Just three more witnesses are expected to attend court on Thursday to give evidence in Craig Thomson's trial. Photo: Paul Jeffers
Craig Thomson's union-issued credit card was used to pay for almost $6000 of sexual services, a court has heard, and some of that spending was later classified as meetings, entertainment and teleconferencing.
The former federal MP is on trial for fraud and theft in Melbourne Magistrates Court. On Wednesday, the court heard a police forensic accountant had examined the Health Services Union credit card statements and found that a Commonwealth Bank Mastercard issued to Mr Thomson when he was national secretary had paid for escort services totalling $5993.
According to a spreadsheet tendered to court, $2475 was paid to Keywed, the business name of Room Escort Services, in April 2005. Two months later, $418 was paid to Nolta, the business name for Tiffany's Girls, the brothel that owns a ''red turbo spa room''. Then in August 2006, $660 was paid to Staff Call, the merchant name for Sydney brothel A Touch of Class.
The payment to Staff Call was later listed as a teleconferencing expense on the HSU's book-keeping system, according to the spreadsheet.
Forensic accountant Gerard Curtin, who compiled the spreadsheets, told the court the spending on sexual services was classified in the union's bookkeeping system under entertainment, meetings at the national office or teleconferencing.
Mr Curtin said $3500 in cash was withdrawn from HSU accounts on one of Mr Thomson's union-issued credit cards between April 2005 and December 2007.
But there was no evidence any of Mr Thomson's personal accounts had been used to reimburse the HSU's accounts, Mr Curtin said.
Mr Thomson is accused of using HSU credit cards and a Flight Centre account to accrue more than $28,000 in personal expenses, including for sexual services, in-house adult films in hotel rooms and flights and cigarettes for his then wife during his term as national secretary from 2002 to 2007.
He is also accused of using the credit cards to make cash withdrawals.
Mr Thomson, 49, has pleaded not guilty to 145 fraud and theft charges.
Prosecutors allege Mr Thomson continued using union funds for personal expenses after he left the HSU in December 2007 to take up his role as a federal MP for the NSW seat of Dobell. He lost his seat after standing as an independent in last year's election.
Just three more witnesses are expected to attend court on Thursday to give evidence, after the prosecution and Mr Thomson's defence team agreed to tender the statements of dozens of witnesses for magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg to read.
The court heard on Wednesday the prosecution believed the question of whether Mr Thomson was authorised to use the credit cards for personal use was the sole outstanding ''live'' issue, as the mechanics of the charges and the transactions were no longer in dispute.
But Greg James, QC, for Mr Thomson, said his client's ''state of mind'' was also likely to be a point of difference when the parties made their closing submissions.
The court heard Mr Curtin had been unable to explain what more than $55,000 in expenses on Mr Thomson's two union-issued credit cards were used for, because of a lack of detail in bookkeeping records.
The hearing continues.