UPDATE: Scan of article on page 3 of today’s Australian is here.
Following the freedom of information request story which made page 1 of The Australian yesterday, Christian Kerr and Lanai Vasek write a further story today, confirming that the Australian National University made no complaint to the police, despite alleging a vicious campaign of hatred against climate scientists.
As I said in my original post on this back in June 2011:
Last time I checked, which was about thirty seconds ago, making threats to kill in the ACT was a criminal offence, thanks to section 30 of the Crimes Act (ACT) 1900, and punishable by a maximum of ten years imprisonment. A similar provision for threats to kill via a postal service or carriage service appears in the Schedule to the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995, with a similar punishment.
So one has to ask why no action was taken by the university, given these were allegedly such serious crimes?
Police not told of ‘threats’ to ANU climate scientists
AUSTRALIAN National University authorities did not ask police to investigate alleged death threats against climate scientists, despite decrying a “totally outrageous” campaign against their staff.
The Australian yesterday revealed Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim had debunked claims of death threats in 11 emails sent to university staff.
The Australian Federal Police division responsible for law enforcement in Canberra, ACT Policing, said it was not contacted by the university over the matter. “As no complaint has been received, no investigation has taken place,” a spokesman said.
Fairfax Media and the ABC reported last June that ANU climate researchers had been subjected to a vicious and unrelenting campaign that included death threats.
At the time of the reports, vice-chancellor Ian Young denounced what he called intolerable threats against his scientists.
“These are issues where we should have a logical public debate and it’s completely intolerable that people be subjected to this sort of abuse and to threats like this,” he said. “I think it is totally outrageous.”
The university yesterday refused to say why no complaint was lodged with the police.
“Climate change staff approached university management about verbal and written harassment,” a spokesman said. “The university acted to move them to more secure offices.”
Mr Pilgrim, who was called in to adjudicate on a Freedom of Information request over the emails, found 10 of them did “not contain threats of harm against the recipients or the ANU”.
“I consider the danger to life or physical safety in this case to be only a possibility, not a real chance,” he said of the 11th email, an account of an exchange that occurred at an off-campus event sponsored by members of the university’s Climate Change Institute and other bodies. (source)
This confirms my own enquiries with ACT Police that no complaint had been filed.