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DOUBLE DIPPING DIPLOMACY: Lebanese consular official in Melbourne accused of theft

CastounA Lebanese diplomat operating in Melbourne has been accused of misappropriating funds relating to a community event commemorating Lebanese Independence Day late last year that was subsidised by Victorian taxpayers.

Lebanese Consul Henri Castoun (pictured here sitting next to two Baillieu ministers, Nick Kotsiras and Martin Dixon) is being investigated by his own government and could potentially face an official probe in Australia relating to the costs of the  function. Sources within the Lebanese community say there are unanswered questions about why both Victorian and Lebanese taxpayers fully funded the event.  VEXNEWS understands the Victorian Multicultural Commission directly paid the costs of the event, for which Castoun also separately claimed reimbursement from his own government.

A number of local journalists have investigated the matter but – following legal threats from the diplomat – have so far refrained from publication.

Castoun’s defence for claiming from his own government costs for a function that had already been paid for was that he had submitted merely an “indicative statement” to the Lebanese government. Sources intimately familiar with the matter insist that there is no such thing as an “indicative” expenses claim, a fact confirmed in the paperwork.

Documents obtained by VEXNEWS, that have also been circulated to several members of Parliament and the Victorian Multicultural Affairs minister, Nick Kotsiras, who administers the VMC, appear to show Castoun has serious questions to answer in relation to the funds, ahead of his imminent transfer to Montevideo, in Uruguay.

Members of the Lebanese community are believed to have provided this incriminating information to relevant legal authorities in Victoria and Lebanon and hope he will be held to account for any inappropriate use of taxpayers’ monies. The current Lebanese government have made a high priority of tackling corruption in the bureaucracy, a fact that Lebanese community insiders say will make Mr Castoun very nervous indeed as he makes his way from Australia to South America.

Documents available here, here, here and here and here.

Discussion

Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. Shame on you Henri!!!!!

    Posted by George | February 19, 2012, 19:51
  2. Henri Castoun is a disgraced. He should be forced to pay back the money and immediatly deported.

    Posted by Victorian tax payer | February 19, 2012, 20:02
  3. What is my chance of recovering my $10.000 dollars????

    Posted by Board member | February 19, 2012, 20:08
  4. Hey I am another board member but at least I am lucky. I managed to recover $7000 and still waiting on the $3000

    Posted by Please don't tell my husband | February 19, 2012, 20:14
  5. Legal threats from the diplomat?? Andy let me assure you that the disgraced Henri Castoun is shi..ing in his pants as he is facing court soon…

    Posted by Lebanese Patriot | February 19, 2012, 20:46
  6. Here is a copy of what we have received from the consul.

    Document sent to the Lebanese Government

    Expenditure Statement for the 2011 National Independence Day of Lebanon

    Banquets and Ceremonies Expenditures

    Invitation Date: 08/12/2011
    No. of Guests: 450

    A Cocktail on the Occasion of Independence Day
    Reception Hall Hire, Waiters and Sound & Musical Systems Fees…….$4000.00
    Food and Sweets Costs……………………………………………………………$7300.00
    Various Drinks Costs…………………………………………………………….. $3500.00
    Lebanese Singer with his Band Fees…………………………………………..$528.00

    Total: Fifteen Thousand and Three hundred and Twenty Eight Dollars Only $15,328.00

    Signature of Mission Head
    Consul General
    Henri Castoun – Signature & Seal [Consulate General of Lebanon; Melbourne; Australia]

    Posted by Lebanese Official | February 19, 2012, 20:59
  7. I want to tell Mr Kotsiras that I wasnt paid by the Consul. I was paid by the VMC, they transfer the fund directly into my account and was paid well more than $528.

    Posted by Lebanese Singer | February 19, 2012, 21:04
  8. No. of Guests: 450 ??????? you must be joking. I was there and was no more than 80 people in attendance including Daniel Andrew. but of course the disgraced Henri wants to justify the $15328

    Posted by Conman | February 19, 2012, 21:08
  9. who wants to be with this guy??

