australia - cops drop $300m corruption case

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Australian Federal Police have decided not to lay corruption charges against former monopoly, the Australian Wheat Board, despite allegations of $300m in bribery.

News of the AFP decision follows a review by a queen's counsel of three years of evidence since the scandal broke in December 2006.

Radio, TV and newspapers carried scant details of the decision. None of the major dailies carried comment on what has been one of the country's biggest scandals - a few letters - but no editorials or even columns.

It was left to a Vancouver paper to actually fill in the little details - like the $300 million figure.

NGO groups were also remarkably quiet. The Citizens Electoral Council, almost alone, issued a press release to attack the decision - and allege that the corruption claims were a jack up to dismantle the monopoly in favour of big business interests.

Civil cases lodged by the Australian Security and Investments Commission will continue, possibly.

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