The Bar Council notes with concern, following from the press conference held by the panel investigating the video clip, the narrow scope of the panel’s terms of reference which appears to be restricted solely to determining the authenticity of the video clip. The Bar Council is also concerned that the panel, having acknowledged its lack of powers in compelling the production of evidence, does not intend to invite any person to come forward to assist the panel or to give a statement. It further has no power to direct investigations. Neither has it immunity.
It would appear, therefore, that the Panel is wholly dependent on the investigations carried out by other agencies. The Bar Council hopes to raise these issues with the panel shortly.
It has always been the stand of the Bar Council that this panel can only constitute a first step in the wider process of ascertaining the facts and inferences in relation to the video tape. A Royal Commission is required for this purpose for the very reasons the panel has put forward about its powers and immunity, among other things.
The action taken by the ACA, at this stage of the investigation, to find out about the whistleblower, is worrying and most discouraging. It shows the misplacement of focus, and creates an impression that the authorities are more interested in going after the whistleblower than in discovering the truth of the alleged wrongdoings.