    Posted by Patrick | February 19, 2012, 21:11
  10. where is VMC?
    Shame on Castoun

    Posted by Frank Taylor | February 19, 2012, 21:41
  11. Really its shame should be out from Australia.

    Posted by Tom | February 19, 2012, 21:43
  12. Put him in the jail.
    the question is: where’s the Chaiperson of Victorian Multicultural Commission Mr Chain Tan? and where”s the Minister Nick Kotsiras? I hope they can do something

    Posted by D. Cornish | February 19, 2012, 21:52
  13. The real point here is not about the Lebanese or any other community, this about us the Australian community which was generous enough to sponsor that event through the Victorian Multicultural Commission and the last thing we need is someone like that consul abusing the system and taking us for a ride.
    HE MUST BE CHARGED

    Posted by Patrick | February 19, 2012, 21:53
  14. I heard someone is going to lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman next week.

    Posted by Bruce Lea | February 19, 2012, 21:59
  15. Lebos always have their hand in the till.

    Posted by A man after your own heart Andy | February 19, 2012, 22:21
  16. To assess whether fraud has been committed the following questions could be asked:

    Question: Did the action result in money or benefit (including an intangible benefit) being received by a person who is not entitled to them?
    Answer: YES
    Was the action unlawful?
    Answer: YES
    Was deceit employed?
    Answer: YES
    Was an attempt made to do any of the above?
    Answer: YES

    Verdict: GUILTY AS CHARGED

    Posted by David | February 19, 2012, 22:23
  17. 74. Theft
    (1) A person guilty of theft is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to
    level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum).

    82. Obtaining financial advantage by deception
    (1) A person who by any deception dishonestly obtains for himself or another
    any financial advantage is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to level
    5 imprisonment (10 years maximum).

    83A. Falsification of documents
    (1) A person must not make a false document with the intention that he or she,
    or another person, shall use it to induce another person to accept it as
    genuine, and by reason of so accepting it to do or not to do some act to that
    other person’s, or to another person’s prejudice.

    Penalty: Level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum).

    Posted by Prosecuting Henri soon | February 19, 2012, 22:28
  18. He is going to Montevideo, in Uruguay. Someone should alert Telmo Languiller

    Posted by WoW | February 19, 2012, 22:34
  19. Whilst it was our Victorian Taxpayer hard earned cash that was used to fund that event, the consul not only double dipped but took advantage of our generosity by ripping us off along with ripping off his own country.

    Ted and Kotsiras Must open a full investigation.

    Posted by Victorian Taxpayer | February 19, 2012, 22:44
  20. The Australian community deserve to know the truth and most importantly we do not tolerate anyone abusing the use of our money!

    Posted by Start calling Ted | February 19, 2012, 22:48
  21. OH MY GOD. It’s a crime!!!!!!! the evidence provided is enough to open an investigation for this proves a crime has been pre meditated and executed.

    Posted by Liberal voter!! | February 19, 2012, 23:02
  22. You cant touch him guys!!! He is very well connected…..He is a close friend of many VIP people but most importantly he is friend of Nick Kotsiras!!!! How many times they had lunch together in parliament?? We need to know if Kotsiras helped him to get the fund from the VMC and how many times?

    Posted by Enva | February 19, 2012, 23:12
  23. Indeed He is connected. I googled his name and I found this.
    He is one of three Patrons of the ALCCI: (Australia Lebanon Chamber of Commerce & Industry).
    1- The Honourable Julie Bishop MP
    2- The Honourable Steve Bracks AC
    3- His Excellency Henri Castoun – Consul-General of Lebanon in Melbourne.

    http://alcci.org.au/about-us/

    Posted by Ray | February 19, 2012, 23:24
  24. Henri Castoun is a Liar when he pretends that he is innocent of double dipping and he is a Liar when he said that the Expenditure statement was only an indicative statement. He is a liar when he pretends that he told the truth in his report to the Lebanese Minister for Foreign Affairs dated 02/11/2011 FAX No: 1097.
    I say this without cover of privilege and challenge him to sue for defamation.
    Shame on him…

    Posted by David Asmar | February 19, 2012, 23:55
  25. being investigated for fraud ….

