(15:03:08): Yesterday the President read to the House a letter from the Australian Federal Police [AFP] concerning their investigation that has involved the execution of search warrants on my home and Parliament House office. Today I have some important information about those matters that I believe will be of interest to the House and to all honourable members. I take this opportunity to thank the Hon. Mark Latham for giving me his timeslot for this private member's statement. From the moment that the search was undertaken at my home, I was informed by numerous Federal agents of the Australian Federal Police that I was not a suspect or in any way a person of interest with respect to the commission of any crime whatsoever.

My legal representative who attended the search that morning from 7.00 a.m. until 1.00 a.m. the next day was assured by several of the Federal agents in attendance that I was not a suspect. Recently the Australian Federal Police have released copies of recordings of conversations that were undertaken when the searches were executed at my home and my parliamentary office. In one of the transcripts of a conversation between me and the Australian Federal agent, the following appears:

So, in relation to the third condition, the allegations—it's just stepped out. So, these are—as I said to you before, these aren't allegations directed at you as a suspect, okay? They are allegations that are relevant to the investigation. However, information known to the investigation would suggest that there is potentially information at this location relevant to the investigation, and relevant to these allegations. So the allegations, which again are not directed at you, relate to this particular provision of the Criminal Code. And I appreciate you may not be familiar with that, in particular.

There further appears the following comments from the Federal agent:

That's essentially the basic nature of the investigation, but … as I have reiterated to you a number of times, you are not considered a suspect in relation to this investigation.

There it is in black and white. At no time was I ever the subject of a warrant that asserts that I was an offender or a person of interest with respect to the commission of any crime whatsoever. The letter from the AFP's Assistant Commissioner Mr Lee that was read onto the record by the President yesterday in this House refers to investigation of offences, being breaches of sections 92.3 (1) and 92.3 (2) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995. Insofar as those offences are concerned, I continue to assert that I am not the focus of the investigation or in breach of any law. Further, Mr Lee described the determination of the privilege claim by the New South Wales Parliament as considered and appropriate. Finally, I thank my colleagues for their warmth in welcoming me back into this Chamber.



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