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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
JBD condemns offensive student website as Dick Pratt pleads not guilty to business crimes
Mood:  not sure
Topic: legal

We are writing to the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies to ask some questions about the interesting timing of the scandal story running front of the Sydney broadsheet today. References behind the following questions to follow asap:

1. Are you aware Dick Pratt pleaded guilty to civil breaches of the corporations law last year and has now been charged with criminal offences?:

22 Dec 2005 PM - Pratt case crucial for ACCC

Crikey - $40 million = small beer for Australia's third richest ... 10 Oct 2007 ... Pratt the winner: $36 million just a drop in the bucket · Dick Pratt takes money from ordinary Aussies -- so where is the uproar? ...

Crikey - Pratt’s insults not quite disguised as an apology - Pratt ... 9 Oct 2007 ... Briefly Business: iPod index, Pratt pleads sainthood, eBay ... The question raised by Dick Pratt’s letter to Visy customers: is it primarily ...

It's time we gave our watchdogs fangs | The Australian 15 Dec 2007

Crikey - Could billionaire Dick Pratt really go to jail? - Could ...20 Jun 2008

2. Are you aware Pratt pleaded not guilty to the criminal offences today as per abc radio news we heard earlier?


Richard Pratt has pleaded not guilty, (ABC: Timothy Marshall)

3. Are you aware that Jewish members of the business community in Melbourne in particular were concerned earlier this year that ACCC's failure to drop the criminal charges even after a $40 million fine for civil breaches might be motivated by discrimination?

24 June 2008 Melbourne establishment comes out boxing | smh.com.au By Ian Verrender

Spare a thought for poor old Dick Pratt. It's difficult to imagine what's worse: facing criminal charges of lying under oath or having John Elliott for ...

"....It may have escaped the minds of certain Bleak City academics, who were scathing of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission boss, Graeme Samuel, but Pratt already would be behind bars had his offences been committed in the United States or most other OECD countries. Australia is one of the few Western countries that does not impose a mandatory jail sentence for market rigging.

Samuel is right to pursue Pratt to the limit of the law. Failure to do so would be a travesty of justice and would reflect badly on Samuel, just as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's soft treatment of Steve Vizard rightly earned it the scorn of the wider community.

But the cheer squad has been marshalled, with an avalanche of letters to newspapers bemoaning the harsh treatment being meted out Pratt. ..."

4. Do you think the Scots' students allegedly involved in the offensive website might have got prejudiced attitudes from their business parents here in Sydney?

Sydney Morning Herald story here:

Student Facebook scandal

11:47am | Principals of elite Sydney schools vow to deal with pupils who posted anti-Semitic slurs on Facebook. | Student shame

5. Is billionaire business man Dick Pratt a donor to the JBD or related groups in the past? How much? 

6. Is it a coincidence that these two stories are running today namely Scot's College website and Dick Pratt not guilty plea to criminal breaches of the corporations law?

7. Is the JBD or similar/related groups innocently seeking to make the point of prejudice existing against the Jewish community in some parts of the upper echeleons of society, as expressed by their adolescent children? That indeed "racism is unacceptable"


8. Did the NSW JBD or related groups 'get the story up' regarding (alleged) Scots student scandal website? 

9. Is there any intention of the JBD or other groups that you may know of to influence the public's view of the Pratt criminal case, or indeed the court itself?

10. Are you aware that the courts receive clips of articles of all related matters in the press via such service providers as Media Monitors? Indeed on the flipside does the JBD continue to receive clippings from MM as they did in 1999-2001?


On a personal note SAM's editor loves Jewish folks and socialises and supports and indeed works for several of such in Sydney society.


Postscript #1 13 December 2008

 There is an extra aspect to the big media coverage that we didn't appreciate at the time of writing this above. We feel obliged both for fairness and balance to add: Either geniunely or again as a PR gambit or both, billionaire Mr Pratt has been presented as suffering prostrate cancer and having a spine operation as well related to the treatment. This appeared on crikey ezine about 2 weeks back we recall, and again in the press early this week - that we read late this week:

9 December 2008 Ill health throws doubt on Dick Pratt case | The Australian

All of this is in the balance along with Alan Bond getting an easier run because of his health when he crashed and went to gaol for 4 years. We will post separately on this transcript from Denton's Enough Rope interview with Bond.

Here's a tough appraisal of Dick Pratt:

8 Oct 2008 Crikey - Pratt 2: proof that the rich are indeed different - Pratt ...

12 Dec 2008 Richard Pratt denied cartel scam to John Howard | The Australian

Posted by editor at 11:54 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 13 December 2008 9:22 AM EADT

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