    Posted by Rose Hancock | February 19, 2012, 23:58
  26. The real scandal is that Victorian taxpayers paid for this rot. The Minister for Breeding Out the Locals, Kotsiris, ought to go to jail for his branch stacking crimes and then he can see how well all the ethnic tribes get along inside. They all hold hands and sing songs together, it is like those multiculti adverts.

    Posted by chris | February 20, 2012, 1:49
  27. Is Nick Kotsiras a Minister? No, seriously, is Nick Kotsiras a Minister?

    Posted by What the ? | February 20, 2012, 8:14
  28. Mr Castoun! we are in Australia, you should return $15328.00 to VMC ASAP and go back to your country. (SHAME.. SHAME.. SHAME)

    Posted by Carlos Brown | February 20, 2012, 9:43
  29. Last week I received an invitation from Beirut Hellenic Bank’s Managing Director & CEO Mr James Wakim for a business dinner in Melbourne with Mr Michael Boulos & Mr Elie Naddaf, one of the speakers call Henri Castoun (Ambassador) its a big joke because Castoun not a consul yet but his working in the Consulate General. WAKE UP PEOPLE

    Posted by Guest at Beirut Hellenic Bank | February 20, 2012, 9:59
  30. 23 January 2012 Translated from Arabic
    Extract Translation of a
    Consulate Official Letter
    ——————————————————-
    Consulate General of Lebanon; Melbourne No. of attached pages: /3/
    The Honorable Minister for Foreign Affairs & Emigrants
    The Directorate of Émigré Affairs
    Subject: The Lebanese Emigrant Statue in Melbourne Fax No. 1097/Waw/3
    02/11/2011 – Melbourne

    It came to my knowledge that His Excellency the Information Minister Dr Walid Daouk will visit Melbourne during the current month to participate in the unveiling of the Lebanese Emigrant Statue on 19 November which is organised by what is called the Lebanese Cultural Union – Melbourne Branch.

    I must bring to the attention of the Ministry the following extremely important and sensitive issues in this regard:

    – The date of this ceremony falls on the same date of the 14th international convention of the World Lebanese Cultural Union under the presidency of Mr. Ahmad Nasser in Beirut, Where it is decided to elect a new Union’s Board in order to consolidate, activate and unify the Union in support of the Lebanese expatriation; to protect it from divisions and to strengthen its links with its home country Lebanon. So such ceremony contributes to destroying this effort of unifying the Union and it deepens its internal rip.

    – There are two branches in Melbourne who claim that they fit in the Lebanese Cultural Union. It is worth noting that both branches neither support the presidency of Mr. Ahmad Nasser nor recognize it. Despite that, they are at absolute hostility towards each other and abstain from attending each other’s activities. Reasons behind such division and sharp differences are due to accumulated personal sensitivities, differences and hostilities that lead to a deep rift among the community and create a great resentment amongst most community members and its prominent personalities who are politically, economically, fiscally and professionally active. This situation prevents the community from gaining advantage from such great resources and any collective unifying effort in consolidating and elevating its position and status.

    – Such acts and intensified differences have enormously damaged Lebanon’s reputation on both scales as a country and people in the eyes of the official and local Australian authorities plus the Australian community and media, especially in the eyes of prominent successful personalities, as I previously mentioned, as well as young Australian generation of Lebanese descent who consequently prefer to shun the community and Lebanon altogether. – The only two Victorian MPs of Lebanese descent Nazih Elasmar and Marlene Kairouz will not participate in this ceremony although they exert themselves in elevating the status of the Lebanese community in Melbourne and are sincerely devoted to consolidating relationships between Lebanon and Victoria. They initiated the establishment of the Victorian Parliamentary Friendship Committee with Lebanon. (Our Telegraph No.1204/5, dated 25/08/2009; and Our Letter No.272/5, dated 23/09/2011) Neither Khalil Eideh, the MP of Syrian descent, will participate although he is very close to this Consulate and to the Lebanese community in Melbourne.

