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Ashton - VicPol knew Ali's passport had been cancelled & that he was on bail

Shocking confusion or misleading/deceptive conduct on the part of senior ministers and officers of the Victorian Labor/CFMEU administration.

From The Australian just now.

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Victoria’s top cop has revealed the organisation would have been aware that the Bourke Street terrorist’s passport had been cancelled through its role in counter-terrorism activities with federal agencies.

Comments this morning by Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton on 3AW radio — that “we were as aware as federal agencies on that” — are at odds with Victorian Attorney-General Martin Pakula’s insistence on Friday that information about Hassan Khalif Shire Ali’s passport having been cancelled had not been conveyed to Victoria Police.

Mr Ashton also confirmed that he withheld information about Shire Ali being on bail when he was asked directly at a press conference on the evening of November 9 attack that left one man dead and two injured.

Shire Ali, 30, was shot by police after he drove into Melbourne’s city centre and set his ute filled with gas bottles alight and attacked bystanders indiscriminately with a knife.

Shire Ali attacks police on Bourke St.
Shire Ali attacks police on Bourke St.

“I was certainly aware there was a possibility he was on bail because I think we had a court date but it was all pretty sketchy information,” Mr Ashton said, admitting it was an “oversight on my part” that he wasn’t upfront on that when asked by a reporter.

Mr Ashton also revealed that Labor Premier Daniel Andrews was briefed on the offender’s bail status over the weekend — most likely Saturday morning — but that he had not told the Opposition.

While Mr Ashton denied withholding information for political reasons, news of Shire Ali’s bail status — issued at a roadside by a police officer in relation to driving offences — as well as confusion over who knew what about his passport cancellation, has the government heading into the final election week facing scrutiny over what more could have been done to prevent the attack.

As reported in today’s The Australian, ASIO and the Department of Home Affairs have issued statements indicating that crucial information regarding Shire Ali’s passport cancellation would have been passed on to state authorities as a matter of course.

His passport was cancelled after ASIO judged that he was planning to travel to Syria to join Islamic State.

ENDS

I've not seen the incident from this angle before.

Guts plus to the two coppers.

Lest We Forget.

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