Simon Davies (right) appearing on the US ABC Nightline program from London.
Simon Davies (right) appearing on the US ABC Nightline program from London.

Privacy guru surrenders to police

Exclusive: World-renowned privacy guru Simon Davies, who stands accused of abusing boys in Australia at a children's refuge he set up, is in custody after surrendering to police in the Netherlands.

Davies, 63, was advised by British authorities in 2017 that their Australian counterparts were about to have him arrested on historic child sex charges and and he has not returned to Australia since.

But in a stunning development Davies has walked into a police station in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam and surrendered to local officers, advising them he was apparently wanted by NSW Police, Australian Federal Police and Scotland Yard.

The move comes after News Corp Australia revealed his alleged double life in a series of articles published internationally last week.

But he vowed to not take the claims lightly as he threatened to expose the "powerful people" and why he says they have been attempting to bring him and the global privacy movement down with "absurd" claims.

Simon Davies guest lecturing at the Webster University in Geneva. Picture: Facebook
Simon Davies guest lecturing at the Webster University in Geneva. Picture: Facebook

The Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security contacted the AFP on December 11 to advise they surprisingly had their man.

He has been detained and is expected in court this week where bail will be formally refused as the Australian Attorney-General moves to seek his extradition.

That process is expected to take several months as the arrest warrant was written for an expected arrest at his home in the UK and supporting case against him now has to be formally translated into Dutch.

"We were really surprised when we were advised that after all this time he has now handed himself in," police sources close to the case said yesterday.

As revealed exclusively last week, NSW Police quietly issued an extraordinary international Interpol arrest warrant for the world's leading privacy, security and data protection expert for multiple child-sex assault charges relating to mainly homeless children in Sydney in the 1980s and 1990s.

His warrant lists 18 child sexual and indecent assault offences related to four boys over a six-year period between 1981 and 1987.

“Dr. Evil, I think not”: Simon Davies, an internet privacy activist at the 2000 Orwell Awards, at the Computer Freedom and Privacy Conference. Picture: Getty
“Dr. Evil, I think not”: Simon Davies, an internet privacy activist at the 2000 Orwell Awards, at the Computer Freedom and Privacy Conference. Picture: Getty

The boys were associated with the Homeless Children's Association refuge in Darlinghurst in the early 1980s which Davies ran and also for a time lived in.

Prior to his surrender this week, Davies issued a statement in which he declared his innocence and claimed the allegations were designed to discredit the global privacy movement.

"Even if you do not believe the theory that this is a strategic attack on privacy, it is quite possibly the case that I have been made a scapegoat because of the powerful entities with which I was connected," Davies wrote in his blog prior to walking into the police station.

Those entities he said involved political leaders dating back to then Prime Minister Bob Hawke, heads of the judiciary, academia, trade unions, the church, the military and "the people who ran the country".

Glen Fisher in Sydney yesterday after speaking with Strike Force Boyd detectives who issued the international warrant for the arrest of Simon Davies. Picture: Charles Miranda
Glen Fisher in Sydney yesterday after speaking with Strike Force Boyd detectives who issued the international warrant for the arrest of Simon Davies. Picture: Charles Miranda

He added: "I fully intend fighting this allegation. Once the legality of an extradition is established I will defend myself in court and clear myself of this slur."

British-born Davies, who worked as a contributing journalist for Fairfax including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Melbourne, left Australia in December 1993 and never returned as he went onto set up Privacy International which operates in 20 countries in the world to combat law enforcement and intelligence services, governments and companies such as Google and Facebook it accuses of using technology to monitor and track and profile people.

The allegations against him were sparked by a former youth at the home Glen Fisher who gave a detailed account to police in 2010 with detectives from Strike Force Boyd spending the next eight years building a case.


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