    -The Lebanese Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which was established by the initiative of this mission, and which comprises leading Lebanese businesspeople and professionals in Victoria, (Our Telegraph No.1021/12, dated 31/03/2011), will not participate in the ceremony due to their unwillingness of being involved in differences which will only result in tearing apart the community.

    – Many effective parties, prestigious personalities and associations that vastly represent the community will not participate

    – The Victorian Official authorities has informed me that they have received a large number of communications from Lebanese parties and personalities saying that this statue neither represent them nor the community, and they notified me that due to this reason, it will be extremely hard to schedule official appointments for His Excellency Minister Daouk with ministers and officials during his stay in Melbourne.

    – A large number of Lebanese who eschew the ceremony threatened to escalate campaigning against it and hold smear press conferences. It was also mentioned that a particular association has started to prepare for erecting another Lebanese Emigrant Statue in Melbourne.

    – I have attempted to at least gather all parties and calm things down, and I suggested to them to try and have some sort of par unanimous agreement on the project for the community sake, and if this fails, to postpone the matter until the efforts of the Lebanese authorities in cooperation with the World Lebanese Cultural Union in order to unify it succeed; where it is included in the framework of the 14th international convention of the Union which will be held on the 19th of this month. Then hopefully this may positively reflect on the community in Melbourne and as a result the erection of the statue may become an event where all community components draw together. However all my efforts did not achieve any result since it collided with the deep and sharp accumulated differences. The organizing party, despite its weak representation status, went ahead in the event preparation.

    – Due to all abovementioned considerations, this project will contribute, on one hand, to hitting the efforts in unifying the Union on international level, and on the other hand, to dangerously deepen the rift and differences amongst the community ranks in Melbourne.

    – During the visit of Their Excellencies, Ministers of Tourism and Culture, in the former cabinet, Mr. Fadi Abboud and Mr. Salim Wardeh to Melbourne in February 2010, prepared by the same party now erecting the statue, there were significant upheavals amongst the community members due to the abovementioned differences which reached the point of shoving at the airport resulting in the interference of the Australian police. Such differences resulted in failing the visit and almost crippling its schedule which greatly displeased the two ministers who informed me that the mission should have stated to them the situation prior to the visit so they can disregard it; however my answer was that this mission was not officially informed about the visit through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Emigrants and did not participate in organising it which was done by certain Lebanese group.

    – No doubt that His Excellency Minister of Information, would be keen, through his participation in the unveiling of the Lebanese Emigrant Statue in Melbourne, to demonstrate the support of the Lebanese Government towards the Lebanese expatriation; but I perceive that official participation in this event, given the above mentioned considerations, is not coherent with the Lebanese Government efforts in unifying the World Lebanese Cultural Union. I also perceive that the visit of His Excellency Minister of Information to Melbourne, if it took place, to participate in the unveiling of the Emigrant Statue, would experience many tribulations as profound differences and divisions of the community members will reflect on it in extremely negative way. Therefore I opted to put Your Excellency and His Excellency Minister of Information, in the picture so you may take a suitable decision.

    Please advise me of your opinion and directions on this matter.

    Yours Sincerely

    Consul General
    Henri Castoun – Signature & Seal [Consulate General of Lebanon; Melbourne; Australia]

    Posted by Reporter (We are Australian) | February 20, 2012, 10:50
  31. This matter will be investigated by the Victorian police. No doubt about that!!

