Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Australian Federal Election 2016: bolting to the ballot box before arrests are made?

It is looking more and more as if Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to go to the polls early has less to do with so-called Senate obstruction and a lot more to do with a number of allegedly criminal skeletons in Liberal and National Party closets……..

ABC News 29 April 2016:

Australian Federal Police (AFP) have ramped up their investigation into the copying of former speaker Peter Slipper's diary.

The ABC has been told the AFP has made an application to the Federal Court, which, if granted, would allow police to use evidence from an earlier civil case in a criminal prosecution.

That evidence includes text and picture messages exchanged between Mr Slipper's former staffer, James Ashby, and Liberal National Party MP Mal Brough.

Now the AFP has asked the Federal Court to grant it permission to use the material harvested from Mr Ashby's phone, including excerpts from Mr Slipper's diary sent by Mr Ashby to Mr Brough.

In its application, the AFP has said the messages will be used in the current investigation, and any subsequent prosecution.

Permission is necessary because the exhibits were originally only to be used in the civil case.

Mr Ashby's sexual harassment suit was rejected by a Federal Court judge, who said Mr Ashby had been part of a "combination" including Mr Brough, which had used the legal action as a political weapon against Mr Slipper.

Mr Ashby then appealed and the original judgement was set aside, but Mr Ashby later dropped the case.

However, it subsequently emerged the AFP is investigating whether Mr Brough committed a crime by encouraging Mr Ashby to copy pages of Mr Slipper's diary.

Mr Brough stood down from his role of Special Minister of State in December, saying he would not contest the upcoming federal election.

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