November 18 2002
Commander Newtown Police Station Australia Street Newtown 2042.
Re: two complaints of criminal conduct.
After advice from Police Legal Services, I attach herewith a document which outlines two complaints of criminal conduct.
The first complaint is against Debi Marshall, a journalist, employed by the Pacific Publications Pty. Ltd./ New Idea magazine. The allegation concerns an offence under the New South Wales Crimes Act (1900) Section 316, "conceal a serious indictable offence".
The second complaint is against David John Palmer of 2 Svendsen Place, Ingleburn 2565. The allegation concerns an offence that may have been attempted murder, indictable assault or some other offence as the circumstances direct.
It is not the situation that I am directly involved in either offence; it is merely that I am raising the matter with police for investigation.
I am available, as necessary, for interview.
New South Wales Crimes Act (1900): Section 316: Conceal A Serious Indictable Offence.
Allegation Against Debi Marshall
New South Wales Crimes Act (1900). Offence undetermined
Allegation Against David John Palmer
I am bound to advise you of information that may disclose two offences.
The first alleged offender is Debi Marshall, a journalist, and a person whose whereabouts are known to the editors of New Idea magazine and/or its publishers Pacific Publications Pty. Ltd.
The second alleged offender is David John Palmer, a self-appointed and styled political activist, understood to reside at 2 Svendsen, Ingleburn 2565.
Attached are certain documents that assist to ground the information.
1. The First Alleged Offender
I allege that Debi Marshall committed the offence whilst employed by Pacific Publications Pty. Ltd., the publishers of the popular New Idea magazine.
Debi Marshall, as a journalist, is entitled to interview members of the public, indeed any person entitled to speak about any matter, for the purposes of publication or otherwise informing herself adequately upon a subject.
In this connection, Marshall met and interviewed, David John Palmer.
It has been said that journalists have some 'privilege' similar to those other immunities granted police officers and certain public officials in respect of confidential conversations. It has been argued that journalists are not bound to reveal sources of information and so forth. This privilege, if it exists, does not extend to concealing a serious indictable offence or information that can prove such an offence. Those considerations do not seem to operate in the present matter.
Marshall interviewed Palmer around March 2002 and on March 23 2002, New Idea published an article based around this interview (see Folio). As the article reports, Palmer made admissions to her of a serious indictable offence. Marshall failed to make a report to the police.
2. The Second Alleged Offender
I allege that David John Palmer (d.o.b. August 2 1938) committed an offence whilst purporting to be some sort of political activist. No date is identified specifically for the offence. He was also supposedly a political activist when he made an admission of guilt in respect of this offence to Debi Marshall.
Palmer is a peculiar individual. On occasions since 1990, he has appeared in the Australian media claiming to be "Der Fuhrer" of the National Socialist Defending Aryan People Party. In this connection he has adorned himself with swastikas and a uniform loosely styled upon uniforms worn in the German Nazi state. On other occasions, he has described himself as the "Imperial Wizard" of the Australian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. In this connection he has adorned robes and insignia of a style similar to those worn by the American Ku Klux Klan organization during the various phases of its history.
He was essentially in Klan mode when he was interviewed by Marshall.
It has also been my allegation made to other police (see complaint E 19110008, a matter that concerns offences related to an attempt to defraud a company of $500,000) that Palmer has been some sort of part-time informant for the former Special Branch of the NSW Police Force and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. Whether or not Palmer has been of service to these agencies does not provide him with an immunity from prosecution for criminal conduct.
3. Background Details To The Marshall Offence
In some manner unknown, Marshall was either commissioned by the New Idea magazine to compose, or researched on her own volition (or under some other source of instruction) and hence submitted to the magazine, an article on the use of the Internet by supposed neo-nazi and Ku Klux Klan activists. Marshall interviewed David John Palmer in connection with this subject. Palmer obligingly supplied confirmation of her hypothesis.
Marshall writes of a section of the interview:
"Palmer's dangerous beliefs don't stop there. A few years ago, when he found out one of his daughters lived in a block of flats with people of mixed backgrounds, his KKK henchmen stormed the building and threw "the coffee-coloured people out of a first floor window."
Marshall reported these matters in a style indicating certainty. Unless Marshall made a value judgement to the effect that Palmer's admission of involvement in 'home invasion', or attempted murder or indictable assault or conspiracy, was worthless (which would not explain why she later published it), she could only have assumed it was what it purported to be. Palmer had made an admission of criminal conduct.
Marshall did not report the admission. If Marshall is an 'anti-racist' - and we may reasonably expect that she is an adherent of this ideology - not to have reported a major racist offender defies belief. Yet, this was the course she followed.
Subsequently, as below, Jenni Gilbert, Editor of New Idea, has confirmed that Palmer said these words. It would be understood that Marshall has admitted as much to her editor. It may reasonably be concluded that notes of this interview exist.
4. Special Details Concerning The Palmer Offence
It should be said that I have some deep held reservations that the incident described by Palmer in fact - took place. I have had cause to privately investigate the activities engaged in (and reputedly engaged in) by Palmer and his associates. Some of this research was part of a doctoral studies program; some of the research was related to the other complaint made to police about Palmer's criminal behaviour; I have also researched Palmer etc. in relation to political activities engaged in on my own account. It is my assessment that Palmer is a psychologically disturbed individual, a fantasiser and a habitual liar who seems to have trouble determining what the truth actually is. However, I cannot absolutely discount the offending statement.
Palmer has, in other media, made statements indicating he and his associates engage in criminal conduct. In 1997, during doctoral research I conferred with Palmer. Aside from making oblique threats to me, Palmer gave a non-criminal version of the living arrangements story as concerned a daughter, a story which was slightly at variance to another story he told me in 1990 when I was under harassment by him. On these bases I doubt Palmer's story as given to New Idea. But I cannot say if he was truthful to me on the other occasions or if the circumstances had altered such that he did commit the offence. He says that he did.
It is a bizarre situation under complaint. Palmer said he has committed a serious crime. A journalist wrote an article containing the admission. A million readers read the admission. The journalist must believe in the accuracy of the statement (or in the alternate be herself a perverse prankster). .
5. The Complaint To The Australian Press Council Reveals Evidence.
In April 2002, I made a complaint to the Australian Press Council concerning various aspects of the Marshall article and how it had (in my view) breached the standards imposed by that body.
As a result of that complaint, the editor of New Idea, Jenni Gilbert, in a letter of October 28 2002 said, in a remarkable example of double-speak and fractured logic:
"Neither the magazine nor journalist are under any obligation to report Palmer's admissions, particularly in circumstances where they are, according to Saleam, 'obvious lies'."
If the magazine accepts my scepticism about Palmer's accuracy, it infers they peddle nonsense. The magazine must believe in Palmer or be condemned. But, as is the legal complaint here, for the journalist not to have not reported Palmer's admissions (let alone the magazine not to have counselled a report), particularly in the earlier period before I had in fact complained to the Australian Press Council, would be the substance of the alleged offence.
Even now the magazine has not contacted police and offered its records etc to cause the investigation of Palmer's admitted offence.
It is the complaint that prima facie David John Palmer has made an admission to an offence (or cluster of offences). The circumstances described disclose that the offence was serious and reasonably involved actual bodily harm, threat to life and property and was carried out in concert.
It is the complaint that Palmer's admission, sufficient to initiate an investigation and to be used in legal proceedings was not provided to the police by Debi Marshall. The journalist was duty bound to make a police report.
I would say that these issues are appropriate for investigation.