    Posted by Matt | February 20, 2012, 10:55
  32. This is a matter for the Lebanese government.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | February 20, 2012, 11:12
  33. About ALCCI
    Management Committee:
    President & Chairman – Faddy Zouky Honorary President – Louis Fleyfel Members – Joseph Kairouz
    – Roland Jabbour – Naim Melhem – Mazen Tabet – Carla Taylor – Fred (Farouk) Andraos – Nidal Ammache – Camille Nahas – Naji Imam – Tony Lattouf – George Rivers
    Patrons of the ALCCI:
    The Honourable Julie Bishop MP
    The Honourable Steve Bracks AC
    His Excellency Henri Castoun – Consul-General of Lebanon in Melbourne (its Shame)

    Posted by A member | February 20, 2012, 13:44
  34. I don’t agree! This is not a matter for the Lebanese Government. When the Victorian Multicultural Commission funded the Consuls event it was funded by Victorian taxpayers money not Lebanese taxpayers money.
    We need a Royal Commission to investigate the following: 1. What is the relationship between Nick Kotsiras and Henri Castoun?
    2. Why is Nick Kotsiras keeping silent about this and reluctant to investigate since this is within his portfolio?
    3.Who informed the consul of access to this funding?
    4. Has Nick Kotsiras intervened either directly or indirectly to secure the funds for the Consul?
    5. Who are the Consul contacts within the Victorian Government.
    We need to get to the bottom of this and need answers because this Consul has taken us for a ride and got away with it!

    Posted by Jason | February 20, 2012, 13:54
  35. A friend in need is a friend indeed
    – A guilty conscience needs no accuser
    – A little learning ia a dangerous thing
    – A man cannot serve two masters
    – A man is know by the company he keeps
    – Care killed the cat

    Posted by Younis | February 20, 2012, 14:43
  36. – Cherchez la femme (Oui.. Oui la femme de mon ami)

    Posted by Joseph Khoury | February 20, 2012, 14:45
  37. -Corruption of the best become the worst
    – Every dog has his day
    – Every man is the architect of his own fortunes
    – Every why has a wherefore

    Posted by Alain | February 20, 2012, 14:47
  38. I can’t believe what I’ve just read in the above report from the Consul where he stated the following:
    “The Victorian Official authorities has informed me that they have received a large number of communications from Lebanese parties and personalities…etc…”
    Someone needs to ask Ted Baillieu who’s the Official from his government i.e. Minister, MP ….. that contacted the Consul and played the role of an informer? If the Consul is not telling the truth then Ted Bailllieu must take action. Why the silence?

    Posted by Cesar | February 20, 2012, 14:49
  39. – Forbidden fruit is sweet ($15328)
    – Grasp all, lose all (MONEY.. Money)
    – If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch

    Posted by Elie | February 20, 2012, 14:49
  40. This Consul has been spotted having lunch many times in the Victorian Parliament and on many occasions within the company of Nick Kotsiras.

    Posted by Anna | February 20, 2012, 14:50
  41. This Consul made threats to Australian people from a Lebanese background and must be deported .

    Posted by Alison | February 20, 2012, 14:51
  42. – It is no use crying over apilt milk
    – Manners make the man

    Posted by 100% | February 20, 2012, 14:51
  43. Can you tell us who the Consul’s contacts are within the Victorian government?

    Posted by Rob | February 20, 2012, 14:51
  44. – The proof of the pudding is in the eating (very nice and sweet $15328)
    – Those who live in glass house should not throw stones

    Posted by Anthony | February 20, 2012, 14:52
  45. Definitly Kotsiras but who introduced him to Kotsiras??? Ombudsman will tell us

    Posted by Pat | February 20, 2012, 14:53
  46. – Truth will prevail
    – When the cat is away the mice play (No Goverment)

    Posted by Simon | February 20, 2012, 14:53
  47. Finally this man is being exposed. He brought me with the family from overseas to work as a nanny/housekeeper. I worked hard for him cleaning and looking after his house and he never paid me my full wages and forced me to sleep on the floor. I thank the Australian Authorities that saved me from him and I’m looking forward to suing him.

