PAPER TRAIL: Rapke personally signs Karamicov's divorce-related paper-work

rapkeVictoria’s controversial Director of Public Prosecutions Jeremy Rapke has denied an inappropriate relationship with one of his Associate Crown Prosecutors whom he promoted at an unusually young age, Diana Karamicov.

Rapke’s promotion of his friend has caused dysfunction and carnage in the Office of Public Prosecutions with his most senior colleagues believed to be pushing for his removal.

The Age and Sunday Herald Sun have revealed this weekend that a land transfer document signed by Ms Karamicov when she divorced her husband, Matthew Corrigan and he assigned his interest in their Bundoora property to her was witnessed by Karamicov’s ultimate boss, Jeremy Rapke.

It’s an extraordinary discovery. On its own, it might not mean much. But, in the context of the serious allegations of wrongdoing against Rapke, it’s a blockbuster revelation because it’s evidence of an unusually familiar relationship between a relatively junior employee (as she was in 2008 when the transfer was signed) and her ultimate boss, one of the most senior lawyers in Victoria paid around $400,000 per annum.

It is inconceivable that any of her lowly peers in the OPP were popping in to Rapke’s office to get them to witness their private documents.

It indicates an intimate familiarity between the two. It hints at Rapke’s keen interest in Karamicov’s personal affairs.

It’s not proof of an ‘inappropriate relationship’ but it’s probably the closest thing we’ll get to a paper trail between the two unless they have indiscreetly used email on the OPP’s email server, something much speculated about in legal circles this week.

Only an independent inquiry can arrive at the truth with Rapke providing evidence on oath about what’s actually gone on.

His carefully-worded denial this week denied – in the present tense – having inappropriate relationships with members of his staff. Perhaps this indicates it’s all over now.

Who knows? And normally we wouldn’t care. But the suggestion that people are being appointed to statutory offices in the Office of Public Prosecutions on any other basis than merit is a serious one that goes to the integrity of the administration of justice in Victoria. The consequences of appointing inexperienced people to senior roles in the OPP could be devastating to victims of crime and even those accused of crimes.

We have seen Rapke use every trick in the book to avoid further scrutiny.

Carefully crafted non-denial denials that didn’t address what happened in the past. Strongly questioning the need for an external inquiry. Cobbling together a statement of the three senior public prosecutors assuring everyone they agree on everything (except the things they disagree about). And then, in true Nixon White House style, now there are reports of Rapke launching a witch-hunt against any whistle-blowers in his office.

None of this is good enough. None of it fits with what a community could rightly expect of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

It’s one week after the Sunday Herald Sun revealed this shocking scandal. The man is clearly distracted from his public duties as the aftermath of his private activities spills out to public attention. It was reported this week that at a dinner of the Victorian Bar that Gavin Silbert – the Chief Crown Prosecutor and strident opponent of Rapke – received a thunderous round of applause indicating their strong opposition to what Rapke is perceived to have done in the OPP.

One side of politics seems to have completely abandoned him. The other – Labor – is supporting him for now but he’d not want to rely on that as there are plenty within the government gravely concerned about Rapke’s conduct.

When the Parliament reconvenes after the state election, whoever wins, Jeremy Rapke could be removed on a vote of both Houses.

It is clear that a permanent oversight process of Rapke – and Victorian judges – is long over-due. Politicians shouldn’t do it but an independent, well-resourced person or agency must be able to review the DPP’s conduct and performance and be able to recommend to the Parliament that action be taken when appropriate.

As we wrote a week ago, he should do the right thing and resign. His conduct in the last week has confirmed he is unfit for the office he currently holds. He should go before more damage is done to the system of justice he is sworn – and paid over $400,000 per annum – to uphold.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “PAPER TRAIL: Rapke personally signs Karamicov's divorce-related paper-work

  1. The Untouchables

    The fact is, right or wrong. that Rapke has brought the Office of Public Prosecutions into disrepute. He has compromised the department and raised questions as to its integrity. The OPP must be seen to be clean not just clean. None of this is help by recent politically motivated character assignations against Melbourne’s Greek Community leaders. Prosecutions that never should have seen the light of day but were proceeded with by an Office that would have known the devastating effect the allegations and costs in defending those allegations would have had.

    Rapke has misused and abused his office of privilege and responsibility.

    There is growing concern that a number of senior parliamentary officers have misused and abused their position in the knowledge that they are protected, accountable to no one, not even the Ombudsman has a right of review. The only body that can touch them is the Parliament and they are unable to act for fear of being accused of political bias.

