ONE issue we’ve kept an eye on over the past year or so at The Red And The Blue is set to explode, with news that LNP traitor, former speaker and overall grub Peter Slipper is to face criminal charges; whilst he is entitled to a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the news is welcome.
In news just broken by the Fairfax press in The Age, Slipper is set to answer three charges of “dishonestly causing a risk of a loss to the Commonwealth,” which — whilst their true nature was not specified by Police — sound an awful lot like charges over travel expense rorts.
Slipper will be formally charged with the offences on 15 February, in an appearance in the Canberra Magistrates’ Court, to which he has been summonsed to appear.
The summons has been issued by Police who investigated allegations of travel expense fraud against Slipper that arose from the sexual harassment proceedings initiated against him by former staffer James Ashby.
This column has ample reason to dislike the odious Slipper on both personal and political grounds, and in light of the apparent nature of the charges welcomes today’s developments.
Certainly, there have been an abundance of “interesting stories” about Slipper over the years, and the forthcoming proceedings against him at Court should at least clear some of these up once and for all — one way or the other.
Even so, we will refrain from further comment for now until Slippery has had his day in Court, and I emphasise to all readers that Slipper — like anyone else — is entitled to the presumption of innocence until or unless proven otherwise.
Accordingly, whilst comments are welcome in line with standard practice, they will be rigorously scrutinised, and editorial discretion will be used if anything prejudicial to Slipper’s case is submitted.
Even so, my final word — for now — is that if he is proven guilty, it will prove once and for all that staying one step ahead of trouble, ultimately, is sometimes one step too far.
We will keep an eye on the proceedings as they fall due next month.