    Posted by Overseas nanny/housekeeper | February 20, 2012, 14:54
  48. Isn’t he the same Consul that was reported in the Sunday Herald Sun as interfering in local daily affairs of the Australian Community which lead the Mayor of Darebin complaining to the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Attorney General?

    Posted by Carla | February 20, 2012, 14:56
  49. yes but Kevin is too busy with Julia now..

    Posted by Raoul | February 20, 2012, 14:57
  50. I think that this Consul should be investigated immediately and without delay sent back to his country, he clearly has no respect for our laws here in Australia and has made a mockery out the Victorian Parliament.

    Posted by Dean | February 20, 2012, 14:58
  51. Go back to your corruptive ways in another part of the globe. This is not the way we behave in Australia mate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Lance | February 20, 2012, 14:58
  52. We know that Nick Kotsiras had agreed to meet the Lebanese Minister for Information in his office November last year when suddenly he was told not to meet with him and therefore cancelled for no apparent reason. So who forced him to cancel?

    Posted by WLCU member | February 20, 2012, 15:00
  53. Was it the Consul or other MP’s that are connected to the Consul? This question must be put to Nick Kotsiras and Ted Baillieu. Who is influencing Kotsiras when it comes to the Lebanese community? I’m sure documents will surface soon.

    Posted by The Victorian Spring | February 20, 2012, 15:01
  54. Last week 2 BBQ, yes twooooooooooo BBQ at the same night (do u beleive?)sorry maybe threeeeeeee. wake up you should learn something from Australia

    Posted by Abraham | February 20, 2012, 15:03
  55. Mr Tony Yacoub is the President of the World Lebanese Cultural Union, He is our president and we are proud of him….What Kotsiras did last November by cancelling the meeting wasnt an insult to Mr Yacoub or the lebanese Minister but was an insult to the lebanese community in Australia. We do promise Mr Kotsiras that very soon the lebanese community will raise this issue with Mr Baillieu who we strongly believe would not support such behaviour.

    Posted by Angry WLCU member | February 20, 2012, 15:18
  56. (Yes Carla, the same one Henri Castoun)
    Migrant leader cops an official blast
    Sunday Herald Sun November 20, 2011 12:00AM

    A LEADER of Melbourne’s Lebanese community has been accused of threatening to “cause problems” for Australians visiting the Middle Eastern country unless he is shown more respect.

    An official complaint has been made to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade against the Consulate-General of Lebanon in Melbourne, Henri Castoun, for alleged interference in local government issues.

    But Mr Castoun has denied the claims and said the dispute was a matter of Australian-Lebanese politics.

    Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd has been called on to settle the dispute, which broke out in the Lebanese community over who should unveil a statue in honour of Australia’s Lebanese migrants.

    Darebin Mayor Diana Asmar has asked Mr Rudd, Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Lebanese ambassador Jean Daniel to intervene amid claims Mr Castoun threatened to report members of Melbourne’s Lebanese community to the Lebanese Government unless he was given a greater role in unveiling the statue.

    In a letter to Ms Asmar, World Lebanese Cultural Union president Yousseff Saba claimed Mr Castoun had threatened to “write to the Lebanese Foreign Minister and lodge a formal complaint”, which could “indirectly cause problems for Australian Lebanese citizens visiting Lebanon”.

    A senior member of Melbourne’s Lebanese community said reporting someone to Lebanese authorities was a serious matter.

    “When you say to someone from Lebanon you are going to report them, it means they are going to put their life in danger,” he said. “It means they are going to have someone waiting for you at the airport.”

    Robert Richter, QC, said Mr Castoun’s alleged actions appeared in breach of human rights.

    But Mr Castoun told the Sunday Herald Sun he had wanted to be part of the ceremony and had been misunderstood.

    “The allegations are completely untrue. I didn’t intervene – I just made my position clear,” he said.

    A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman, Sandra O’Malley, said the department was aware of issues raised about Lebanon’s consul-general in Melbourne.

