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Slipper’s barrister moves to have charges thrown out

DECISION DAY: Peter Slipper leaves the Canberra Magistrates Court.
DECISION DAY: Peter Slipper leaves the Canberra Magistrates Court.

FORMER Sunshine Coast MP Peter Slipper will know today if a bid to have the Cabcharge fraud case against him thrown out of court is successful.

Mr Slipper, the former Federal Parliament Speaker, moved yesterday to have the charges against him wiped, saying prosecutors had failed to prove he was not on parliamentary business during taxpayer-funded trips to Canberra wineries.

Commonwealth prosecutors have spent three days trying to prove Slipper dishonestly used about $1000 worth of government-issued Cabcharge vouchers for trips to regional wineries on three separate occasions in 2010.

As soon as the prosecution case closed, barrister Kylie Weston-Scheuber, who is representing the former Member for Fisher, asked Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker to find Mr Slipper had no case to answer.

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If successful, the charges against Mr Slipper will be dropped without his defence team having to present any evidence.

Dr Weston-Scheuber said the court had no clear definition of what constituted parliamentary business to guide it.

The two people who were with Mr Fisher on the trips, his wife Inge Jane-Hall and staffer Tim Knapp, were not called in the prosecution's case.

Counsel for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Lionel Robberds, QC, said it was "abundantly clear" that Mr Slipper was not on parliamentary business while drinking at the wineries.

Topics:  charges peter slipper



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