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Australian Speaker issues proof against criminal allegations

Canberra (Australia) , Thu, 26 Apr 2012 ANI
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Canberra (Australia), April 26 (Xinhua-ANI): Australian Parliamentary Speaker Peter Slipper said Thursday he has proof that the criminal allegations against him are false.

He issued a statement along with photocopies of 13 Cabcharge dockets."These documents have all been completed by me and are clearly in my handwriting as I said they were," Slipper said.

"The so-called criminal allegation is a complete fabrication, just as the other claims are not accurate."

The Member of Parliament stood aside as Speaker of the lower house of parliament on Sunday pending a possible criminal investigation into allegations he had misused taxpayer-funded Cabcharge dockets.

He also faces a civil lawsuit to go before the Federal Court in Sydney next month, which claims he sexually harassed a male staff.

Slipper has strenuously denied all the allegations.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said it is appropriate Slipper stood aside as the Speaker at current situation.

"The best thing you can do in circumstances like this is to look to do what is right and based on the precedent of the parliament, not to try and invent rules as you go along but to look to the history of the parliament and what has been done in the past," she said.

The issue is due to be resolved before May 8 when parliament returns to sit on Budget announcement. But if Slipper could not return to his role by then, a vote is needed for a new Speaker, which will put the minority government in tough situation to secure power in future. (Xinhua-ANI)

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