Craig Thomson to Face 50 New Charges on Monday!
Disgraced Federal MP Craig Thomson is expected to face about 50 new charges when he finally fronts a contested hearing on fraud charges next week.
The new charges will bring to 224 the number of charges being faced by Mr Thomson who is fighting allegations he used a union credit card to pay for porn and prostitutes.
Despite the new charges prosecutors have not alleged any further criminality but say the extra counts will be added to clarify details of their case.
Mr Thomson, who failed to be re-elected to the NSW seat of Dobell at the September election, was at the Melbourne Magistrates Court for this morning’s short hearing.
The court heard the submission to add the new charges came following claims by Mr Thomson’s legal team that the 173 charges he was facing were duplicitous.
They say the issue of duplicity of charges arose from alleged non-authorised behaviour being asserted in up to three or four different and inconsistent ways.
The new charges are expected to help clarify allegations of Mr Thomson’s offending on about 66 separate occassions, the court heard.
They stem from Mr Thomson’s time as national secretary of the Health Services Union.
It is alleged he used union credit cards to spend thousands of dollars on prostitutes, pornographic films, flights, accommodation, meals and cigarettes.
Mr Thomson’s Sydney-based barrister Greg James, QC, successfully applied to adjourn today’s proceedings until Monday to allow discussions to continue between the parties.
The court heard the discussions had been “with purpose and good intent and we are making progress”.
The submission prompted magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg, who previously expressed his frustration about the length of pre-trial arguments, to joke about the delay in proceedings.
“I don’t know what it is with these sorts of cases…it’s very hard to get them to kick off,” he quipped.
The matter will resume on Monday.