    There is a clear need for an independent watch dog such as the Ombudsman to oversee the administration of Parliamentary officers. Someone has to hold them to account before corruption permeates the administration of the state.

  2. Hondo

    @ The Untouchables- do not be surprised if the attacks against Greek community leaders were not motivated by Rapke’s “plaything” who I take it is of FYROMian descent and would more than likely be serving as a pawn to facilitate their maximalist and anti-Hellenic agenda. It is something of a conspiracy theory but once you examine the unsubstantiated allegations it does become food for thought. My suggestion to these leaders is to sue the OPP and push for the absolute maximum damages they are entitled having had their reputations sullied by this Machiavellianism.

    In any event, these two and the other enablers need to be tarred and feathered then permanently forbidden under penalty of law from practicising in the legal profession . They have brought their office into disrepute, insulted the intelligence of the taxpayer and lost the public confidence. It is sickening to see the nepotism in such an office, and what should be a bastion of justice, transparency and accountability is becoming nothing more than a bordello wherein gratuities and favours enable one to further themselves.

    My belief is that a Crown Commission should be arranged to examine these abuses of power and to ultimately, given the facts, hand out the aforementioned draconian measures (tarring and feathering would be a nice touch but for better or worse our societal realities are more “civilised” nowadays).

    Otherwise one can only pray that if the Liberals win they will proceed to clear up the mess and in doing so, be clever enough to avoid the issue degenerating into a political slanging-match. There should be either a bi-partisan vote or that commission I referred to.

    Partisan politics and the law do not mix; and speaking for myself, the degeneracy of this state and its organisms for “good governance” have become most repugnant.

  3. wolf

    Whichever side launches a standing royal commission into corruption gets my vote.
    Bet none of them have the guts.

  4. Anon

    Rapke was a Hulls appointment. Hulls must be held responsible for yet another shocking appointment.

  5. RDR

    Rapke – stay brave and true.

  6. Steve Sensible

    Anyone who criticises Rob Hulls is a sook.

  7. I have a complaint of harassment outstanding against the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Steve Tully, another Parliamentary Officer who is beyond review.

    The Parliament’s presiding Officers have no authority and Parliament will not act to restore confidence in the Parliamentary process for fear of the issue being seen to be “Political” as a result I am denied a fair hearing or review.

    The complaint against Mr Tully follows on from my submission to the Parliament’s Electoral Matters Committee, which was critical of his conduct of the 2006 State election were votes went missing between Count A and Count B and crucial data-files deleted without backup copies.

    This complaint should be heard by the Ombudsman but he has no authority over Parliamentary Officers and or the Electoral Commission. They really are “the Untouchables”.

    The Ombudsman must have the ability to consider issues and complaints of abuse and misuse of authority in administration of government and parliamentary offices. Failure to do so only leaves the system open to ongoing abuse, misuse and allegation of corruption.

    The proposed Proust Corruption Authority does not address these issues.

  8. andy bult

    Did Hulls like Theo? I am sure if he didnt then his mate at the DPP would investigate claims that could hang him.

  9. Mr Dynamite

    Remove all these people from office permanently and demand a Royal Commission; the taxpayers and citizens of Victoria are sick of the lies, manipulation and corruption from the Laborite goons and their cronies!

    Enough!

  10. The untouchables

    Then problem is not just Rapke it is the lack of accountability of all Parliamentary Officers. The Parliament is not in a position to to hold them to account. There is a need for for greater accountability and independent review.

    The role of the office of the Ombudsman should be strengthened and to allow the Ombudsman to review and report on the administrative procedures and decisions of Parliamentary Officers.

  11. Giuseppe De Simone

    Back in the 1960’s, naughty Labor appointees would be caught with their fingers all over the petty cash tin in the receptionist’s desk and naughty Liberal appointees would be caught fondling the receptionist but now it seems the Labor appointees want to do both! This is further proof of the convergence of both parties on major issues following the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

  12. Southern Charmer

    Well you wouldn’t expect him to sleep with a married woman would you.
    And there is nothing wrong with sleeping your way to the top. I slept with my boss a couple of weeks ago and I was promoted from doing the french fries to cooking the burgers…. If i do it again I could make it into the McCafe as a barrista. Oh yeah…… I’m living the dream.

  13. HS reader

    Andrew, Did you miss the Sunday Herald-Sun (24 Oct)and its four page spreed on Rapke. Not one word about it on VexNews.

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