ACT News


Peter Slipper's bid to use fresh evidence to be blocked by prosecutors

A bid by Peter Slipper to produce fresh evidence in his fight against conviction will be blocked by the Commonwealth.

The former parliamentary speaker was last month convicted of defrauding the Commonwealth in a Canberra court.

He was sentenced to 300 hours' community service and ordered to repay $954.

Slipper has appealed the conviction on 13 grounds and will seek to have the guilty verdict set aside.

A hearing has been set down for December 17 and 18.

Appeal documents, lodged in court, said Slipper's lawyers would put further evidence before the court, in the form of two news reports published by Fairfax Media.


One article, from October 2013, revealed Prime Minister Tony Abbott had been allowed to pay back expenses he had claimed to attend Sophie Mirabella's wedding.

But a Commonwealth prosecutor told the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday that her office would oppose the article to be lodged as evidence.

A court official said that argument would need to be conducted before the December appeal hearing.

The parties were also ordered to prepare and serve appeal documents in preparation for the hearing.

Slipper did not appear in court on Thursday.

In July, he was found to have acted dishonestly and knowingly caused a risk of loss to the Commonwealth in 2010 when he misused his entitlements to travel to Canberra wineries.

But he appealed the conviction in August, before the court had handed down his sentence.

Appeal documents claimed the verdicts had been unsafe because the magistrate had made conclusions not supported by the evidence, failed to have regard to procedures that allowed the money to be repaid, should have allowed a Finance Department official to be cross-examined, and erred by finding that Slipper had travelled for "private purposes".