Former federal parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper is claiming innocence in response to dishonesty charges made in the ACT Magistrates Court, reports ABC News. What are they charging him with being dishonest about?
Misusing Cabcharge vouchers to go on a tour of Canberran wineries!
Slipper allegedly has spent $1,194 on Cabcharge vouchers, and may have used those vouchers to go on a tasting tour of the territory.
Today in the ACT Magistrates Court he was formally charged with three counts of general dishonesty causing a risk of loss to the Commonwealth.
He pleaded not guilty to each charge.
It is the fourth time the case has been listed before the court but the first time Slipper has appeared in person.
The matter has been set down for hearing in December, with 38 witnesses expected to be called over seven days.
Outside the court, Slipper said he strongly maintains his innocence and will vigorously defend the charges.
“This matter should be looked at in perspective. What we’re talking about is whether a sum of $964 expended was within or outside entitlement, and that’s a matter which is usually handled administratively between the member and Department of Finance,” he said.
“Instead, it’s been set down for a seven day trial.
“I regret that I have not been given the equivalence of treatment given to other members and senators.”
Some may look at this as a terrible story of a political fraud getting his comeuppance, some may see a story of a poor innocent man unjustly dragged into court, but I see a tale of how wonderful our wineries are.
I also like the idea that you can be charged with ‘general dishonesty’.