Craig Thomson is so sure of his innocence, he will apply for a summary judgement when he faces court tomorrow, reports Peter Wicks, who also discusses Thomson's July fundraiser.
TOMORROW, Craig Thomson finds himself in court yet again, so what can we expect?
Well one thing we can count on is a media circus — we know that much from bitter experience. Given that we now find ourselves in serious election campaign mode, I'm confident that the media will be outside court in full swing and the shock-jocks and right-wing commentators will be readily poised with bucket loads of scorn.
I am also expecting that the police may have more charges to add to the pile, just to make things appear worse than they are. I am sure that a team of senior detectives will have devoted vast numbers of police hours to the vitally important task of combing through Thomson's expenses whilst he was a union secretary to see if there were any ice-cream purchases or if Thomson watched an in-house movie whilst on a work trip — after all, this is the type of work that keeps the streets safe at night.
Many will be wondering what to expect from Thomson, so I thought I'd ask him myself.
Thomson intends to seek a summary judgement from the court.
A summary judgement would mean that a judge would base a verdict on the evidence that is currently before the court, evidence that has formed the public perception on Thomson's innocence or guilt along with the help of the mainstream press.
This would appear to be the act of a confident man; there is no other reason I can think of to want to rush things along.
When one stops to consider the amount of time that has been spent investigating Thomson by police in Victoria and NSW, not to mention the amount of time spent by the press trying to find anything to add fuel to the fire, then surely there can't be much left to find. And if, in fact, there is — then that says a lot about our law enforcement agencies, none of it good.
Still, I suspect that Victoria Police will be taking their leads from the Coalition, who are in it up to their necks, with George Brandis ‒ by his own admission ‒ leaning on the Police Ministers in both NSW and Victoria.
What this will probably mean is that Thomson will not be successful in his bid for a summary judgement, as it would appear to be in the Coalition's best interests to drag this out as long as possible. This will no doubt keep Thomson in financial woes as all of his legal costs continue to be strung along, and will also help the Coalition in the election campaign as Thomson continues to be smeared from pillar to post in the press.
Our legal system seems less than mediocre, let alone perfect. The cost of trying to prove yourself innocent seems to be astronomical, both financially and personally — and certainly in Thomson's case.
In other related news, Thomson is holding a fundraiser this Thursday, 4th of July.
Thomson has announced he will be throwing his hat in the ring at the September federal election as an Independent candidate.
Thomson's office has released details on a flyer, which is linked below for those interested in attending.
Read the Craig Thomson Fundraiser flier in full in PDF
Given the events of the last week, that included announcements by key Independent MPs Oakeshott and Windsor that they will not be contesting the next election, it may be vitally important to have a member not tied to party policies in the lower house.
However given the cost of mounting his legal defence so far, as well as the costs still to come as others seek to drag out proceedings and bleed Thomson dry, an event seemed an ideal way for Thomson to raise funds and to thank those who have supported him in person.
If Thomson was unable to maintain his legal costs he may have had to reconsider standing again in Dobell, that would deprive the Central Coast of a good member − one they elected − and may even hand the seat over to the Coalition.
This upcoming federal election looks to be a lot closer than previously predicted, and an Independent member that won't support Tony Abbott in his bid for the keys to The Lodge could just be what keeps him on the Opposition benches.
It would be ironic if we ended up with another hung parliament and the only thing between Tony Abbott and The Lodge was the vote of Craig Thomson.
(Catch up on the full Jacksonville saga.)
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