe 50 years ago?
THE SIR JOH BJELKE-PETERSEN AFFAIR
Under Australia's system of Common Law, inherited from Great Britain, every individual is assumed to be innocent until proved guilty. As a jury of his fellows did not find him guilty of the charge of perjury, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen is innocent. But his detractors, including a number of sleazy journalists, are not prepared to accept this and have been attempting to create the impression that a cloud still hangs over Sir Joh. Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen has his faults and we believe was responsible for some bad errors of judgment. He should never have allowed himself to be talked into the Joh-for-P.M. campaign, with promises of support that never materialised. But at the end of the day one fact has emerged with blinding clarity: Sir Joh has not benefited personally from any alleged corruption, otherwise he would not be in his present financial difficulties.
The reading in the Queensland State Parliament of Prosecutor Drummond's reasons for not proceeding with a second trial was disgraceful, even though the National Party Members did not handle the situation very constructively. The whole Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen affair bears all the signs of a type of vendetta with strong political overtones. No realist would attempt to dispute that there was corruption in Queensland, particularly in the police. But would anyone seriously claim that there has not been corruption in the N.S.W. police? Or in N.S.W. politics? And the revelations coming from Western Australia make Queensland politics look almost pure white! The Joh haters should be challenged to cease their hypocrisy.
The Tasmanian political fiasco has demonstrated the urgent need for the introduction of some version of the Citizens Initiative Referendum as quickly as possible. Dr. Brown and his group have demonstrated how a minority can blackmail a Labor Government more concerned about power than principles. Dr. Brown has refused to support the Electors' Veto proposal put forward by Liberal M.H.A. Mr. Neil Robson. Dr. Brown feared an election at which the Tasmanian electors would have had an effective say concerning the performance of Dr. Brown and his colleagues.
The National Farmers' Federation has refused
to assist financially Rural Action groups emerging across Australia,
with Executive Director Rick Farley claiming that these groups are merely
"fronts" for the League of Rights. The N.F.F., with its massive fighting
fund of millions, has presented no constructive programme for the solution
of Australia's farming industries, specifically rejecting any suggestion
that controls should be used to halt the flood of cheap foreign food
flooding into Australia, while supporting Dr. Hewson's deadly Consumption
We notice that a national poll on Immigration, conducted by The Age (Melbourne) reveals that 75% of Australians want Immigration cut, including 25% who want no immigration, AND, attitudes towards Immigration have remained constant over recent years. The League of Rights has correctly reflected the attitudes of most Australians: Governments have not.
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