South Australian Labor chief Peter Malinauskas was secretly fitted with a wire by detectives to file an interplay at an Adelaide restaurant with a former MP and her husband who’ve since been accused of blackmail, in accordance with court docket paperwork.
- Annabel Digance is, together with husband Greg, accused of blackmailing Peter Malinauskas
- She is looking for to have the case thrown out
- Court docket paperwork submitted by her lawyer allege Mr Malinauskas wore a wire “with a view to shutting down a parliamentary inquiry”
The paperwork additional allege Mr Malinauskas took the step “with a view to shutting down a parliamentary inquiry” into bullying and intimidation throughout the get together.
Annabel and Greg Digance have been charged with blackmailing Mr Malinauskas between February and March final yr, however Ms Digance is seeking to have the case against them thrown out.
In paperwork filed to the Adelaide Magistrates Court docket, Ms Digance known as for the prosecution case in opposition to her to be withdrawn, arguing that the conversations she and her husband had with Mr Malinauskas round looking for political benefit didn’t represent blackmail offences.
“Part 171 [of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act] makes it clear that the which means of blackmail is restricted and doesn’t embrace non-violent threats made in the middle of negotiations to safe a political benefit,” Ms Digance’s lawyer Angela Pierce wrote.
Dr Pierce claimed the prosecution case was “completely unfounded” and relied on two secret recordings of personal discussions – together with one by which Mr Malinauskas was wired by SA Police.
The paperwork claimed Mr Malinauskas and SA Police had these “secret recordings” of their possession for greater than a yr however that Mr Malinauskas had advised police he didn’t wish to prosecute and supposed to withdraw his grievance after the following state election, scheduled for March.
However the paperwork state that lower than two weeks after SA Parliament called for claims of bullying within SA Labor to be investigated by a parliamentary inquiry — at which Ms Digance mentioned she deliberate to “train her proper to free speech and to inform the reality as she knew it” — Mr Malinauskas instructed the police to instigate the prosecution.
That choose committee has been delayed indefinitely till the blackmail costs have been handled within the court docket.
“Had the choose committee proceeded, Ms Digance might have given proof on such issues below safety of parliamentary privilege,” Dr Pierce wrote.
“The prosecution needs to be dismissed on the premise that there is no such thing as a case to reply and in any occasion constitutes an apparent abuse of the method of the court docket for the aim of Mr Malinauskas stymieing the parliamentary choose committee.
“Mrs Digance has each proper to inform the world what she is aware of.”
Prosecution pushed by ‘malice’, doc claims
Within the paperwork, Dr Pierce mentioned if the prosecution was to proceed, Ms Digance sought to cross-examine Mr Malinauskas and Mr Martin to show her case, together with to elicit proof that the prosecution was instigated by Mr Malinauskas for “an ulterior political objective and out of malice in the direction of Mrs Digance”.
Ms Digance additionally sought to cross-examine Detective Sergeant Justin Ganley – who, she claimed, helped Mr Malinauskas current himself as a sufferer and her “as responsible”.
Ms Digance maintains that the police conduct in opposition to her and her husband was an abuse of course of.
Her lawyer alleges that, on the day Ms Digance and her husband had been arrested, greater than 13 cops in six police automobiles arrived on the Digances’ Strathalbyn property at daybreak.
They had been refused police bail and accompanied by Main Crime detectives to the Metropolis Watchhouse forward of their first court docket look.
The court docket paperwork state police didn’t have a particular warrant, however carried out an intensive search of their property and took away many objects of the Digances’ private property, performing on a basic search warrant.
Ms Digance mentioned the police officer she was travelling with advised her to duck as she approached a big media contingent.
“Detective Ganley purported to provide Mr Malinauskas recommendation as to how he ought to cope with the media and had thus strayed from the purported function that’s typically accepted of senior detectives entrusted within the investigation of a serious crime.
“It seems from Detective Sergeant Ganley’s notes that he took on the function of media guide in giving Mr Malinauskas recommendation as to how he ought to current himself to the media as a sufferer.”
Within the paperwork, Dr Pierce mentioned the conduct of the police was an “inflammatory” and “wholly inappropriate try to politicise a matter that didn’t require the sources of the Main Crime echelons”.
“The conduct of the police in portraying Mrs Digance as responsible and concomitantly Mr Malinauskas as ‘the sufferer’ strikes on the coronary heart of the prison course of,” Dr Pierce wrote.
The prosecution sought to dam the discharge of the court docket paperwork to the media.
A timeline contained throughout the court docket paperwork alleges the matter unfolded as follows:
- February 13, 2020: Mr Digance and Mr Malinauskas meet at Parlemento Restaurant the place Mr Malinauskas makes a secret recording of their dialog
- March 2020: Mr Malinauskas contacts police
- March 27, 2020: Mr and Mrs Digance meet with Mr Malinauskas, at his discretion on the ALP headquarters. SA Police have wired Mr Malinauskas with a secret recording gadget
- March 24, 2021: Media reporting on the racist publication by the ALP in 2013 ‘are you able to belief Habib?’
- March 28, 2021: Public apology issued from Reggie Martin and Labor Celebration over the Habib flyer
- March 31, 2021: Choose Committee is established
- April 9, 2021: Mr Malinauskas instructs the instigation of prison proceedings
- April 12, 2021: Police meet with Mr Malinauskas on the ALP head workplace concerning the forthcoming arrest, refusal of bail and media launch
- April 14, 2021: Mr and Mrs Digance are arrested and charged with blackmail
The matter will return to court docket subsequent week.