Peter Slipper Cleared
December 12, 2012 1 Comment
News just in – the Federal Court has dismissed the sexual harassment case against former House of Representatives speaker Peter Slipper MP as an abuse of the court process.
Mr Slipper, you will recall, a priest of the Traditional Anglican Communion, resigned after one of his staffers accused him of sexual harassment.
The unpleasant, offensive and highly inappropriate tone of some of his text messages (and other behaviour) notwithstanding, the suspicion of a set-up occurred, after it emerged that the staffer in question remained in close contact with Mr Slipper’s liberal rival for his seat, Mal Brough (who has since been endorsed as the candidate there).
The ABC Reports that the Federal Court judge involved agreed that it was a politically motivated attack:
“Federal Court Justice Steve Rares ruled that the case brought against Mr Slipper by one of his staff members was an “abuse of process”, declaring that its “predominant purpose” was to politically damage the speaker.”
The ABC reports that:
“In his written judgement, Justice Rares said he believed that Mr Ashby and fellow staff member Karen Doane had been working with former Howard government minister Mal Brough “to cause Mr Slipper as much political and public damage as they could inflict on him”. He described the pair’s behaviour as “acts of calculated disloyalty”. “Once they had decided on their course of action, Mr Ashby and Ms Doane did not go straight to see a lawyer to air any concerns about any legal wrongs that either may have suffered,” Justice Rares wrote in his judgement. “Instead, Mr Ashby or Ms Doane contacted Mr Brough and they began working with him and [News Limited journalist] Steve Lewis.“
Read on here.