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Oz parliamentary speaker quits following probe into sexual harassment charges

Canberra, Sun, 22 Apr 2012 ANI
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Canberra, April 22 (ANI): Peter Slipper has stepped aside as Speaker of the House of Representatives in Australia amid investigations into allegations of sexual harassment and fraud against him.

In a statement Slipper has denied allegations of sexually harassing former staffer James Ashby, News.com.au reports.

"As such, I believe it is appropriate for me to stand aside as Speaker while this criminal allegation is resolved," he said.

"Any allegation of criminal behaviour was grave and should be dealt with in a manner with regard to the integrity of Australia's democratic institutions," he added.

Ashby, 33, took legal action in the Federal Court alleging that Slipper had made unwelcome advances towards him and had sent him sexually explicit text messages.

Slipper has also been charged with misusing taxpayer-funded cab charges.

The police will investigate the case after allegations that Slipper had committed fraud against the Commonwealth. (ANI)

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