AWB Task Force investigation

Release Date: Friday, August 28 2009, 12:00 AM

In December 2006 a Task Force comprising the Australian Federal Police, Victoria Police and Australian Securities and Investment Commission was established to consider possible prosecution for offences indentified by the Cole inquiry into the Australian Wheat Board. During the course of the investigation the Task Force consulted with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

In July 2007 the Australian Securities and Investment Commission commenced a separate investigation to determine whether civil and/or criminal offences had been committed contrary to the Corporations Act 2001.

In July 2009 the Australian Federal Police requested a review of the investigation by Peter Hastings QC. As a result of the review Mr Hastings advised that due to a range of factors the prospects of a successful criminal prosecution were limited and not in the public interest.

Based on the advice provided by Mr Hastings, and following consultation with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and the Commonwealth Attorney General's Department, the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police Mick Keelty has decided to discontinue the Australian Federal Police investigation and to offer such assistance as is required to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission to assist that agency to complete its investigation.

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