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—– Original Message —–
To: Margaret.Twomey@dfat.gov.au
Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2010 7:31 AM

Dear Ambassador Twomey:

I have received 350 pages of documents from DFAT, plus other materials from other sources, which reveal the role you played personally in dealing with a plan of attack and security threat against me in this country. I have copies of your cable references to me and my work.

As the documentary and source materials identify what you did personally, and because my life was, and is, at stake, I charge you as follows:

— you personally attempted to minimize the threat to me and participated in a scheme to protect those identified as plotting the attack against me.

— you did everything you could in your communications to mislead, conceal, cover up, or lie, including to the Australian press, regarding what you and your predecessors, including [withheld], had done in relationship with United Company Rusal and Alfa Inform. For reminder, I refer you to my email to [withheld], setting out a “history of special, secret relations between Mr Deripaska and the Australian government.”

— you attempted to convince your superiors in Canberra that in my professional work I “misquoted”, and that you wished to avoid contact with me (“firing line”), because “this post has never had success charming Mr Helmer into reasonableness”, etc. In casting your aspersions, you omitted to refer your superiors to those former ambassadors [withheld], with whom I had long, friendly, informative, and constructive relationships that have lasted beyond their terms. The record shows you attempted with some assiduity to find materials for your superiors in an attempt to discredit me. At the same time, you omitted to bring to the attention of Messrs Bird, Wells, Maude, Duke, Hawkins, Choi and Stonehouse the evidence that I first introduced Mr Deripaska to the Australian government [withheld], and that I continued [withheld].

Why, I ask myself, would you go to so much trouble to do these things, after you knew [withheld] on which the [withheld] had been based?

There may be justification if you were a fool, or an incompetent making mistakes out of unwitting negligence or lack of self-control; but I can’t find evidence of that. You may be the type of career coward who will avoid all perceived controversy or risk to career advancement. If that were the case, you would have been more circumspect, more genuinely cautious and equilibrating in what you said and did about me on the internal record.

So what distinguishes you in the effort to assist me to my possible death at the hands of people you [withheld]?

The new evidence suggests that we have never met because unlike any one of your predecessors, the Australian ambassadors to Russia going back to 1989, you have refused to invite me to the Australian Embassy, and thereby precluded our meeting and your asking me direct questions. Even [withheld], who had much to hide when we had professional contact, didn’t go that far.

I believe you have taken these pains because you are afraid of culpability in association with the improper acts of [withheld] in Russia. Whether you have been the direct beneficiary of those improprieties, or not, or whether you are concealing on behalf of those who did, is immaterial. You may judge it is in your interest to conceal such fear. Because you put my life at risk on that account, and because the Moscow police, the FSB and the Moscow court have all acted to pursue the perpetrators, it is no longer in the interest of due process to assist you.

On the contrary, it has to be asked why have you deliberately failed to report to DFAT the police, court and administrative proceedings still ongoing in Moscow, all substantiating the gravity of the risk to me?

I put these things to you, so that you might have the opportunity you have denied me — to defend yourself.

Yours faithfully,

John Helmer


Bio note: Margaret Twomey graduated in French and Russian from the University of Melbourne in 1984, before starting her career in an Australian intelligence organization. She presented her credentials to become Australian Ambassador to Russia on September 18, 2008. She has not acknowledged receiving, nor replied to this letter. Sensitive documents in diplomatic bag transfers between the Moscow Embassy and Canberra have recently been taking almost two months, so there may be a delay in her response. Also, she may have been ordered by her superiors in Canberra not to respond. According to a classified cable by [withheld] dated [withheld]: “Mr Helmer is known to Post, and has in the past been journalistically attacked by him. Post is reluctant [to] have further dealings with him.”

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