– A dying police hero has accused Victoria’s most senior crime-fighter of improperly using information heard on a phone tap.
Former Detective John Kapetanovski made the explosive allegation against Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner (Crime) Graham Ashton, in a dying declaration to the Ombudsman.
Mr Kapetanovski, who died eight weeks ago, alleged in a sworn statement that Mr Ashton – then Deputy Director of the Office of Police Integrity – used information overheard on a telephone intercept to scuttle a senior public servant’s appointment to a new job.
The female public servant held a senior position at a sensitive Commonwealth agency when the OPI installed audio and video surveillance in an apartment she stayed in during a work trip to Melbourne in 2007.
At the time she was bugged, the woman held one of the highest security classifications in Australia.
Mr Kapetanovski, a Valour Award winner during his 32-year police career, was head of the OPI’s integrity testing unit at the time.
The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said she had no idea the executive apartment in South Yarra had been bugged until told by the media.
She was shocked by the OPI’s tactics.
Her conversations were intercepted by the OPI during an investigation whose targets included then Assistant Commissioner Noel Ashby and former Police Association secretary Paul Mullett.
Her job was withdrawn the day before she was due to start after phone tap information was passed to her new employer by the OPI.
The woman, a friend of Mr Ashby, was not a target of the OPI investigation.
Mr Kapetanovski’s allegations have been supported by Mr Ashby and Mr Mullett, who have produced fresh information to back a new call for an independent inquiry into alleged breaches of the Telecommunications Interception and Access Act.
Mr Ashton said he was prevented from commenting by OPI secrecy provisions. But he said that, in his view, Operation Diana “was conducted entirely appropriately and lawfully”.
An OPI spokesman said yesterday it was “satisfied that all aspects of this operation have been conducted lawfully and appropriately.
The OPI’s poor strike rate and the delay in establishing its replacement, an Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission, has become a major issue for the Baillieu Government.
Mr Ashby and Mr Mullett said yesterday they would not rest until someone was held accountable for the way they were pursued.
Mr Mullet believed stalling tactics were being used to thwart an inquiry until the six-year statute of limitations had passed.
Mr Ashby and Mr Mullett were both charged with criminal offences as a result of Operation Diana, which was established by the OPI in 2007 to investigate police leaks in a covert investigation, called Operation Briars, into the murder of “vampire” prostitute Shane Chartres- Abbott.
They were both charged with perjury for misleading the OPI. Mr Ashby was acquitted by a judge and charges against Mr Mullett were withdrawn.
During Mr Ashby’s committal hearing in 2010, Mr Ashton said he had never improperly passed on any information from phone taps – Geoff Wilkinson

About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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