    “DFAT is considering the Mayor’s concerns,” she said.

    The statue was unveiled by Ms Asmar and federal Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten in Preston yesterday.

    Posted by Bill | February 20, 2012, 15:18
  57. Kotsiras was ill informed by those around him… He made a big mistake

    Posted by Anonymous | February 20, 2012, 15:27
  58. Ms MIKAKOS — On another matter, on
    19 November I attended the World Lebanese Cultural
    Union of Victoria for the unveiling ceremony of the
    Lebanese migrant statue in the Ray Bramham Gardens
    in Preston, together with many other members. The
    unveiling of the statue represents 150 years of Lebanese
    presence in Australia. It was extremely well attended by
    the community, and a dinner celebrating the
    independence of Lebanon followed. I congratulate the
    Lebanese community on this successful initiative. It has
    made a great contribution to Australia in many ways,
    including in this Parliament.

    Posted by Thanks to Jenny Mikakos MP | February 20, 2012, 15:33
  59. We will be lodging a formal complaint against this desgraced consul this week.

    Posted by Anonymous | February 20, 2012, 15:38
  60. maybe Mikakos should start asking questions???

    Posted by Anonymous | February 20, 2012, 15:47
  61. and who forced Mr Chin Tan Chairperson-VMC to not come to the dinne? and who forced Mr.MP and Mrs MP? thanks to the Lebanese Ambassador DR Jean Daniel from Canberra and The Lebanese Information Minister Dr Walid Daouk (we dont need Castoun & his ….)

    Posted by Jim | February 20, 2012, 15:57
  62. Duh Ted I think I got it wrong again, another f up for Pete to fix up.

    Posted by dopey 'rosary bead' dixon | February 20, 2012, 19:58
  63. Henri Castoun is a Liar when he pretends that he is innocent of double dipping and he is a Liar when he said that the Expenditure statement was only an indicative statement. He is a liar when he pretends that he told the truth in his report to the Lebanese Minister for Foreign Affairs dated 02/11/2011 FAX No: 1097.
    I say this without cover of privilege and challenge him to sue for defamation.
    Shame on him…

    Posted by David Asmar | February 19, 2012, 23:55

    You must be joking, talk about the pot calling the kettle black. One spiv raging against another.

    Posted by Anonymous | February 20, 2012, 22:04
  64. When is he leaving ??

    Posted by Tobby | February 20, 2012, 23:37
  65. Sometimes in May this year

    Posted by Joe | February 20, 2012, 23:38
  66. How many Lebanese diplomat in Melbourne?

    Posted by Rafi | February 20, 2012, 23:43
  67. Julia and Kevin
    Wilkie says Rudd didn’t raise …

    Neither Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd is making a move on a leadership challenge. Picture: Kym Smith Source: The Daily Telegraph

    Wilkie says Rudd didn’t raise leadershipAndrew Wilkie has moved to clarify that Kevin Rudd never raised the leadership issue during talks last year.(1:38 / 9.1MB)
    Video Quality 3GWi-Fi
    KEVIN Rudd has hit back at accusations from Simon Crean that he has been disloyal to the Labor party.

    Mr Rudd said he had not sought anyone’s support for a return to the leadership and said a challenge was “not in prospect”.

    “That is not in prospect because we have a prime minister and I am the foreign minister,” he said.

    Julia Gillard also talked down the likelihood of a leadership challenge today.

    “My focus is on doing what I need to do today as prime minister, to set us up to be the nation we want to be in the future,” Ms Gillard said.

    She appeared to concede she had no evidence that Mr Rudd had been disloyal, saying he had denied reports that he had undermined her.

    But ministers including Simon Crean and Craig Emerson have lashed out at Mr Rudd.

    Mr Crean urged Julia Gillard to confront Mr Rudd with a “frank” discussion and demand he commit to serve under her.

    “He is not playing as part of the team,” Mr Crean told ABC Radio.

