Peter Slipper to front court over cab-misuse claims

Peter Slipper.
Peter Slipper.

FORMER Sunshine Coast MP Peter Slipper will front court on Tuesday over allegations he misused taxpayer funded cab charges as the prosecution examines claims the case against him could breach parliamentary privilege.

Mr Slipper was in Canberra Magistrates Court on Monday facing three charges of falsifying cab charge documents during a series of visits to local wineries in 2010.

The former Speaker of the House, who has had trouble retaining counsel for the case, was represented by barrister Kylie Weston-Schueber in court.

Ms Weston-Schueber argued the Commonwealth's case against Mr Slipper was inherently unfair and based on an abuse of process.

Mr Slipper has maintained he was not afforded due process as other parliamentarians who have mistakenly misspent taxpayer entitlements were able to re-pay the money without court action.

But Ms Weston-Schueber asked the court for a permanent stay of the proceedings, as witnesses called could breach parliamentary privilege.

She said the very act of bringing witnesses before the court to discuss Mr Slipper's use of his parliamentary entitlements could breach parliamentary privilege.

The prosecution then asked the court for time to consider the defence argument, with the case adjourned to be heard on Tuesday.

While the original witness list included more than 30 different people, the witness list has been whittled down to just eight expected to take the stand.

If the application for a stay of proceedings is rejected, the case may wind up before the end of the week, despite seven days of hearings scheduled.

Topics:  peter slipper

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