Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will head to court in May after papers were served on him over the weekend by One Nations co-founder David Ettridge.
Ettridge has accused Abbott of acting unlawfully in 1998 by assisting and encouraging litigation against One Nation in the Queensland courts and is suing him for damages of more than $1.5 million.
Speaking on ABC Radio last night, David Ettridge explained how the Liberal Party parliamentary leader was served:
"I arranged for a process server in Sydney to deliver a Supreme Court document to Mr Abbott which calls him to the Supreme Court in May to answer a number of allegations of unlawful behaviour back in 1998.... From what I've heard from the process server, he wasn't at all pleased to receive those documents."
This action was first reported in Independent Australia on 19 March.
David Ettridge alleges Abbott's court action was false and malicious, resulting in damage which affected him greatly.
He also accuses Tony Abbott of attempting to pervert the course of justice by providing lawyers "to propel those false claims through the courts".
Abbott's office has confirmed the papers have been received, though they declined to comment further.
A directions hearing is set for the Brisbane Supreme Court on May 9; Tony Abbott has received a summons to attend.
David Ettridge told the ABC:
This matter is all about the behaviour of a gentleman who wants to be the next prime minster of Australia, and he is a fellow who showed no respect at all for the laws of Australia or the laws of Queensland, he showed no respect for the rights that are enshrined in electoral law for the democratic process of Queenslanders when he assisted a gentleman who'd been a former One Nation party member to conduct a series of attacks through the Queensland courts against the One Nation party.
But Mr Abbott continued to provide finance and support - through the provision of a legal firm, barristers and a QC - to help drive that false and malicious argument through the courts.
And of course by doing that he was trying to give it credibility it didn't have.
Those attacks were completely false and malicious in nature. There was no truth to them.
He further claimed, in a statement:
This wasn’t just an attack on the One Nation Party; it was an abuse of the Queensland courts and an attack on the legal rights of voters. Many laws were broken. For his role in this disgraceful period of Australian Political History, Tony Abbott has never been brought to account.
Mr Abbott has never had his multiple breaches of the law scrutinised by the same courts he used in 1998 to attack the very democratic process we rely so heavily upon for our proud democracy.
(To read David Ettridge's full press release, please click here.)
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