Criminal lawyer Doug Winning leaving the Rockhampton Court House.
Criminal lawyer Doug Winning leaving the Rockhampton Court House. Amy Formosa

Rockhampton solicitor compares premier to his drunk clients

HIGH-PROFILE defence solicitor Doug Winning yesterday likened Premier Campbell Newman to some of his clients while they were drunk.

Mr Winning said Mr Newman reminded him of defendants who landed themselves in court for being unable to control their mouths while inebriated.

The Rockhampton lawyer's comments came after Mr Newman described lawyers of a Gold Coast firm as "hired guns" and part of a "criminal gang machine".

Mr Newman was responding to a report that the lawyers had advised their clients not to attend court if other bikies were there to avoid being arrested under bikie laws which make it illegal for three or more bikies to be in public together.

The Premier said everyone had a right to be defended, but reportedly went on to say bikie lawyers would do anything to defend their clients.

Mr Winning, who has represented members of bikie gang the Rebels, has been outspoken since bikie laws were introduced.

In 2008 he was found not guilty of a charge relating to allegedly tipping off the Rebels to an upcoming police search, but found guilty of professional misconduct.

Mr Winning yesterday described the Mr Newman's comments as "absurd, derogatory, unprofessional and improper".

"The man is out of control," Mr Winning said.

"He should step down; he doesn't have the support of the people."

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said the comments were taken out of context."The Premier did not at any stage in his interview talk about the entire legal profession which is now claimed," he said.

"The Premier was talking about a specific matter that was asked about on the Gold Coast with respect to those lawyers' allegations which were not true and a lot of misinformation."

Mr Bleijie encouraged lawyers wanting to debate bikie laws to "have the battle in the court room".

Mr Winning believes the laws have turned Queensland into a joke world-wide, impacting on tourism and investment.

"These laws are going to lead to a monumental change in the political landscape at the next election," he said.

The long-time lawyer who plans to run at the next election believes Clive Palmer would be best at the helm of the State government.

"He's on the record as saying he would repeal these draconian laws," Mr Winning said. "I would be happy to run for his party."


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