    “He’s clearly been disloyal internally. I know he’s been talking to other people.”

    Speaking in Mexico on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting, Mr Rudd accused Mr Crean of lying.

    “I think Simon Crean is a very good minister of the government,” Mr Rudd said.

    “I’m disappointed about his remarks because they are based on an untruth.”

    “That has been underlined by the recent statements by the prime minister herself.”

    Mr Rudd did not deny discussing his ambitions to return to the leadership with independent Andrew Wilkie last November.

    But he said Mr Wilkie raised the issue at the end of a meeting about a possible inquiry into Australia’s entry into the Iraq war.

    “Mr Wilkie raised other matters concerning the leadership,” Mr Rudd said.

    “Can I say with absolute clarity at no stage in that conversation or in any other conversation have I sought anyone’s support … as far as the leadership is concerned.”

    Mr Rudd pointed to a recent statement from Mr Wilkie saying that he raised the leadership issue and it was only discussed in “generalities”.

    Yesterday, Mr Wilkie revealed the pair had discussed the leadership, saying he was left with the impression that Mr Rudd would challenge for his old job.

    Julia Gillard’s supporters have pointed to this revelation as evidence of disloyalty.

    But Mr Wilkie said his comments had been reported inaccurately.

    “When we’d finished discussing Iraq I raised with Mr Rudd the leadership of the ALP,” Mr Wilkie said in a written statement.

    “This was unremarkable as the issue was being much spoken about in Parliament House at the time and I’d also discussed the matter with other Parliamentarians including Labor Members.”

    “Mr Rudd and I discussed the leadership in generalities only.”

    Mr Wilkie said Mr Rudd did not seek his support or criticise Ms Gillard. He has refused interviews today.

     

     

    Posted by Ronny | February 20, 2012, 23:47
  68. Tuesday, 11 August 2009 ASSEMBLY 2531
    Questions interrupted. DISTINGUISHED VISITOR
    The SPEAKER — I welcome to the chamber the Consul-General of Lebanon, Mr Henri Castoun.

    Posted by Anonymous | February 21, 2012, 2:20
  69. I think the Auditor general can investigate this.
    VMC is funded by taxpayers, government signs off on its appropriations and could find evidence of double payments (or, extra unnecessary payment to consul). It may be a jurisdictional issue thought I.e.

    Posted by Anonymous | February 21, 2012, 9:27
  70. I wonder how many other events been funded like that one?? We need to change the system..

    Posted by Tom | February 21, 2012, 9:40
  71. That’s why am saying take to the Auditor general. The Victorian Multicultural Commission is funded by taxpayers and governmentt signs off on its appropriations.

    Posted by Anonymous | February 21, 2012, 9:44
  72. We can’t blame the VMC or the Government for the Consul’s behaviour. The bottom line is that as Victorian we don’t mind to fund such event but not to someone corrupt. He must be forced to pay back the money.

    Posted by Anonymous | February 21, 2012, 9:49
  73. I know what you mean. It’s like someone claiming Centrelink payments and he wasn’t entitle too because he didnt declare some incomes

    Posted by Anonymous | February 21, 2012, 10:01
  74. TIRASHRASH TIRASHRASH

    Posted by Elias Habib | February 21, 2012, 11:21
  75. VCM paid to the Lebanese communittee?

    Castoun claimed $15328.00!
    its shit, big liar.

    Posted by JOHN ADAM | February 21, 2012, 15:27
  76. Still an issue for the Lebanese government to deal with – it’s their taxpayers who footed the potentially deceptive double billed amounts.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | February 21, 2012, 15:43
  77. If the Lebanese government are paying then why are we Victorian’s paying? Shame on you Red Ted!

    Posted by Anonymous | February 21, 2012, 20:13
  78. victorian taxpayers fund these functions? wai? in the good old days, people who wanted to organise cultural events did it themselves. now everyone gets a handout. sack the qangos & stop the waste

    Posted by evil bastard | February 23, 2012, 17:28

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