PETER Slipper would forfeit Commonwealth contributions to his superannuation fund and interest that has accrued if he is convicted while still a parliamentarian of the charges he faces.
Mr Slipper has been summonsed and will be formally charged on February 15 with three offences in 2010 of Dishonestly Causing a Risk of a Loss to the Commonwealth pursuant to section 135.1(5) Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
Each offence carries a penalty of five years' imprisonment.
The Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act, 1948, stipulates that a member whose place becomes vacant because he or she is "under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer" shall be entitled to a refund of their own super annuation contributions, but to no other benefit under the Act.
The financial penalty would be heavy.
Mr Slipper served as a National Party member for Fisher from 1984-87 and then as the Liberal member from 1993 until the present, during which time he served on various government committees, as a parliamentary secretary and as Deputy Speaker and Speaker, all of which increased his final benefit which would amount to well in excess of $120,000 annually in retirement.
Mr Slipper's fate ultimately will be decided by the courts, although timing may be crucial.
University of the Sunshine Coast lecturer in politics Bronwyn Stevens said the Fisher MP had no chance of retaining his seat without LNP protection, citing a recent poll that had his vote at 1.5%. If an election loss came before matters now before the court were determined, Mr Slipper would leave Parliament with his superannuation intact.
Meanwhile the troubled MP's expense claims just don't add up for the month in which the Australian Federal Police allege he knowingly committed the first of three acts of fraud with which he is now charged
Records show that on January 8, 2010, Mr Slipper returned from Hobart where he had been since January 1 on what he certified was parliamentary or electoral business.
Details released under Freedom of Information legislation show the list of claims he made for limousines to and from Brisbane Airport.
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