Craig Thomson moved a step closer towards exoneration today, with the Fair Work Commission appearing to back away from its allegations against the Independent MP. Peter Wicks reports.
TODAY IN the Federal Court, the case against Craig Thomson weakened, as Fair Work Australia appears to have backed away from its allegations against the Federal MP.
A judge has decided to adjourn the hearing on virtually all of Fair Work Australia’s civil matters against Thomson, these include allegations around travel, accommodation, meals, cash withdrawls, and of course the allegations of brothel use.
All that remains of the civil matters is the allegations surrounding Thomson’s use of union funds for the purpose of campaigning for the Federal seat of Dobell. These are claims that Thomson has not denied and in fact was quick to point out that the HSU, which was affiliated with the ALP at the time, did indeed provide campaign funds for the seat, as it was one of the seats that the ACTU had targeted as focus electorates for that campaign.
What this means is that FWA does not believe it holds enough evidence to mount a civil suit against Thomson on these matters and will await the outcome of the criminal proceedings. According to advice received by IA, if Thomson is acquitted in criminal proceedings, then the whole matter is dead and buried and no further cases on these issues can be made against Craig Thomson.
The criminal case against Thomson has been dealt a massive blow by this court action today, as the civil proceedings run to a vastly lower standard of proof than the criminal proceedings. The chances of Thomson being found guilty of any of these charges in a criminal court can now best be described as remote as there appears to not be enough evidence to even support a civil case.
Thomson’s solicitor, Chris McArdle, who attended court today claimed that today’s news
“...further vindicated his client”
"another step towards the total exoneration of Craig Thomson".
I asked Mr McArdle if this meant a greater chance of defamation cases against Kathy Jackson and some of her Coalition friends, to which he responded: "Absolutely".
Bring it on, I say...
The following video is Chris McArdle being interviewed by Karl Stefanovic just following Craig Thomson's arrest:
EDITOR'S NOTE 27/4/13 4pm: In an earlier version of this article, we incorrectly stated the Fair Work Australia (since January the Fair Work Commission) had adjourned the case. Of course, the judge made this decision. Also, we called Chris McArdle Thomson's barrister, when in fact he is the MP's solicitor. We apologise for these errors.
(See IA's full Jacksonville investigation by clicking here.)
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