AFP suspends probe on Brough ahead of appeal by Ashby

Mal Brough
Mal Brough Warren Lynam

MAL Brough's day in court for his alleged "political conspiracy to harm Peter Slipper and the Federal Government" may yet happen.

The Federal Member for Moreton, Graham Perrett, received a letter from the Australian Federal Police yesterday saying the investigation was "suspended" until after James Ashby's appeal on May 30.

"As the facts surrounding the appeal are consistent with your referral, the AFP has suspended its evaluation of the matter until the outcome of the appeal has been finalised."

Mr Perrett wrote to Federal Police Commissioner Tony Negus on December 21 requesting he investigate whether Mr Brough, James Ashby, Karen Doane, Christopher Pyne, Julie Bishop and Mark McArdle had committed a crime by their involvement in the James Ashby sexual harassment case.

Mr Perrett told the Daily yesterday he was "disappointed" with the AFP's decision, particularly given the political timing of events.

"Time is such a crucial element. It is 199 days till Peter Slipper goes to the electorate. Every day this cloud is hanging over him is a bad day."

Mr Perrett, a former lawyer, said normally an appeal did not present new evidence and the "matters of fact" Justice Rares presented in his damning judgment against Mal Brough and others had not been stepped away from.

"Mal Brough has not stepped away from them, Tony Abbott has not stepped away from them," he said.

Mr Slipper said it was "clear that the AFP is taking Mr Perrett's complaint against Mr Brough very seriously and this must be a concern for the LNP".

He also argued that only one party, Michael Harmer (James Ashby's lawyer), had sought leave to appeal Justice Rares' findings.

"To my knowledge Mr Brough and Ms Doane have not sought leave of the court to challenge the adverse findings of Justice Rares against them.

"I would be very surprised if Mr Brough is still the LNP candidate at the election on September 14."

Mr Brough declined to comment.

Topics:  james ashby mal brough politics

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