The trial of Liberal MP Fraser Ellis over allegations of subsistence allowance for state members has been delayed
The trial of a Liberal MP from South Australia accused of filing fraudulent travel claims has been delayed for more than seven months, until after the state election.
the main points:
- Liberal MP Fraser Ellis accused of making fraudulent claims for residency allowance to members of the state
- The Magistrates Court heard that the trial should be annulled so that a separate case could be issued in the Supreme Court involving Independent Representative Troy Bell.
- Mr. Ellis is now expected to appear for trial in June.
Fraser Ellis was scheduled to appear for trial in November, Accused of 23 counts of fraud.
The Narungga member is accused of filing 78 fraudulent state member subsistence allowance claims – totaling more than $18,000 – between May 2018 and June 2020.
His charges arose as a result of an investigation by the state’s Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (ICAC).
However, the Adelaide Magistrates’ Court was informed that the original trial date should be set aside until after the Supreme Court ruling in a separate but similar case.
Troy Bell, the Australian independent member of Parliament for South Australia, was granted special leave to appeal to the High Court in December, nearly five years after he was charged following an ICAC investigation.
Mr. Bell pleaded not guilty embezzlement of two million dollars of public funds While working in an independent education center before entering Parliament.
On Wednesday, Ellis’ attorney, Anthony Allen QC, filed a motion to set aside his client’s trial date until after a verdict in Mr. Bell’s case has been issued.
With regard to defence, [the Bell case] It is likely to have an effect, or is likely to have an effect, on this trial.”
“There are matters being considered by the Supreme Court relevant to these proceedings; interpretation of the ICAC Act is certainly something that will be the focus of the Supreme Court.
“Some guidance in the form of a Supreme Court ruling is likely to resolve any potential issues that may have a negative impact on these proceedings.”
Attorney General Ryan Williams did not oppose setting a new date for Mr Ellis’ trial, but warned that the Supreme Court case could be delayed and not be heard until January or February next year.
Mr. Williams also asked the Adelaide Magistrates’ Court to appoint a non-political judge to Mr. Ellis’ case.
“It is important that whoever hears this trial should not have any affiliation with any of the major political parties and should not have had any affiliation with major political parties in the past, given the politically sensitive nature of these allegations,” he said. .
Ellis will appear for trial in June next year, but the court was told that could be changed again if it conflicted with the week of Parliament’s session.